On a rainy November day, Littlebrook returned Daisy Page as its new councillor, while Mark Maddison increased the Labour share of the vote in Brent.

That being said, there was little enthusiasm for an election from the public, with low turnouts in both wards. And UKIP fared worse than they expected.

Littlebrook
Lab      358    47.7%

UKIP    220    29.3%

Cons    172    22.9%

Turnout 23.24%

Brent
Cons    579    44.6%

Lab      402    30.9%

UKIP    316    24.3%

Turnout 25.8%


Geoff Prout, Labour group leader, commented:
"Congratulations to Daisy on her election as Labour's new councillor. Commiserations to Mark who fought a great campaign and who will surely win a seat next May.
"Thanks to all  voters whotruned out, and to Labour's campaign team for all the hard work undertaken over the last few weeks. "


Sat 15 November, 2014

Labour councillor for Littlebrook

On a rainy November day, Littlebrook returned Daisy Page as its new councillor, while Mark Maddison increased the Labour share of the vote in Brent. Read more

Labour's campaign teams, led by Simon Thomson, Daisy Page, and Mark Maddison, have been working hard. Between them they have talked to over 60% of voters in Littlebrook and Brent before today's by-elections.

The message from residents is clear - they have talked to us about their dismay at the Town Centre, and the difficulties of getting round and parking with the tunnel chaos.  They have talked to us about the cost of living, of the problems faced by the Health Service, of the targeting of those most vulnerable: disabled people, people with mental illness, people without adequate housing.

Support for Labour is growing again; and it's clear that Dartford people, whether in Brent or Littlebrook, are resisting the narrow, inward-looking, and strident messages coming from right-wing parties.

The final verdict comes in the ballot box. Simon Thomson, Labour's candidate for Parliament, commented "Let's get behind Daisy and Mark, and get two more sensible and informed councillors for Dartford."


Thu 13 November, 2014

Growing support for Labour

Labour's campaign teams, led by Simon Thomson, Daisy Page, and Mark Maddison, have been working hard. Between them they have talked to over 60% of voters in Littlebrook and Brent before today's by-elections. Read more

Today, former Dartford Councillor and Labour MP for Corby, Andy Sawford introduced a bill to parliament that would allow public and mutual rail operators to bid for rail franchises and I was happy to see it progress to a second reading.

Currently the Conservative led government bans anyone but private operators bidding for franchises. This perverse rule has resulted in the not-for-profit public operator currently running the East Coast line - which has achieved record passenger satisfaction and service levels, invests it’s profits in better services and has returned over £800m to the taxpayer - being prevented from continuing to provide that service in order to allow a private operator to take over.

Andy’s bill is important for rail passengers here in Dartford. We continue to put up with the failing performance of the Southeastern franchise – consistently ranked as one of the country's poorest train operators. Expensive fares, delays and cancellations and poor customer satisfaction have contributed to years of frustration for passengers.

We shouldn’t have to put up with it. However, instead of holding Southeastern to account, Dartford’s MP Gareth Johnson and his Conservative colleagues decided to reward them with a new contract – meaning Dartford is stuck with Southeastern until 2018. Dartford deserves better than an MP that puts the interests of train bosses before passengers.

We need a real fresh start. We need a railway which puts passengers first, not profits. That’s why I support Andy Sawford’s bill and why today Labour MPs delivered more for Dartford’s rail users in a single day than our own Conservative MP – who didn’t vote today - has achieved in four years. If elected Dartford’s MP next year, I’ll join them to work to for the rail service that Dartford and the country needs and deserves.

TRANSPORT

Wed 29 October, 2014

Labour stands up for Rail Passengers in Parliament

Today, former Dartford Councillor and Labour MP for Corby, Andy Sawford introduced a bill to parliament that would allow public and mutual rail operators to bid for rail franchises and I was happy to see it progress to a second... Read more

General Secretary of the GMB



Friday 28th November 2014

7.30pm at Darenth Village Hall

Ladywood Road

DA2 7LL 



Bring your own drinks and nibbles

Members, supporters and friends are invited to the all members' night on Friday 28th November at 7.30pm in Darenth Village Hall.

Click here for a map.


Our guest speaker will be Paul Kenny, the General Secretary of the GMB. We are delighted that Paul, who is one of the leading figures in the Labour movement, is able to come and speak at this event.



There will the customary raffle and the 100 club draw.

Members and guests are invited to make a voluntary donation of £5.00 in aid of Labour's 2015 election campaign in Dartford. 

This promises to be an excellent evening in the company of the leader of Britain's third biggest trade union.




