Labour Party Conference
Labour Party Conference

20th September 2022

Following on the halt on campaigning and meetings, due the passing of Queen Elizabeth the II, the Executive Committee of Kingston & Surbiton CLP voted for a motion to be submitted to our Annual Party Conference.

The motion selected was “A Green New Deal.”

See all motions, and a selection of statements about all the motions from Executive Committee members below:

Motion 1. Creating a 21st Century Britain and Strengthening The Link Between People Regions and Government 

 This CLP notes that:

  1. The United Kingdom is one of the most centralised advanced democracies
  2. There a major disparity between living standards between the rich rural and mostly Southern areas when compared to cities and towns in regional areas
  3. All major decisions on law and tax are taken in Westminster and Whitehall
  4. The House of Lords in its current form is undemocratic

This CLP believes:

  1. That to create lasting change long lasting and far reaching reforms to the UK political system must be made
  2. The centralised Westminster system is hurting working and middle class families across the country
  3. Local people understand local issues and therefore it is they who should decide how to run their region
  4. A more responsive, locally accountable system would benefit issues ranging from social housing to transport
  5. More checks and balances are needed to restrain rogue ministers and create a system of compromise which the House of Lords is currently woefully inadequate to achieve

Therefore this CLP motions to:

  1. Create nine English regions to rule on issues within their borders, similar to powers in Scotland etc.
  2. Within these regions create a unicameral chamber with executive First Minister
  3. Elections to this unicameral chamber to be conducted with Single Transferable Voting (STV)
  4. Make the position of a Lord within the House of Lords elected on an STV electoral system, which represent the newly created nine English regions plus currently devolved regions

Motion 2.  Labour’s Immigration Policy: For Free Movement, Equality and Solidarity

Confronted with attacks on migrants – from the racist Hostile Environment to the Conservatives’ Immigration Bill that plans to end free movement and strip the rights of working-class migrants – we stand for solidarity, equality and freedom.

Scapegoating, ending free movement and attacking migrants’ rights are attacks on all workers. They make migrant workers more precarious and vulnerable to hyper-exploitation, pressing down wages and conditions for everyone. They divide us, making it harder to unionise and push back.

Free movement, equality and rights for migrants, are socialist values and benefit us all.

Labour can offer real solutions to the problems racists feed on. Public funding for good jobs, homes, services and social security for everyone; scrapping anti-union laws to support workers organising and driving up wages and conditions. Migrant workers are already central to trade union campaigns beating low pay and exploitation.

The UK and EU should welcome migration across Europe and from beyond. We must oppose the Tories’ immigration legislation and any curbing of existing free movement rights.

In government, Labour will:

  • maintain and extend free movement of people as a workers’ right, opposing immigration systems based on incomes, migrants’ utility to big business, and number caps/targets;
  • ensure unconditional right to family reunion;
  • close all detention centres;
  • extend equal rights to vote to all UK residents;
  • end “no recourse to public funds” policies;
  • scrap all Hostile Environment measures, use of landlords and public service providers as border guards, and restrictions on migrants’ NHS access.

Motion 3.  Early Years Provision and childcare in the cost-of-living crisis.

Kingston and Surbiton Labour notes: Working parents in the UK are entitled to 30 hours of free childcare per week for three- and four-year-olds. Two-year-olds from lower income families are entitled to 15 hours of free childcare per week. However, free hours do not cover the cost per hour in most settings. There is no government help with costs for one-year- olds or most two-year-olds. Statutory paid maternity leave in insufficient and ends at  9 months old.

UK childcare is one of most expensive in the world. It creates barriers to parents going back to work and prevents the economic benefits of increasing female participation in the workforce, setting back gender equality. Now, with ever growing household bills, more families plunged into crisis.

Children are being impacted by lack of opportunities to play and learn. The pre-school period is a crucial time in children’s development.

Many childcare providers have struggled to survive the pandemic, with insufficient support from the government, and are now facing challenges with a rise in energy bills.

We resolve that:

  • Unspent allowances should be invested in early years provision, ensuring money already committed to early years is utilised.
  • Access to free hours should be begin from one year of age, and result in a significant reduction of costs to families.
  • Statutory paid parental leave should be extended to 52 weeks.

