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Tuesday 04 September 2018
Labour Campain Against Rail Chaos
Pendle Labour Party members joined Prospective Parliamentary Candidate, Azhar Ali, yesterday (3rd September) to highlight the failings of the rail network in the region.

Speaking to rail users at both Colne and Nelson stations, the activists provided information about Labour’s plans to improve the network.

Since the Tories came to power rail fares are up by 32%, leaving some passengers paying thousands of pounds more each year.

For decades northern communities have received only a fraction of the transport investment that is spent in London and the South East. Labour will put this right by increasing connectivity across the region, such as re-opening the Colne to Skipton line and building Crossrail for the North, connecting the great cities of the north of England to unlock huge untapped potential.

Labour would bring our railways into public ownership, this will mean:

  • Capped fares
  • Better, more reliable services
  • Investment in our railways
Azhar Ali said:
“Passengers are right to be angry at the rail chaos unleashed by the Tories on the North of England. It shows their utter disregard for people living in the towns and cities in the North, and Pendle is particularly badly served. That’s why Labour want to build a rail network for the many and not the few.”

Wednesday 01 August 2018
Celebrating the NHS
NHS workers were invited to join local residents over tea and homemade cakes at a tea party to celebrate the 70th Birthday of the NHS, organised by Pendle Labour Party on Saturday 28th July.

The event which took place at Primet Community Centre, Colne, gave people the opportunity to thank NHS staff, both past and present, for their hard work and was attended by around 100 people including 8 current and former NHS workers.

The highlight of the afternoon was a presentation by Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Pendle, Azhar Ali, when he personally thanked those staff present.

Azhar said: “It is important that we show our appreciation to those who show such commitment to providing care through the National Health Service. Every single one of them, from hospital cleaners through to top surgeons deserve our praise. The NHS is this country’s greatest achievement and couldn’t function without their dedication.”

Wednesday 25 July 2018
A Victory for Common Sense
The brakes were put on Pendle Conservative’s plan to give away public land to a private businessman, at a meeting of Pendle’s Policy and Resources committee on 24th July.

Labour councillors lodged objections to the plan after consulting residents living in the Holt House area of Colne and asked for more information to be available before any decision was made.

The Conservative leadership agreed to Labour demands to pause and seek answers to questions about a number of issues from the owner of Colne Football Club. A previous resolution, which had been agreed by the Conservatives to allow their Leader to negotiate any terms of handover of the land, has now been withdrawn.

Labour’s Azhar Ali says:

“The decision to simply give away public land without any consultation has never made sense and many residents in the area were understandably upset. We have also asked that a formal public meeting be held with local people to listen to genuine views from those affected by this proposal.

Wednesday 18 July 2018
Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Pendle, Azhar Ali, was joined, this morning by Party members from all across the constituency to celebrate 70 years of the National Health Service.
At a street stall in Colne, Pendle Labour Party invited members of the public to sign a giant birthday card which will be presented to health workers at an event later in the month to which the public will also be invited.

Labour’s birthday card was chosen following a nationwide online competition. Azhar Ali said:

“The NHS is the Labour Party’s proudest achievement. I’m really looking forward to the community coming together to appreciate an institution that has bound us together for the last 70 years and to thank the staff past and present who look after us.”

Tuesday 03 July 2018
Pendle’s Labour Councillors have “called in” the Conservative administration’s decision to hand over the Holt House sports facility, free of charge, to a private business.
The move, which is supported by the Lib Dems, comes after it was agreed by the Pendle Conservatives that the land, which houses both Colne and Nelson Rugby Club and Colne FC, be given to the owners of Colne FC without a penny changing hands.

The land, which is presently under a 99 year lease from Pendle Borough Council, would therefore pass into private ownership when currently it is a public asset.

Labour’s Azhar Ali said: “It is highly unusual for a council to want to simply give land, which is worth over £100,000, away to a private company. We all want to see Colne FC doing well and have a bright future, but this plan is risky and puts both the football club and, the rugby club, at more risk than if the land remained in public ownership. The residents around the Area also need to be consulted about the additional traffic volumes and how those issues will be mitigated “

Mohammed Iqbal, leader of the Labour Group on Pendle Borough Council says: “There has been no evidence of due diligence in relation to the proposals, no business plan has been submitted to ensure that the venture is financially sound. Residents, on the North Valley estate have not been consulted or given assurances about what would happen to the land if the club ceases to exist or to vacate the site at some point in the future.”

