Sunday, April 01, 2012
So - as you can imagine - it's leaflet, leaflet canvass and canvass.
The response is very good - I've recruited 5 new or rejoining members this week alone but we always need more help.
Anyone who hasn't got their own elections and would like to help whether in the ward or by telephoning will be very welcome, just give me a ring on 07880 790182 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Here's to Labour victories!
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Thursday, March 01, 2012
Ahead of crucial votes in the House of Lords th NWTUC, NWUNISON and the Labour Party have organised a rally to 'SAVE OUR NHS'
Show your support for the NHS and demand that the Government Drop the Bill
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Those of you who have not yet returned your ballots have until Friday 12 noon to get them back to regional office in Warrington, or you can bring them to the final hustings and count at the Salford Suite in the Civic Centre at 1pm next Sunday, the 4th of March.
I have included below a copy of my speech below so you can see what was said at the meeting. I hope it is of interest. As ever, if you have any queries please don't hesitate to get in touch with me - my number is 07880 780182 - and please do return your ballot.
I am also holding another two meetings over the coming days to give members a chance to ask any questions they might have.
The meetings will be:
- Monday 27th February; 7:30pm; The Blue Bell, Monton Green, Monton, Eccles
- Tuesday 28th February; 7:30pm; The Lion, 201 Liverpool Rd, Cadishead, M44 5XH
I hope to meet you there.
This election is the biggest challenge facing us for many years and your involvement is vital if we are to win.
Speech to members 25th and 26th February......
A Labour Mayor for a Labour City
1. Good morning. It’s a great honour to be here.
2. It’s impossible for me to cover everything in 5 minutes so feel free to contact me afterwards.
3. My name is Peter Wheeler. I want Labour to win the Mayoral election and I believe that I am the candidate to do it.
4. The referendum result was a clear shot across our bows – if we take the voters for granted – if we don’t have a clear message – if we don’t campaign hard – we WILL lose and that would be a tragedy for the people we represent.
5. I knock on doors – I listen to our voters – and I hear time and time again that they are looking for change. They feel the Council doesn’t communicate and doesn’t listen. Either we make the changes or the voters will do it for us.
6. So what sort of change, what sort of Mayor do we need?
7. We need a Mayor who will give the Council clear political direction – based on Labour Values. That’s not a luxury – it’s the only way the Council and the Party will get through the current situation. That means working as a Labour team – Councillors, MP’s MEPs members and Trade Unions all pulling together to deliver for local people.
8. Councillors are often unsung heroes, working on the frontline for Labour. I want to make it easier for working people to be involved – more evening meetings and time limits so we are not in the ridiculous situation of 7 and a half hour Council meetings!
9. I want a strong voice on the Council for women. No apologies for saying that I want half of my first cabinet to be women – women pay half the Council Tax in Salford – suffer more from the cuts – and it’s well passed time that their voices are heard.
10. I will also restore to the Labour Group the right to elect the Cabinet – too much patronage is a bad thing.
11. The biggest part of the Labour team are the members and Trade Unions. – I will organise quarterly report-back meetings for members and communicate with you via email and post – I will establish a Mayors Trade Union Forum, meeting regularly with local trade unionists ensuring Salford is a Trade Union friendly City –
12. I will work with CLP’s and MP’s to improve how the Party works and how we campaign in our communities. We need new members, fresh ideas and fresh legs to ensure we get our message across. I will lead a major membership drive across the city.
13. That’s the team – here’s the change. WE WILL get much better at communicating and responding to people’s concerns – at a strategic level, but just as important at an individual level. Too often people’s experience of the Council is being ignored or being passed from pillar to post. It’s not good enough and it’s going to change with proper systems and monitoring. I will be visible and approachable throughout the City
14. I will be at Community Committees and I will be establishing a series of Mayors forums for the different communities across the City – young people, small businesses, LGBT, disability groups, ethnic minorities and faith groups to name a few – Direct access to the Labour Mayor. Not just listening but engaging with people, treating them as adults, telling the truth and admitting when we’re wrong.
15. I’m already listening and acting on peoples priorities and learning from good practice in other Labour Councils. Transport is a problem. Chapel Street played a big part in losing the referendum. We will be having an urgent review of Transport Policy – bus lanes, car parking, the role of rail, exorbitant bus fares – we will be looking to support our town centres and employment in the City.
