Delegate Ray Mooney’s Report
Conference started off with a wave of referencing back mainly by Brighton Pavilion CLP. Whilst tedious and delaying the start of conference by about an hour. It did demonstrate to me the power CLP’s have to input to policy forums and to seek redress if they feel their points have been ignored.
But once conference proper got under way there was a buzz around the conference centre and the radical policies and motions that were agreed over the 5 days justified this general feeling of excitement.
announced the first policy aimed at improving the working lives of women was announced by in the form of: Workplace menopause policies. She announced that a Labour government , with the help of the unions, will ensure that training is provided for line managers so that they understand what adjustments may be necessary to: ensure flexible working; conduct risk assessments; review sickness absence procedures and to consider the specific needs of menopausal women workers.
She also went on to say that she would commission an independent report into the rise of far-right extremism.
announced a really radical set of policies that were endorsed by conference.
This included the integration of private schools into the state system, the abolition of tax breaks for private schools.
Bringing Academy schools back into democratic control and accountability.
To expand and roll out Sure Start Plus.
Give free nursery places to every 2 – 4 year old.
Scrap Ofsted and instead of schools competing against each other, a new independent body will ensure that every provider from nursery to college delivers the education that will be the right of every citizen.
Set a price cap on school uniforms.
Establish a comprehensive, co-operative university where academic and vocational teaching will be on an equal footing.
announced the greenest Health Service in the world. To invest in solar panels and energy efficient schemes as hospitals are rebuilt or modernised.
Move to a national fleet of low emission ambulances.
A guarantee patients and staff a right to green space with a NHS forest – 1 million trees to be planted across the NHS estate.
Expand GP training places to 5000 a year.
Scrap prescription charges in England.
Rebuild child and adolescent mental health services
To end privatisation
Create a National Care Service free adult social care to all over 65
said that Labour would stop detaining survivors of torture and stated that we will proudly uphold the torture ban and treat victims of torture with humanity, not detentions and deportations.
Will recruit thousands of real police officers to the front line.
said that all the cuts to legal aid -funded Early Legal Help will be reversed within the first 100 days.
Fund local community law centres to ensure the law serves not just the privileged few- but every body.
Look at how we can give every citizen a constitutional right to justice.
Restore Prison officer levels to 2010 levels.
Extra funding for women’s centres focussing on rehabilitation.
delivered a barn stormer of a speech. He promised to end in work poverty with in first term of office by bring in a real living wage of £10.00 irrespective of age.
Restore full trade union rights and workplace rights from day one of employment.
Roll out collective bargaining.
End roll out of Universal credit.
Build 1 million genuinely affordable homes.
Bring in a 4 day week within 10 years.
Introduce personal care free at the point of use in England.
promised to recognise Palestine on the first day of a Labour government.
Peruse an ethical for foreign policy.
Halt all arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
Give every surviving nuclear test victim a lump sum of £50,000
announced Labour would legislate for an EU referendum to take place as soon as possible but no later than 6 months after taking power.
His speech was before the votes on the relevant composites.
announced the core of Labour’s green revolution, again before the voting on the two relevant composites. It included:
Introduce a vehicle scrappage scheme to take 400,000 of the dirtiest cars off the road.2.5 million interest free loans for the purchase of electric vehicles.
Require 100% of the government fleet, (70,000) vehicles) to be electric by 2025.
Invest £1.8 billion in collaboration with private investors, to build 3 huge battery production and recycling plants, (gigafactories) in Stoke, Croydon and South Wales.
Invest £300 million to support the creation of community electric car clubs owned by local communities.
Roll out the installation of electric vehicle charging stations across the UK.
announced Labour will halve food bank usage with in our 1st year with the aim of ending the need for them within 3 years.
Set up a food commission to up hold the right to food.
Set up a £6 million People’s access to food fund in the 50 most deprived ares of the country.
made an unscheduled announcement to inform conference the the Supreme Court had found that Boris Johnson’s prorogue of Parliament unlawful and null and void to huge applause.
The Speaker John Bercow had recalled Parliament for the following day and therefore the Conference Arrangement Committee cancelled Tom Watson’s speech and moved the Leader’s speech to the Wednesday afternoon from the Thursday Morning.
It was a rallying and powerful speech that was made after a number of composites including the New Green Deal & Brexit had been decided on by conference. It included:
The setting up of a National Education Service free at point of use from the cradle to the grave and the scrapping of tuition fees.
The abolition of private schools.
The setting up of a National Care Service to work in tandem with the NHS to ensure those in need of care get it free at the point of use and that their personal dignity be paramount.
The recruiting of 20,000 police officers.
End the scandal of homeless, especially amongst veterans by supplying 8,000 homes immediately across the country as a start and invest in building social homes for rent and increase the provision of mental health services across the NHS
Scrap Universal Credit completely.
A green revolution with Britain at the fore front of Green technologies, to be shared free of charge with the 3rd world.
A massive extension of wind and solar energy production and the promise to build the Swansea Bay tidal scheme.
The taking back into public ownership of the electricity and gas supply and the building up of local electricity production.
The complete ban of fracking.
Ending the legal requirement to extract the maximum of known gas and oil reserves.
Setting the target for Britain to be carbon zero by 2030.
Bring rail back into public ownership with the commitment to electrify the entire network.
Re-regulate bus services to bring them back to the1980’s level of service.
Stop a no deal Brexit at all costs.
Negotiate a deal with the EU.
Hold a referendum with the option of the deal or remaining after a recall conference to decide what option, if any, the party will campaign on.
The whole of conference was painting a picture of the most radical and transforming agenda since the Attlee government of 1945.
Key Motions Passed at Conference
Labour’s Socialist Green New Deal: Commits to work towards a path of net zero carbon emissions 2030.
Brexit: Composite 14 commits to a public vote, not a pro remain stance now. The NEC statement commits to a one day special conference following the election of a Labour government to decide how to campaign in the referendum.
Working Hours: CWU’s motion for four day week urges the party to set out a plan to achieve a standard four day or 32 hour week with no loss of pay within a decade.
Universal Credit and employment support: Composite motion from women’s conference. Commits to scrapping UC and replacing it with a progressive benefit system, scrap work capability assessments and abolish punitive sanctions.
Schools: Commits to integrating all private schools into the state sector via: withdrawal of charitable status and all other public subsidies and tax privileges; ensuring universities admit the same proportion of private school students as in the wider population; redistribution of endowments, investments and properties held by private school. Jeremy Corbyn has said he will priorities the tax / charitable status aspect, not land ownership.
Homelessness: Commits to treating as a national emergency, shifting away from criminalisation and adopting a homelessness Bill of Rights. Moved by Community, promoted by Labour Homelessness Campaign.
Free Movement and closure of detention centres: Labour for Free Movement’s motion commits to maintaining and extending free movement, closing all detention centres award equal voting rights to all UK residents, ending “no recourse to public funds” which leaves refugees and asylum seekers destitute and requires NHS to demand payment before providing any health care including maternity.
Mental health: This wasn’t controversial but meant a lot to conference goers. Known as “the Caerphilly strategy”. Requires £2bnof ring-fenced funding, a comprehensive review within first 100 days and committing every sector of government to policies that promote mental health.
Rule change that I was mandated to oppose:
Disciplinary powers: Increases NEC’s power over disciplinary process, including expulsion, determining appeals and amending disciplinary guidelines. Also mandates that some decisions made by national constitutional committee are submitted to NEC for final decision. 72.54% to 70.46% against – Carried.
PHOTOS FROM CONFERENCE