Labour are seeking a review of the proposal, in light of the lack of information provided, and are calling for a public meeting with residents of the Holt House area along with other Pendle residents, before any decision is made.

Tuesday 27 March 2018
Pendle Labour party has announced its candidates for the local elections on 03 May 2018
  • These elections are a chance to send a powerful message to this weak and divided Conservative government.
  • After eight years of Conservative cuts in vital services, failed privatisations and falling living standards, it’s time for real change.
  • The Tories are slashing the local services on which you and your family depend, from policing to social care. They are starving councils of cash to pay for tax cuts for the richest.
  • Labour will rebuild our communities and transform our country for the many not the few. That change can start now.

Follow this hyperlink to the Elections page to find out who is the Labour Party Candidate for your area of Pendle.

Wednesday 14 February 2018
Councillor to offer free service to assist in claims against Council for pothole damage to cars

Pendle Councillor, Yasser Iqbal who represent the Reedley Ward has called on residents to make a claim against Lancashire County Council for damage caused to cars by potholes. Councillor Yasser Iqbal who is also a Barrister has said that he has been inundated with calls from residents in the area he represents who have been left out of pocket due to the poor state of the roads. He has offered to help his constituents for free in taking Lancashire County Council to Court if they fail to deal with the claim.

He said that some people have had to pay huge sums of money to repair their vehicles and have suffered significant financial hardship due to lack of maintenance by Lancashire County Council.

Cllr Yasser Iqbal said: “It is not fair on the people of Pendle that the Conservative County Council are not investing in the much-needed road resurfacing. After forking out hundreds/thousands of pounds for repairs it is kick in the teeth for people when they find out that Conservatives at County Hall have increased council tax but out of an additional £3 million for highways which was approved to deal with damaged roads, Pendle got a mere £11,000. The wards of Brierfield and Reedley that I represent got nothing which quite frankly is a disgrace”.

“Due to the unprecedented number of people contacting me I have been left with no option but to advice people to make a claim against the council. The issues have been raised by my colleagues at County Hall and the Leader of Lancashire County Council, Geoff Driver is well aware of the potholes crisis here in Pendle but it seems that our concerns are not being taken seriously. Hopefully if people start complaining and making claims against the council they will wake up and start repairing the roads. I will help my constituents in taking the County Council to court if they fail to deal with the claim for repairs and I will not charge a single penny for my services”.

Monday 05 February 2018
Pendle Women Celebrate 100 Years of the Vote
Wearing rosettes and corsages in the colours of the suffrage movement, women from Pendle Labour Party have gathered at Unity Hall in Nelson to mark the 100th anniversary of women first being given the vote.

The location was chosen because of its historical significance in the Women’s Movement – starting its life as the Independent Labour Party's “Socialist Institute”, where local suffragist and social campaigner, Selina Cooper, laid a cornerstone at the building and gave talks and lectures.

Unity Hall has recently been renovated and brought back for community use by Nelson Town Council and one of its rooms is now named after Selina Cooper.

Party Vice Chair Yvonne Tennant said:

"Selina Cooper is a personal heroine of mine and I would love nothing better than to see Nelson paying tribute to her by honouring her life and work with a statue. If Manchester can get one of Emmeline Pankhurst surely we can get one of our local champion."

Pendle Labour Women’s Officer, Laura Blackburn added:

“Selina was a local heroine. She was a mill girl with a huge social conscience. Without her and others like her women wouldn’t have been given a voice. It is only right, that in this centenary year, we celebrate those women who have given us our freedoms today.”

Friday 26 January 2018
Lancashire better off under Labour claim by senior Pendle Conservative!
Leader of Pendle Council and Lancashire County Councillor Mohammed Iqbal has welcomed the views of Deputy Leader of Pendle Conservatives and former County Councillor Paul White who made the comments:

“The Tories under Geoff Driver are screwing Pendle, we were better off under Labour”.

His comments were made prior to a meeting with Burnley and Pendle Citizens Advice Bureau and Pendle Cllrs Mohammed Iqbal, David Whipp and Paul White at Nelson town hall on Wednesday 24 January 2018.

