Contemporary_Motions_2016

Contemporary Motions for the 2016 Labour Party Conference

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Contemp Motions



 

Campaign for Labour Party Democracy

Contemporary motions for Labour Party Conference 2016

Anti-austerity policies can deliver growth and a Labour victory

Conference notes:

  1. The 9 August National Institute of Economic and Social Research report that Britain’s economy shrank in July, increasing the possibility of recession.
  2. The cost of living continues increasing: the ONS reporting on 16 August inflation rising to 0.6% with sterling devalued more than 10% since June.
  3. Austerity has not eliminated the government deficit, contrary to Tory predictions.
  4. Instead, due to Tory policies, the economy has stagnated.
  5. Living standards are declining - real wages down 10.4% since the 2008 financial crisis (the TUC reports), similar to Greece.
  6. Labour’s successes this past year in forcing some Government U-turns on austerity policies.
  7. Public opposition to austerity, which will have assisted Labour’s recent parliamentary by-election victories and Labour beating the Tories’ vote share at May's local elections.
  8. The widespread view of voters in 2015 that Labour lacked a credible economic policy.

Conference believes:

  1. Government economic policy needs fundamental change. Austerity should end and public investment significantly increase to stimulate growth and raise living standards.
  2. Labour should propose a £500bn public investment programme in: infrastructure, manufacturing, green and new industries, building 1m homes in five years.
  3. A National Investment Bank should be established.
  4. The government deficit should be cut by raising its income – by growth not austerity.
  5. To succeed both economically and electorally Labour needs credible fiscal rules, borrowing for large scale investment whilst balancing the current budget over the economic cycle, as proposed by the Shadow Chancellor.

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Campaign for Labour Party Democracy

Contemporary motions for Labour Party Conference 2016

Rail: campaign to cut fares and improve services

Conference notes the research published by Action for Rail on 16 August, including their finding that dividends paid to shareholders of private train companies have risen by 21% in the last year to £222 million. At the same time further fare-increases and cuts in both services and staffing are being imposed on passengers.

Conference believes that public money currently subsidising private operators should be redirected towards reducing fares and improving the industry’s infrastructure, as a vital part of our communities’ future development and prosperity.

Conference therefore welcomes the commitments of our Party’s leadership to:

  • Bring private franchises into public ownership as they expire;
  • Reduce fares;
  • Support train-building in the UK;
  • Integrate rail services with improved bus services, involving publicly-run municipal bus companies.

Conference notes, however, the ongoing programme of staff reduction within the industry, particularly the removal of guards from passenger services, the extension of Driver Only Operation (DOO) and the closure of (or reduced access to) ticket office facilities.  Conference notes that, while these decisions are implemented by individual train operating companies, they are ultimately driven by government transport policy through the Department for Transport.

These staffing cuts constitute not only an attack on employment but also on the safe operation of trains and passengers’ security and service.  Conference therefore affirms that Labour’s transport policy should include commitments to:

  • Introduce a requirement for a guard on all passenger trains;
  • Halt the introduction of DOO for passenger services;
  • Reverse the current programme of ticket office closures.

 

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Campaign for Labour Party Democracy

Contemporary motions for Labour Party Conference 2016

Housing: Campaign against the Tories’ pernicious Housing and Planning Act

On 9 August 2016 Shelter published research highlighting the plight of millions of working families who are struggling to afford sky-high housing costs. Shelter’s chief executive said these families are ‘stretched to breaking point and barely scraping by from one pay cheque to the next.’  The research also reveals that a fifth of working parents face the prospect of being immediately unable to pay their next rent or mortgage payment if they lose their job.

Conference recognises that the Tories’ Housing and Planning Act would, if implemented, disastrously increase the problems facing those in need of decent and affordable housing.  

Conference supports calls from councils across the country for the government to pause and review the Act’s provisions.    