Pat Kelly

CLP Secretary


Mon 27 October, 2014

Dartford Labour Party welcomes Paul Kenny

General Secretary of the GMB 

Friday 28th November 2014 7.30pm at Darenth Village Hall Read more

Thursday 11th December at the Swanscombe Pavilion at 7.30pm


The Grove,
Swanscombe,
DA10 0AD


Click here for a map

On Thursday 11th December there will be a 'Stand up for Labour' comedy night at the Swanscombe Pavilion beginning at 7.30pm. There will be a full bar and the acts will feature Arthur Smith, Norman Lovett and Mary Bourke: 



Tickets are on sale and at the moment, they only cost £10 but the price will go up to £12 after October 31st. Tickets are available to everyone - members, friends, family, neighbours etc so first come, first served. They can be reserved through Santha on 01322 525261. However you get the tickets, please make sure you pay for them before October 31st!

Tickets can also be bought online at the Stand Up For Labour website



Stand up for Labour promises to be an excellent night of comedy so please book early to avoid disappointment. 







Pat Kelly

CLP Secretary

ARTHUR SMITH

A huge laugh and a career that blends surrealism and one-liners in equal measure are Arthur Smith's signatures. His immense humour, and willingness to laugh himself hoarse at others' jokes make him unusual in an industry eaten up by cool. On TV, he's been a regular Grumpy Old Man. But it's as a stage performer and writer where Smith's strongest talents make themselves felt.

NORMAN LOVETT

He was well into his thirties before deciding to go into comedy. Best known for the role of Holly in cult sci-fi sitcom Red Dwarf, he considers himself to be a stand-up comedian who can act a bit, and is yet to appear in a pantomime. His comedy has a quiet, dead-pan surrealism.

MARY BOURKE

 

She's performed on the comedy circuit for more than a dozen years and the experience shows. Bourke's utterly composed on stage, performing with a relaxed delivery, and the soft sing-song of her Irish lilt contrasts nicely with her punchy and somewhat acerbic material. She punctuates the pomposity of the Mumsnet website with list of unreasonable demands on the Albanian nanny with the refrain 'am I being unreasonable?'

 


Mon 27 October, 2014

Stand Up For Labour Comedy Night

Thursday 11th December at the Swanscombe Pavilion at 7.30pm
 The Grove,Swanscombe, DA10 0AD Read more

Friday’s traffic gridlock across Dartford was another reminder that the delay in naming the location of a new Thames Crossing is damaging our town. Labour in Dartford have always said that any new crossing needs to be built away from Dartford and we’ve campaigned strongly alongside residents to make the case to rule Dartford out now.

It’s extraordinary that in response to the recent traffic chaos, a local Conservative Councillor has now called for a new crossing to be built at Dartford. We don’t agree with his view and we think the vast majority of Dartford residents won’t agree either.

Building another crossing at Dartford is not the right solution to our traffic problems. It would just make the exisiting congestion and pollution even worse. 

This was an issue where we felt we had achieved a degree of political consensus to keep another crossing away from Dartford – however, in recent months the position of the Conservatives appears to have changed. First, we had Dartford’s Conservative MP calling for the decision to be delayed - keeping the threat hanging over the town. Now we have the Conservative Mayor of London and at least one local Tory Councillor openly calling for another crossing at Dartford. We’ve got a big fight to win to make sure we keep the new crossing out of Dartford. The uncertain position of the Conservatives does nothing to help residents and businesses in Dartford caught in the gridlock.

The government can and should rule Dartford out now and get on with resolving this issue. Labour in Dartford will continue to stand up for residents and say no to another crossing in our town.

TRANSPORT

Mon 27 October, 2014 - 1 reaction

We need a decision on a new crossing - not more Conservative confusion

Friday’s traffic gridlock across Dartford was another reminder that the delay in naming the location of a new Thames Crossing is damaging our town. Labour in Dartford have always said that any new crossing needs to be built away from... Read more

THE CONSERVATIVES HAVE FAILED OUR TOWN CENTRE

Yesterday’s press statement released by the Leader of Dartford Borough Council demonstrates the astonishing failure of Dartford’s Conservative administration to deliver on its promises to regenerate Lowfield Street and our town centre.

We all recognise that Tesco have let Dartford down badly. However, there can be little doubt that the Conservatives have been complicit in the twelve years of delays and excuses that have left Dartford with a decaying town centre and a derelict site scarring the landscape of Lowfield Street.

  • It was the Conservatives who stubbornly pursued their road through the park scheme – delaying progress on the Lowfield St site for years
  • It was the Conservatives who failed to deliver a credible plan for regeneration –instead trusting the future of the town centre to the fortunes of a supermarket
  • It was the Conservatives who have refused to consider a Plan B – even when it became clear that Tesco were not delivering on their promises.

What we need now is action and a plan for the future – not empty words and idle threats.

It is nothing short of astonishing that the council leader now sees fit to announce a lack of faith in Tesco when as recently as August he told residents that he and Tesco had “cleared the last hurdle” to the development starting. We can only speculate as to what has provoked his sudden change of heart, especially since there today appears to be an increase in activity on Lowfield St. Did the Council know this work was due to be carried out?