16. Unemployment is at its highest since 1995 when the Tories were in last in Government. I’ll put in place a jobs taskforce – including employers and trade unions – to protect existing jobs – attract new ones and develop the skills we need for future jobs. Salford can’t afford another lost generation.
17. We will build more social housing and ensure tory cuts do not blight large parts of our City again. We must move with the times. Oldham has a Mortgage guarantee scheme to help first time buyers – we can do the same.
18. We know what needs doing on Crime – more Police on the streets and closer work with communities
19. Children’s and Old people’s Services must continue to improve.
And there is so much more.
We face a massive challenge – we must win the argument in every part of the City in favour of high quality public services and social justice. That means we must change and show people we have changed – if we can do that we will win and build a city we can be proud of.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Council to change. To deliver that change, Peter Wheeler told a meeting of Labour members the local Labour Party needs to change too.
“Councillors are often the unsung heroes of local government – working long hours behind the
scenes to ensure the delivery of local services. I will give as much support as I can to Councillors to enable them to do their work on behalf of the local community. And I want to see more people
from different backgrounds getting involved.
That’s why I will:
Move as many Council meetings to the evening as possible – making it easier for
people in work to be Councillors
Put a time limit on Council meetings – the last full Council meeting took over 7 hours (in Manchester they take 2hours!)
Half of my Cabinet will be women - Women pay half the Council Tax in Salford, so for me it’s a case of ‘no taxation without representation’
Ever since I have been in the Labour Party I have heard talk of fair representation – it’s time to stop talking and just do it. Anyone who says I can’t find four women Councillors to be in the cabinet doesn’t know Salford women!
Salford people want change – I believe they want a Labour Council, but a Labour Council
that listens to them. I determined to give them what they want.”
Over the next few weeks Labour Party members in Salford will be choosing their candidate
for the new post of Directly Elected Mayor.
Today, Peter Wheeler, senior Labour Party member and active Trade Unionist announced his
intention to seek selection.
Peter lives in Salford, where he grew up. His father, a former sailor in the Royal Navy, was
well known in the Ordsall and Pendleton areas, where he managed the “Worsley Hotel” and the “Flat Iron” during the 1960’s and’70’s.
” I am not just a proud Salfordian, but proud of Labour’s many achievements here in
Salford- school exam results have improved, crime is down, and millions of pounds have been invested in our Salford Royal Hospital.
All of this progress is now threatened by savage cuts to both our Council finances and our
National Health Service, by a Government ruled by well-to-do Tories and LibDems who know little about what is needed in Salford.
Our Council needs to work with local Communities to deliver a high quality education for
our young people, first class care for our older people and the essential services we expect at a price we can afford. And to do that there needs to be change – listening to local people and taking action on what is needed to make their lives better.
Residents here have voted to have an elected Mayor.
I believe they want a Mayor with Labour values, and they want a Labour
Mayor who will listen to them. As a Trade Union Officer I was always prepared
to listen to people and fight their corner, that’s how I would work as a Mayor -
standing up for local people.”
Labour members throughout Salford will vote by post for their choice of candidate with
the result being announced on March 4th.
For more information contact Peter on 07880 790182 or e-mail email@example.com
Saturday, February 12, 2011
At a time when entry into the housing market has rarely been more difficult and incomes are being squeezed for most people their changes represent a move in precisely the wrong direction.
Many of the changesare permissive, allowing councils and housing associations to make changes rather than compelling them.
Security of Tenure
Existing tenancies will remain as now, although the Government are asking if tenants who move should be given one of the new fixed term tenancies. Councils and Housing Associations will be able to give fixed term tenancies, with a minimum period of two years. These tenancies will be at social rent levels.
Rights to succeed to a tenancy for new tenants will be standardised for council and housing association tenants. Spouse/partner will have an automatic right to succeed (as long as the spouse/partner wasn’t a successor). Children and anyone else will be up to the land-lord.
The Government plan to introduce a new “affordable Rent” for Housing Associations to offer to new tenants from April 2011. These will be short term tenancies at a rent higher than the current social rent level-up to 80% of local market rents.
Councils will no longer have to have” open” short-lists but central government will decide priorities.
There will be a nationwide home swap scheme to improve mobility.
Councils will be able to meet their duty to the homeless with an offer of suitable private rental accommodation.
Council Housing Finance
Current arrangements will change to a self-financing arrangement with councils keeping all the rent money they raise and spend it locally on services.
