Labour call on Uttlesford to provide free women’s sanitary products

Uttlesford District Council should provide free women’s sanitary products so that no local girl or woman has to face the indignity of a lack of menstrual products, said Saffron Walden Constituency Labour Party at its annual International Women’s Day event at Saffron Walden Day Centre on Saturday.

Saffron Walden Labour Women’s Officer Sanjukta Ghosh launched the party’s petition, stating that based on statistics by the End Child Poverty Coalition, around 2,300 girls live in poverty in Uttlesford. She said: “In one of the richest districts of the fifth richest country in the world, this is completely unacceptable. It is a real, local issue which we as a collective can resolve. If toilet paper is provided freely in public toilets, period products should also be available.

“For the sake of dignity for girls and women, Saffron Walden Constituency Labour Party call on Uttlesford District Council and other local authorities in the area to provide free menstrual products in all of its public facilities. Schools, libraries, youth centres, public toilets, should all provide full access to a range of period products.”

Sanjukta launched the petition, which calls for non-means tested distribution in public buildings, such as toilets and libraries, and a drive to assist vulnerable sections of the population, notably households dependent on food banks and people facing housing insecurity.

Also speaking at the event was socialist Kashmiri human rights activist Faria Attique who spoke on the violence, discrimination and patriarchy faced by women in Pakistani- and Indian-administered Kashmir. She also highlighted the cultural taboos against menstruating women, who face exclusion and are gagged from speaking out against period poverty in Kashmir.

Gemma Davies, a nurse and a local Labour party member, spoke on sex discrimination within the NHS and the need for trade union organisation to campaign for women’s voices, both among staff and patients.

Siobhan Sliman, an activist with the Pension Reform Alliance and local Labour member, highlighted the problems many women now face as a result of changes to the retirement age, which has impoverished many working women.

Pamela Jenner, a retired local journalist, emphasised the need for trade unions to tackle ongoing sex discrimination within the news industry and challenge sexist stereotypes perpetuated in the media.

Tom van de Bilt selected as Labour Parliamentary candidate for Saffron Walden

Tom van de Bilt has been selected as Labour’s candidate to stand for Saffron Walden Constituency in the next general election. Tom lives in Stansted with his wife, Sarah and their two young sons. Tom works for a Cambridge based software house and has had a diverse career in both the public and private sector, including working for three local authorities and for a market leading software provider to public libraries. He is a parish councillor in Stansted. Tom’s political priorities are to secure a referendum on any Brexit deal, tackle the climate crisis and reverse the crippling Tory cuts to public services.

Speaking after Friday’s meeting Tom said:

“I am delighted and honoured to be selected as the Labour candidate. I’m a committed socialist and a proud European in a pro-European socialist party. I’m looking forward to hitting the campaign and talking to lots of local residents about how labour can deliver for people across the constituency and build communities for the many, not the few.”

Jane Berney: your Labour candidate

We are pleased to announce that Jane Berney will be our Parliamentary Candidate for the 8 June General Election.

Jane lives in the constituency and knows all about looking after a young family as well as the challenges facing older members of our families. She has a working career, and is a regular user of our public transport to travel between work and home. She is well aware of the range of needs in our diverse constituency, and has been an active campaigner for Labour here for many years.

NHS Campaign Day

Today  local Labour members had a fantastic campaign session in Saffron Walden led by our excellent county council candidate for the town, Simon Trimnell. We hope to raise awareness about the shocking underfunding of the NHS which The Red Cross have called a humanitarian crisis.

January Social Evening

January saw the return of our popular new year get together which was well attended despite some badly timed snow.  In addition to a pleasant evening members arranged a collection for a local Foodbank.

AGM update and new secretary

Hello, this is just a quick update to inform members not at the AGM that I was very honoured to be elected to succeed Peter Donovan as secretary of our constituency party at the AGM in November.  Peter and I will be working together over the coming weeks to ensure a smooth handover. I’d also like to thank Peter for his years of service, I’m sure he will be similarly indispensable in his new role as membership secretary.  There remain a number of other vacant positions on the executive committee, especially a youth officer, a BAME officer and a campaign coordinator.  If you’re interested in one of those roles or in volunteering in any other capacity then please get in touch. The last 18 months we have seen a dramatic increase in our local membership and the exciting challenge now is to grow this into an effective campaigning force that can work for real change in our communities.

Tom van de Bilt

Dunmown Social Evening

In January many of us enjoyed a great curry at our new year social event in Dunmow Maltings. Our speaker Megan Dobson from the TUC (centre in the picture) took us through the implications of the Trade Union Bill now going through Parliament, and the impact it will have on all our rights and freedoms. Megan explained the serious issues clearly, but also with humour. Our thanks to her for coming to speak, and to Coral, Janet, Dave, Hilary and John for all their hard work on the arrangements. See more about the Trade Union Bill here. We’ll be ready to join with the major TUC campaign in February.

Welcome

Welcome to the official website of Saffron Walden Constituency Labour Party. Our CLP stretches from north of Saffron Walden down to the northern edges of Chelmsford in Essex. It includes rural and urban areas, thriving market towns, expanding communities, and Stansted airport. Continue reading Welcome