What we do know is that Labour has consistently challenged the Conservatives to get tough on Tesco and be clear with residents on the plans for the town centre. His sudden conversion, seven months away from an election, to the view shared by Labour and many residents will not do anything to restore trust in the ability of the Conservatives to show the leadership the town needs.

The Conservatives have failed to influence the management of Tesco, failed to prepare a plan B and failed to deliver a long term strategy for regenerating our town centre. They’ve also failed to listen to the people of Dartford. We desperately need a different approach.

Dartford needs to move on from this sorry episode. Labour have sought the views of residents in Dartford and the results of our recent town centre survey show that residents have huge hopes and ambitions for our town, despite their despair at the way the Conservatives have neglected it over the last decade.

A Labour Council will deliver what the Conservatives have refused to do- a plan that recognises that our town centre can only thrive again with the community at its heart. Labour will put residents on the Town Team and ensure we have a plan for rejuvenating the town centre that includes the voice of everyone in Dartford – Business, residents, charities and our artistic and volunteer communities.

A Labour government will empower councils to tell big developers to ‘Use it or lose it”, preventing them sitting on land without building.

The Conservatives cannot build a better future for our town centre as they have no strategy, no alternative to Tesco and no trust from the people of Dartford. A decade ago, it was Labour, working with the community, who made the Conservatives see common sense and abandon their disastrous road through the park scheme. A decade later, confronted with a stubborn Tory council without a strategy and a completely silent MP it will again be Labour who will work with residents to build a better future for our town. We can’t go on like this and we need change.

We are determined to help our community realise its ambitions for our town and determined to work alongside our residents, businesses and community groups to rebuild and repair the pride in our town centre that has been so badly damaged by this sorry episode. Dartford can be so much better than this – together we will make it happen.

 

Geoff Prout – Leader, Labour Group and Shadow Leader of Dartford Borough Council

 Simon Thomson – Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Dartford

TOWN CENTRE

Tue 14 October, 2014 - 2 reactions

Lowfield Street Statement

THE CONSERVATIVES HAVE FAILED OUR TOWN CENTRE Read more

There has been a very good response to Dartford Labour Party's Town Centre survey, with some clear threads developing.
The launch of the survey was delayed as a sign of respect following the tragic death of Councillor John Muckle.
It has therefore been decided to extend the closing date until the end of September.

Click here to access the online survey


Thu 18 September, 2014

Town Centre Survey update

There has been a very good response to Dartford Labour Party's Town Centre survey, with some clear threads developing. Read more

Labour party members and supporters received the following sad email from Cllr Pat Kelly today:

Dear Colleagues,

It is my sad duty to inform you that John Muckle died peacefully at home this morning. John was with his family as he had wished. John was a devoted servant to Dartford and to the Labour Party and he will be sadly missed. At this sad time our thoughts and prayers are with Ann, Tony and the rest of John’s family.

Pat Kelly
CLP Secretary

 

 

As former Leader; deputy Leader; Mayor; Borough and County Councillor, John’s influence on the Borough has been immense. His knowledge of, and influence with, the Thames Gateway area has resulted in Fastrack, Crossways Business Park, and Prospect Place; and informed thinking on so many of the development issues in Northwest Kent. In over 40 years of activism, he has supported so many people, in Temple Hill and elsewhere. John had a vast knowledge of development, transport, an housing issues; and his vision for Dartford was international in scope, including chairing the Town Twinning Association; and trade contacts in the Netherlands and South Korea.

Pat Kelly added:  “He was truly a giant of local politics in Dartford and throughout Kent”


Thu 14 August, 2014

Cllr John Muckle

Labour party members and supporters received the following sad email from Cllr Pat Kelly today: Read more

Here are the 10 steps Ed Miliband will immediately take if we win the next election.

 

We will:

  1. Freeze gas and electricity bills until 2017 and reform the energy market
  2. Get 200,000 homes built a year by 2020
  3. Stop families that rent being ripped off and help them plan for the future with new long term predictable tenancies
  4. Cut income tax for hardworking people through a lower 10p starting tax rate, and introduce a 50p top rate of tax as we pay off the deficit in a fair way
  5. Ban exploitative zero-hour contracts
  6. Make work pay by strengthening the Minimum Wage and providing tax breaks to firms that boost pay through the Living Wage
  7. Back small businesses by cutting business rates and reforming the banks
  8. Help working parents with 25 hours of free childcare for three- and four-year-olds
  9. Tackle the abuse of migrant labour to undercut wages by banning recruitment agencies that only hire foreign workers and pressing for stronger controls in Europe
  10. Back the next generation with a job guarantee for the young unemployed and more apprenticeships

This is our contract with you. Vote Labour to make Britain better off.

 

http://action.labour.org.uk/index.php/cost-of-living-contract


Thu 14 August, 2014

Labour's Cost-Of-Living Contract With You

Here are the 10 steps Ed Miliband will immediately take if we win the next election.   Read more

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