Conference takes place in Brighton from Sunday to Wednesday and our Chair, Lisa Robbillard Webb and our Vice Chair, Jan Wills are the Central Devon delegates this year. They will be posting on the Facebook page and Twitter as often as possible, so look out for updates and please make comment to help them properly represent the CLP.
Conference invites all CLPs to put forward issues for debate, in a form known (for reasons that aren't entirely clear) as "contemporary motions". At the last CLP meeting Central Devon Members considered three options for a contemporary motion: nuclear disarmament; the refugee crisis; Labour Party policy on rural areas. The majority of members present voted to discuss and propose a contemporary resolution on the needs of rural areas.
Here it is;
Central Devon Contemporary Motion – 2015
Central Devon - Bearing the Brunt of Austerity
Central Devon residents are disproportionately affected by austerity. The Labour Party is the natural alternative in rural areas and we must encourage more residents to approach us.
Central Devon Concerns:
Housing - House prices are high and wages are low, so families are leaving their communities. The Government's Right to Buy further diminishes social housing stock and new homes-to-buy do not help low income families. This will have long-term negative effects for future generations.
Employment - Job cuts (cross sector) have reduced household incomes. The lack of housing limits access to employment. Cuts to bus services, (plus costly tickets and unreliability) severely affect the ability to work. The economic benefits of tourism are jeopardised by the effects of cuts to Rangers and infrastructure at Dartmoor National Park.
Broadband - Reliable broadband is rarely available across Central Devon. This means:
1. Businesses cannot compete
2. Educational attainment is lower
3. Correct healthcare is harder to access
4. Social groups are difficult to contact
5. Accessing essential services (eg banking) is limited.
Health – Health inequalities are compounded by local hospital closures, shrinking budgets, CCGs in debt, GP shortages.
Communities - All these issues prevent Central Devon's communities from fully contributing to economic growth, from forging strong networks and gaining access to essential services and opportunities.
The difficulties go beyond farming; Central Devon has escalating social, physical and economic isolation for all its residents. It’s the Labour Party’s determination to help by making our progressive practices and views available and relevant to all.
All Contemporary Motions are considered on Sunday evening and those that are selected are debated by full Conference. We hope ours will make it, possibly combined with those of other CLPs, but whatever happens our delegates intend to put our concerns forward to influence party policy and bring back information that will help us for the future.