Conference opposes measures in the Act that will:

  • Introduce ‘Pay-to-Stay’ and increase the rent for many social housing tenants to unaffordable levels.  
  • Force councils to sell off council houses and massively reduce stocks of vitally needed council housing. 
  • Scrap the permanent, secure, social housing tenancies which provide stability to our most vulnerable communities.
  • Replace the planning requirement for social rented units with that for unaffordable starter homes.  

Labour is committed to campaign for a massive increase in the supply of housing, including council housing with proper security of tenure and genuinely affordable rents. Labour will therefore vigorously campaign against the Act which threatens that commitment.

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Campaign for Labour Party Democracy

Contemporary motions for Labour Party Conference 2016

Campaign to replace the feudal leasehold housing tenure

This conference notes the article in the Mail on Sunday on 8 August 2016 describing the extensive housing problems of leaseholders that are little discussed in Labour party circles.

The leasehold system of tenure is feudal in nature and is not worthy of the 21st century; most English speaking countries have some type of collective ownership.

The Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 introduced a new form of tenure whereby residents would jointly own the freehold and could decide how to manage their property as they saw fit. The Commonhold form of tenure has been a failure. For new build properties the new tenure was optional. For existing properties all leaseholders had to agree to transfer to the new tenure.

Research by the Coalition Government found out that there are more leaseholders than previously thought in England and Wales. The figure is up from 2 million to over 4 million. London alone has two thirds of all leaseholders in England and Wales.

There is a real need for the Labour Party to win the votes of leaseholders in order to win the next general election.

Accordingly this Conference resolves to campaign in favour of the Commonhold Tenure and to encourage the House of Commons Local Government Select Committee to hold an enquiry into the leasehold housing market and especially with a view to holding freeholders properly to account over their management of Leasehold property.

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Campaign for Labour Party Democracy

Contemporary motions for Labour Party Conference 2016

NHS: Stop the Tories running it down

Conference notes the 10 August report from the Royal College of Emergency Medicine that the A&E Department at Grantham & District Hospital may temporarily have to close at nights.

Conference further notes the 11 August revelation from NHS England that waiting-time targets for operations, A&E and ambulances are consistently being missed.

Conference deplores the Conservatives’ prioritisation of financial objectives above those of clinical need.  Their proposals for devolved ‘Sustainability and Transformation Plans’ (STPs) merely seek to evade their own responsibility for NHS cuts.

Conference applauds Labour’s commitment to an NHS which is publicly funded, publicly provided and publicly accountable.  Conference therefore calls on all sections of the Labour Party to campaign together with patients, healthworkers and all other NHS supporters for:

  • Adequate NHS funding (via increased taxation of the rich and corporations, and borrowing to invest if necessary);
  • Constructive dialogue with organisations representing doctors, nurses and other healthworkers;
  • An end to privatisation of our NHS;
  • No more Private Finance Initiatives;
  • Integration of the NHS with a social care system which is also publicly provided and financed;
  • Tackling causes of ill-health, e.g. poverty, poor housing and education;
  • An urgent reduction in waiting-times;
  • Adequate numbers of properly remunerated staff ;
  • No service closures (or ‘reconfigurations’) without proper local consultation and consent;
  • Exclusion of our NHS from TTIP and other ‘free trade’ agreements.

As Nye Bevan said, our NHS will survive……as long as there are people to defend it.

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  Labour CND   

 

                          Contemporary Motion for Labour Party Conference 2016

 

Proposed United Nations conference on Nuclear Disarmament affects domestic policy

 

Conference notes on the 19 August 2016 the United Nations Open-Ended Working Group on Nuclear Disarmament recommended that the General Assembly convene, in 2017, a conference to negotiate a legally-binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination. Conference condemns the United Kingdom boycott of the Open-Ended Working Group and calls on the Government to enter into negotiations in good faith to eliminate nuclear weapons around the world.

 

Conferences reaffirms its commitment to a world without nuclear weapons.

