ON SATURDAY 14 MARCH, THE HASTINGS & ROTHER BRANCH of the LRC was launched. At a very well attended public meeting, the speakers were Simeon Elliott, Labour CND Executive, Jay Kramer, Chair of the Hastings & Rye CLP and John McDonnell, Chair of the national LRC.
There was a lively question and answer session. Topics covered during the afternoon included ending the privatisation of the National Health Service, abolishing Trident, building social housing, the rejection of austerity, abolition of tuition fees, the restoration of trade union rights and a commitment to full employment. After she spoke, Jay read out a statement from Sarah Owen, Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Hastings & Rye, on her opposition to Trident which was well received. 75% of Labour PPCs are against renewing Trident.
The Sussex LRC, Unite, Hastings & Rother Trades Council and East Branch Labour Party banners were on display and there was a great feeling of solidarity at the meeting to go all out to defeat the current government and get Labour back in. Hastings & Rye is a key marginal and must be won to ensure a Labour government. There are also local elections on Rother District Council on 7 May. New people in Hastings & Rother joined the LRC at the meeting and the first meeting of the new branch will take place on Friday, 22 May at 6pm at the Ellen Draper Centre, 84, Bohemia Road, St Leonards on Sea, TN37 6RN. Comrades felt it was vital to spend any spare time on the election campaign and hold the meeting afterwards. At that meeting a constitution will be agreed, officers elected and a plan of speakers and political activity for the following year agreed.
If anyone wants to get involved with the Hastings & Rother Branch of the LRC please contact Jay Kramer on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07758 636055.