1. The fact that the changes are permissive means that the decisions ostensibly will be taken locally. Labour needs a clear, consistent policy to respond to these changes at a local government level.
2. The attack on security of tenure reflects the Tory view that social housing is “Poverty Housing”. Depending on the criteria adopted we could see tenants moved on at the end of two years if their circumstances improve.
3. This will act as a disincentive to people improving their conditions, make it harder to develop strong communities and risk creating ghetto’s of poverty.
4. Restrictions on succession raise the possibility of families being evicted on the death of a parent.
5. “Affordable Rents” could see major increases in rents for new tenants-perversely, much of the increase will be met by Housing Benefit. Setting rents in this way means the level of housing association rents can be skewed by local areas of affluence e.g. Salford Quays will artificially inflate the average rent level for the whole city. It appears that this provision only applies to housing associations/Almo’s.
6. The changes to housing finance appear to allow cash-strapped councils to use rent revenue to subsidise other services.
Monday, January 24, 2011
Sunday, January 09, 2011
Friday, December 31, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
Over the coming year I will try to put up some information that should be of interest to Labour members and supporters campaigning against this conservative Government.
We have to remond them that the Labour Party is a democratic party and, far from being a problem, that is one of it's strengths.
Enough of that for now- Merry Christmas to everyone and lets stick it to the Tories and their friends in the New Year.
Saturday, October 02, 2010
I forgot to take the lap-top to conference so haven't been able to put anything on the blog until now. Many of you will know that I didn't get re-elected to the NEC. I got 28,752 votes(Thank you very much) but would have needed 30,826 to be re-elected.
Congratulations to those who did get elected and commiserations to those who didn't.
The turn-out was up from 20% or so to nearly 72% due to the election being held at the same time as the leadership and London mayoral elections. Given that 1/3 of the membership now live in London that appears to have skewed the results - meaning that all 6 elected to the CLP section are from London or the Home Counties. Whilst some of those elected are good fiends of mine and very hard workers it cannot be a good thing that there is no representation from other parts of England, let alone Scotland or Wales - but we will return to that subject again.
For now - thanks to everyone who supported me, it really is very much appreciated. I have tried to do an honest job over the last 6 years. I haven't always got it right but have always tried to put the Party and the members first. I have met some smashing people during my travels and have not claimed a penny in expenses for the work and travel involve.
I will be standing next time and the campaign starts now. We shall overcome
Saturday, September 18, 2010
A tip well worth knowing is that lots of these restaurants have websites with lots of two for one offers etc-So, google before you go!
Castlefield – Dimitri’s – Campfield Arcade – Junction of Deansgate and Campfield. Tel: 0161 839 3319. Great Greek restaurant & bar, smashing for sitting out when the weathers nice.
El Rincon, 244 Deansgate. 0161 8398819 – Excellent Spanish restaurant downstairs and very relaxed.Can be a little hard to find as its on a backstreet just off Deansgate but well worth the effort.
Evuna, 277 Deansgate-0161 230 5337. Another excellent Spanish restaurant.
Café Istanbul 79 Bridge street – Tel: 0161 833 9942. just off Deansgate, an excellent Turkish Restaurant,
Topkapi, 205 Deansgate -0161 832 9803. Another excellent Turkish retaurant and very near the Conference centre. Afiyet Olsun-enjoy your meal!
Luso – Bridge Street, Tel: 0161 839 5550. If your missing the Algarve, this is the place for you. Just past the café Istanbul, food and service is excellent.
Gaucho bar and grill 2A St.Mary’s street (behind kendall’s) -0161833 4333 if you fancy a 2lb steak try the gaucho – not one for the faint hearted.
Live Bait – Fish Restaurant, 22 Lloyds Street – Tel: 0161 817 4110. This is it. Proper fish, chips and peas with a white wine, how good does it get? About 1 minute walk from the conference centre, make sure you get bread and butter with your meal.
Armenian Tavern – Albert Square, Tel: 0161 834 9025. A Manchester institution, you step off Albert Square and its like stepping in to Armenia (imagine). Excellent service, but I don’t think its open Mondays.
Piccolino – 8 Clarence Street, Tel: 0161 835 9861. A very good Italian restaurant just off Albert Square.
Sams chop house – 8 Back Pool Fold, off Cross street – Tel: 0161 834 3210. Proper British cookery at its best. Corned Beef hash or Steak and Kidney pudding recommended. It’s a pub and a restaurant and personally recommended.