Motion 4.  A Green New Deal  

Kingston and Surbiton Labour notes: People are living with the fear of not being able to heat their homes or cook their food due to soaring energy costs, high inflation and stagnant wages. At the same time, energy companies are seeing huge profits while failing to tackle climate change caused by emissions.

We believe that:

Public ownership is the only way to both tackle greenhouse gas emissions while also bringing down people’s bills – without this the private sector will continue to be a barrier to decarbonisation and tackling inequality.

The current crisis illustrates that the regulator for the energy sector puts the profits of the energy sector ahead of the needs of the public.

We resolve to support:

  • An urgent, coordinated strategy for;
  • reviewing the purpose and function of the energy market and regulator
  • just energy transition – including tackling regional inequalities
  • creating green jobs
  • ending the cost of living crisis
  • public ownership of the energy, mail, rail, water, green technology and finance sectors
  • encouraging public-municipal, worker ownership and democratic control of buses, retrofitting and construction sectors.
  • using expanded public ownership to promote justice and decarbonisation in global supply chains.

Naomi Bamford-Hurrell (Membership Secretary) voted for “A Green New Deal:” “I think this is the biggest crisis of our time (climate) and the cost of living crisis is something we need essential and urgent action from the Labour party on.”

Martin Ellis (Vice Chair) voted forA Green New Deal:” “It is the issue that is most important to the British people at the moment and an opportunity to reintroduce public ownership.”

Praveen Kolluguri (Ethnic Minorities Officer) voted for “Labour’s Immigration Policy: For Free Movement, Equality and Solidarity:” “This motion couldn’t be anymore urgent than now as with recent appointment of Suealla Braverman – we are left with the scary prospect of another home secretary who is hell bent on dealing with most refugees and migrants, in the most inhumane way and if it was up to them they will make their whole existence illegal, they’ve already taken first steps towards it. If we as socialists in Labour don’t stand up to this narrative, it will be a downward spiral for any conversation about the rights of refugees and migrants in this country with more Rwanda plans and detention centres.”

Caoilte O’Connor (Treasurer) voted for “A Green New Deal:” “Of all the crises it facing our planet it remains the most important and with the current energy crisis it is now the most urgent.”

Rebecca Way (Secretary) voted for “A Green New Deal:” “Having looked at these I think my preferred option would be the Green New Deal one, given the urgency of this issue.”

Laurie South (Political Education Officer) voted for “Early Years Provision and childcare in the cost-of-living crisis:” “My vote goes for Motion 3, not because the other motions are unimportant, but because a motion on Early Years Provision is very important to creating more equality in society.”

Alice Campbell (Disability Officer) voted for “Early Years Provision and childcare in the cost-of-living crisis:” “I’d put forward motion 3 as it’s something I feel has been overlooked and is extremely relevant towards young families.”

Talia Marie (Youth Officer) voted for “A Green New Deal:” “I feel especially worried about my future as a teen due to constant news about climate change, so I feel like my anxieties will reduce if I know Britain is doing its part under a Labour Government. In addition, I feel like climate change is almost related to all the big problems we have now.”

Pat Dobson (Secretary) “Voted for A Green New Deal:” “The Labour Party needs to commit to nationalisation of the energy companies rather than propping them up with public money which seems to be the Tory way.”

Kezia Coleman (Chair) voted for “Labour’s Immigration Policy: For Free Movement, Equality and Solidarity:” “I want to ensure a Labour Government adopts more progressive immigration policies. The disgraceful Rwanda policy is a stain on this country’s history.” 

Greta Farian (Trade Union Liaison Officer) voted for “Early Years Provision and childcare in the cost-of-living crisis:” “I believe access to universal high-quality, affordable, childcare from the age of the child’s first birthday will help families that are struggling with costly child care bills when they are already under pressure with the cost of living crisis.

The extension of statutory paid parental leave would bridge a gap that currently forces parents to return to work for financial reasons when they may want to spend more time with their child in their important first year.

This is primarily an issue about women and their ability to make choices. Mothers are more likely than fathers to take time away from paid work to care for a child which can exacerbate mothers’ lifetime earnings gap. Investing in children and families now, is an investment for the future.”

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