Cllr Iqbal said:

“I welcome the comments made by Cllr White because since May 2017 the Conservatives at County Hall are deliberately neglecting a Pendle in all ways from the £760,000 cut to our waste collection to a pitiful response on potholes over the last few weeks. It’s about time Pendle’s Tory County Councillors and the MP stood up against this politically motivated underfunding of Pendle by their leader, Geoff Driver and fought for a fair deal for Pendle “.

Wednesday 24 January 2018
Consultation on proposed Multi Academy Trust (MAT)
Russell Tennant, Chairman of Pendle Labour Party has written a letter to the Nelson Leader Colne Times series raising substantial questions about the proposed Multi Academy Trust (MAT) which involves schools in Pendle. The letter is reproduced below:

I recently contributed to the consultation about the proposed formation of the Multi Academy Trust (MAT) which involves Blacko Primary, Laneshaw Bridge Primary, Lord Street Primary and Park High School.

Not only is there concern about how many people the consultation has reached but there seems to be a lack of clarity about how the MAT will operate. Our members have asked me to raise the following points.

  1. Will all the schools involved retain an open access policy and not select admissions on academic ability?
  2. Will the MAT will continue to be a non- profit organisation and what measures will be put in place to ensure that the schools cannot be asset stripped as has happened in other parts of the country?
  3. Will the Directors of the MAT benefit financially from the new organisation?
  4. Will pupils at the primary schools involved get preferential access to places at Park High as there seems to be mixed messages being delivered by the schools involved?
  5. Will all the schools involved guarantee that all full-time teaching staff will be fully qualified teachers?

I am sure that everybody wants to see improvements in the quality and standards of education in Pendle; however it is not clear that these plans are the best way to achieve this. Yours faithfully Russell Tennant, Chairman, Pendle Labour Party

Tuesday 23 January 2018
Local NHS Crisis
Members of Pendle Labour Party hosted an information stall in Colne on Saturday 20th January, highlighting the ongoing crisis in the National Health Service.

Despite Jeremy Hunt persistently claiming that the NHS was better prepared than ever before to deal with this year’s winter flu crisis, many local people are currently experiencing record waiting times at A&E and many others are having essential operations cancelled.

Amy Barringer, the UNISON North West health spokesperson explained: “

The proportion of our national income spent on health has fallen in recent years, and it is low by international standards. The current crisis in our A&Es is a result of a political choice to spend less on health and other public services. That choice does not match the priorities of the public, and it certainly does not match the growing health needs in our society.

“Inadequate social care provision means that it is difficult to discharge patients safely from hospital. Our wards are full, and that piles pressure onto A&E departments and ambulance staff.

“Staff are working flat out to try to keep things going. Working long hours, missing their breaks, sometimes neglecting their own health and family life in their efforts to serve patients. Many are frustrated and demoralised as they see the services they work in not being as good as they want them to be. “There is an urgent need for more investment in our public services.”

Chair of Pendle Labour, Russell Tennant added:

Incidences of ill health are more prevalent in Pennine Lancashire than many other areas of the country.

"People are facing hardship and this impacts on health with some children not getting a decent start in life. Many of us suffer from entirely preventable diseases; and statistics show that in Pendle, mental illness is more common than in other Boroughs.

"This puts a strain on already underfunded local services, even before you factor in entirely predictable issues like an increasing need for social care for the elderly and outbreaks of winter flu.”

Wednesday 10 January 2018
Potholes in Pendle Roads
The Leader of Pendle Council Cllr Mohammed Iqbal has today written to the leader of Lancashire County Council asking for the urgent release of funds to address the pothole crisis across Pendle

Cllr Iqbal said“

I and other Councillors have been inundated with genuine complaints from residents at the pothole crisis across Pendle. The response from the County Council has been very slow despite an election pledge from the conservatives in pendle saying they would be allocating extra money to Pendle , the reality is that the Conservatives are neglecting Pendle .

"I on behalf of the residents of Pendle are asking LCC to release money immediately and allow Pendle to co-ordinate the urgent repairs needed now".

Councillor Mohammed Iqbal - Leader of Pendle Council County & Councillor for Brierfield & Nelson West

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