It would be impossible to list all the restaurants and cafes in Manchester’s China town. Its good day or night, with plenty of restaurants’ and bakeries. But the one not to miss is the Yang Sing on Princess Street, Tel: 0161 236 2200, try the banquet, it’s the best!
Others worth visiting in town
Pizza – Matt & Phreds, 64 Tib St. 0161 831 7002 – long established jazz club with the best pizza’s in town.
Genghis Khan – 16 Chorlton Street - 0161 228 1631, bring your appetite because it’s as much as you can eat. All the ingredients are fresh, you make up your own dish, meat, veg, fish sauces and they griddle it for you. Bet you cant do more than 5 dishes!
El Macho – 103 Portland Street, Tel:0845 205 1195 Just off Oxford road on the way to Picadilly, nice downstairs Mexican.
Café Rouge - 82-84 Deansgate – Tel: 0161 839 0414. Felicity says “its nice in there”. Cosy little place, candle lit, and extra seating outside. Always friendly service, and would recommend the fish cakes.
Don’t miss the curry mile, jump a cab from town and take your pick. The Lal Qila is recommended. The cab shouldn’t cost too much more than a fiver and there’s no where in Britain like it.
For a curry near the Conference Centre try the following:
Akbar-73-83 Liverpool Rd. Off Deansgate 0161 834 8444
eastzeast- Blackfriars. -0161 834 3500-Valet parking available!
Both are recommended by Afsal Khan -There is no higher recommendation.
The St. Petersburg Restaurant. 68 Sackville St. 0161 236 6333. This is a new one to me but seems very lively with plenty of Caviar, Not open on Mondays but Russian singing and Karaoke on Fridays and Saturdays
Please let me have any comments for future reference on these or any other restaurants, thank you.
Unite fair tips campaign
Don’t forget the campaign for justice for catering workers, sign up at www.fairtips.org and look out for the fair tips logo.
Manchester is blessed with more than its fair share of good pubs & good beer. As your NEC member I felt it was my duty to visit (most of) them to check they were up to scratch for you. It’s a tough job but…..
Anyway, as they say…enjoy yourself sensibly. The best beers in town are the local ones – Holts, Hyde’s, Robinsons & John Willie Lees, all reasonably priced. I’ve grouped the pubs in reasonable little groups around the conference centre, feel free to go off piste and let me have your comments – 07880790182 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need any help.
Oxford Road / Piccadilly
From the conference centre walk past the Bridgewater Hall and in front of you, you will see “The Britons Protection” – Great Bridgewater Street. Good range of beer including excellent Jennings and apparently 200 different Whiskies. Deceptive in size, if you walk around the bar there are some very comfortable rooms and there is a big outside seating area.
Just up the street on the right is the “Rain Bar” younger pub/bar with good outside seating over looking the canal. Further up on the left is “The Peveril Of The Peak” Lots of good beers and a genuine Manchester Pub. Best table football machine in Town.
Slightly further up is “The Temple Of Convenience” a converted gents urinal. Its actually a lot better than it sounds, reminds me of some 60’s bohemian bar I saw on the telly once – give it a try.
Cross Oxford Road and walk up Portland Street you come to “The Old Monkey” a lively Holts's house. Ten yards further on are “The Circus” and “The Grey Horse” Manchester’s smallest pubs. Excellent beer, good atmosphere and ‘must visits’ when your in town.
To the left down is China Town the only pub is “The Seven Oaks” but the Chinese karaoke bars are very good.
To the right up Chorlten Street is The Gay Village- a big strip of bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants along Canal Street. A key part of Manchester’s cultural vitality its also an excellent place for late drinking “Paddy’s Goose” is. in many ways, the village pub.
Albert Square / Deansgate
The area in front of the conference entrance, between Albert Square and Deansgate is a rabbit warren of offices, pubs and restaurants. This area is the site of the Peterloo Massacre in 1819 and is well worth roaming round! “Live Bait,” the best fish, restaurant is in this area.
Peter Street is one long series of bars and clubs, take your pick. More interesting is the area behind Peter Street, walk through the little passage by the RAF recruiting office and the "Sir Ralph Abernathy" is on your left on Bootle Street. Probably the nearest pub to conference it's next door to the police station so there’s unlikely to be any trouble in there. It also has a big beer garden for enjoy the sun shine. Turn right outside the pub and across the car park and in front of you is the “Nags Head” Manchester pub of the year 2007. The karaoke is good on a Friday, and it’s a lively city centre pub.
