Useful morning spent at the Darlington Labour Party's Policy Forum at
Lingfield Point. A good attendance, including colleagues from Bishop
Auckland. Alan Milburn kicked off the session by examining the challenges
facing the country over the next 10 years. He pointed out how the political
landscape is now utterly different from 1997 - Labour in government has
ensured that important gains such as the National Minimum Wage, big
increases in funding in health and education, constitutional reform and
measures to tackle poverty have become part of the political mainstream,
albeit they were bitterly opposed by the Tories at the time.
Alan cautioned that New Labour needed to continue to look forwards, if we
are retain the momentum to take us towards a historic fourth term.
I spoke briefly in my guise as a member of the Party's National Policy
Forum, as well as chairing the meeting. Our discussion today will feed into
the Party's consultation process as we look ahead to shaping the next
manifesto. The process, called Partnership in Power allows every Party
member to contribute.
Then spent three hours with ward colleague Cllr. Andy Scott knocking on the
doors of residents in Haughton West listening to views about the Tesco
More people were genuinely undecided about the proposal than I'd expected,
although a clear majority were against. Most seemed appreciative that we
were keen to hear what local people had to say as we decide whether or not
to support the proposal. It's an exercise we are definitely going to
Picked up some concerns on Riverside Way about localised flooding, and
parking problems in Wheeldale Close, which I'll follow through on Monday.
This is my first attempt at posting away from Darlington - I'm now in
Manchester for the Party's Annual Conference.
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