 

Conference recognises the strength of arguments against Trident from a financial point of view, and from the perspective of an assessment of the actual contemporary threats to British security, such as terrorism. Conference also accepts the compelling moral argument against the use of nuclear weapons.

 

Conference believes that defence diversification must be an urgent priority for the next Labour government. The next Labour Government must offer cast-iron guarantees on the security of related skilled employment, which is lacking from the existing ‘Successor’ programme. The priority must be to secure the employment for individuals and the future of the communities involved.

 

Conference therefore resolves:

 

  1. That a Labour Government will cancel plans to replace Trident and engage in ongoing UN work towards a global nuclear weapons ban.
  2. To instruct the NEC to immediately establish a ‘Shadow Defence Diversification Agency’ with trade union participation and which shall report annually to the Labour Party Conference until a Labour Government has set up a statutory Agency.

 

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Socialist Education Association

 

The SEA has decided to submit the following contemporary resolution to Labour Party Conference:

 

"This Conference:

 

  • deplores the Prime Minister’s threat “to launch a new generation of grammar schools by scrapping the ban on them imposed almost 20 years ago”, reported in the Daily Telegraph on 6th August;

 

  • regrets that a selective system continues in force in parts of the country;

 

  • is aware that research evidence, both in England and internationally, shows that that selective schools do not promote social mobility or contribute to the raising of standards;

 

  • recognises that the purpose of education should be to provide all children, irrespective of background or specific needs, with the skills, knowledge, enthusiasm and understanding necessary to lead a rewarding and fulfilling life. Labelling children as failures before education has given them the chance to develop, which is what selection does, is one of the prime causes of division and unfairness in our society;

 

  • therefore commits the party to opposing any expansion to selective education and also to the ending of educational selection in all state funded schools through the establishment in all areas of a genuinely comprehensive and inclusive secondary education system that provides for all children according to their needs."

 

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Submitted by Des Heemskerk, Rochford & Southend East CLP member

 

Party members should be welcomed not purged

 

This Conference

 

  • Welcomes the huge growth in membership, the resulting revitalization of the Labour

Party and the proposed NEC “New Member Engagement Plan”

  • Believes that a large, active mass membership holds the key to electoral victory
  • Condemns the exclusion of recent joiners from voting in the leadership election and

the suspensions of many thousands of voters on dubious grounds

  • Believes that the vast majority of members are shocked by this undemocratic

unwelcoming behaviour which brings the Labour Party into disrepute.

 

In order to maximize the involvement and effectiveness of members in building a case for socialism and an election victory, this Conference calls on the NEC to

 

  • Publicly clarify the rules for membership, and explain and justify their actions in this

area;

  • Accept that previous interest in/membership of another UK party is not in itself

grounds for suspension;

  • Accept that only clearly, intentionally offensive social media messages should lead to

investigation, and suspension should happen only if appropriate and after being

clearly proven;

  • Reverse the policy of summary suspensions without due process and proportionality

(recommended in the Chakrabarti Review);

  • Reinstate all those wrongly suspended, and welcome reinstated and new members;

and

  • Return to those who remain suspended, the shockingly exorbitant £25

‘administration fee’ which in many cases adds insult to injury.

 

Conference calls for a clear, transparent and fair set of rules governing membership to be drawn up and adhered to forthwith.

 

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Submitted by Councillor Cheryl Nevin, Southend West CLP member

 

We call on Conference to urge that Secretary of State at the Home Office urgently sends officials to the Calais refugee camp to process legitimate asylum claims allowing unaccompanied children access to Britain and to safety. 

The government committed to helping these children, many of whom have family in the UK; with school terms starting in days, now is the time to act.

Britain should be following Germany's lead, of accepting more than one million refugees last year, distributed across hundreds of cities and villages in the country.

This government claims to be socially just, but letting these minors suffer alone one more day of squalor, desperation and destitution can only be viewed as a failure of leadership.

 

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