Carry on through the Nag’s head, i.e out the back door, and in front of you is the "Sun Inn" – another good pub with interesting snacks. If you go out the back door again and turn right you’re in Albert Square. This is a good route to know on a rainy night! Plenty of pubs just off Albert Square. Walk across it and on the left down John Dalton Street is “The Ape and Apple” a big, down to earth Holt House.
Down Cross Street is “Mr.Thomas’s Chop House”, good Victorian pub, good beer. The chops are also very good. Just opposite over Cross Street, 20 yards up, Chapel Walks is “Sam’s Chop House.” Beer, excellent, British food, not for the calorie conscious! Not sure if Tom & Sam were related!
If you wonder back to Albert Square via Mosley Street, you will come across the “City Arms” excellent range of beers including Black Sheep and the watering place of the Manchester City Labour Party.
This is the site of the original Roman Settlement of Mamucium, it was actually a castle in a field (we’re very literal people in Manchester) Nearly 200 years ago this was the most important industrial area in the world. Site of the worlds first railway station (now the museum of industry on Liverpool Road) and the Manchester end of Bridgewater Canal what brought cheap coal to fuel the worlds first industrial city, and became a canal spaghetti junction. The area fell into neglect but has been massively regenerated over the last decade. Its one of the liveliest parts of town and well worth a visit.
Walk down past Peter Street from the conference centre, turn left into Deansgate and you come to the Hilton Hotel, in the Beetham Tower, if you can get in, The Sky bar is well worth a visit. It’s pricey but the view over Manchester here is worth it and there is a glass floor in the bar which you can stand on and look down to Deansgate 150 foot below. Its like floating!
Just a bit further down is the "Deansgate", good traditional pub with excellent Sunday Roasts. Just a bit further down to the left is Deansgate locks, an area of bars and comedy clubs. Near the station itself are two excellent bars, The Atlas bar and the Knott bar. The Atlas bar is a good place to hang out with a big open area at the back.
The Knott Mill is my favourite round here with good real ales from the Marble Arch brewery and a large open balcony on the 1st floor. If you carry on by the canal, you come to "Dukes 92" and "Barca", big modern bars in a canal side setting. The other pub of note is the" Ox" on Liverpool Road, excellent food and beer and handy for the conference centre. It used to be called the Oxnoble, the only pub in Britain to be named after a potato. Unfortunately corporate management decided it needed a trendy name, one day they’ll come to their senses!
If you fancy getting away from the conference hustle and bustle, just a short walk (or taxi) away is Manchester’s twin city Salford. Separated from Manchester by the mighty river Irwell, Salford has a style of its own. Originally built on the docks and engineering, the city experienced the devastation brought by Thatcher and her accompanies. We’re getting over that now thanks to a Labour council and a Labour Government - but fearful of what this lot have in store.
On Bridge Street, just on the border with Manchester is “The Mark Addy” named after a famous local life saver. Here you can sit by the river and watch the swans.
Just a bit further down past the newly re- furnished Salford Central station, is the" Egerton Arms", a Holt’s house and as typical as a Salford pub as your likely to get. Carry on down, cross over Chapel Street and 50 yards down on the left is the "Kings Arms", this pub has its own theatre and regularly holds gigs with local bands. A wide range of real beers.
Toodle back up Bloom Street, turn right on Chapel Street and about 150 yards on your right hand side is and your in the home of “The New Oxford” An excellent free house ran by Tim from Ireland. On a sunny evening this is one of the best places to sit outside and take it all in. they do an excellent Sunday Roast. Bexley square saw a political battle in the 1930’s between the police and unemployed demonstrators outside the local town hall, described graphically in “Love on the Dole”
Walk a little bit further down Chapel Street and just over the lights on the on the left is "The Crescent", make sure you’re in by 11 and its open until 1am. It’s a well Known fact in Salford that Marx and Engles who had a factory near by, used to come in here at the weekend and get hammered.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
Thursday, September 09, 2010
Sunday, September 05, 2010
Thursday, September 02, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
An engineer by trade frank had worked at both Cammel Lairds and Vauxhalls, the two big industrial employers on the Wirral and was a staunch member of the engineers union.
I have known Frank since the Wirral South Bye-election, he was a stalwart in that campaign and the glue that kept Wirral South labour party together.
It's people like Frank that keep our movement going- he will be so sadly missed. Our thoughts are with Josie and family.