It was an exciting day - the hall was packed with many new members - not forgetting those who had been in the party a little longer...
Highlights of the day included Jeremy Corbyn who launched Labour's "Missing Million" voter registration campaign from Leicester.
Tom Watson asked us about how the Labour Party MPs / Westminster could better connect with local Labour Councillors and about digital campaigning. Derbyshire Dales were very active with George Heaney, Bob Cartwright & Bob Terry Furness asking questions!
We attended a range of workshops including the start up of a local campaign which will soon be going national - "Dying to Work". This is a collaboration between Richard Oliver of the GMB and Glynis Wilmott our MEP. Basically people who are terminally ill can quickly go though a dismissal and lose their death in service benefit! More to follow on this campaign.
We listened with horror to the range of European grants that this government has refused to bid for - to help the street industry, youth training, flooding and food banks to name but a few! Glennis is very clear that European social justice legislation holds our government to account and has stopped them taking away more of our basic working rights.
The Missing Million- voter registration is another key issue for us. A key date is December 1st this year -there will be less MPs and boundary changes which will disadvantage Labour in particular. Gloria De Piero is leading this campaign. So there will be 60 less MPs and yet there are many extra Tory members of the House of Lords who were appointed very recently. Apparently the is the second biggest legislative body in the world.
So please ask family, friends and colleagues to register to vote online ASAP!
Margaret Beckett gave us a sharp analysis of the current political situation. One reason George Osborne may keep cutting council grants so far is to make sure that councils can be privatised after failing to provide basic services. She said she has never heard so many blatant untruths from the front bench as at the moment. The Tories use the politics of fear.
We need to use the facts of their broken promises and inaccuracies to enable the wider public to understand the depth of the deception.
Our strength lies in our ability to listen and help people especially at the local level. So we need to collect the broken promises and challenge the Tory misinformation.
We had an excellent speech from our new East Midlands Deputy Director Emma Foody who summarised the local situation and talked about what we need to do next. Thanks were given to Suzi Clarke, our regional organiser, who is leaving.
Two Derbyshire representatives were elected to the regional board - Alison Martin & Kevin Hepworth who have both offered to come and meet us in Derbyshire Dales.
Jon Ashworth (MP: Leicester South) closed the conference explaining that as shadow minister without portfolio he was leading the fightback against the Tories.
So in November, at the constituency meeting in Wirksworth, we will be talking about sharing our ideas in the community and local campaigns - please come an join us.