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The day Jeremy Corbyn came to Matlock


Over 1500 people enjoyed the sunshine in Matlock’s Hall Leys Park for Politics in the Park, rally against austerity yesterday afternoon.

With only 3 or 4 days notice and in the middle of the summer holidays with so much else to distract us the event came together brilliantly. A strong roster of introductory speakers included: Martin Rutter, Councillor Anne Western Labour leader of Derbyshire County Council who talked about the harsh reality of having to implement the Tory policy of austerity through cuts and listed a number of successes - no libraries closed in Derbyshire and new ones being built in Heanor and Belper, a new railway station for Ilkeston, keeping home care services under council control with fair pay for workers. Social worker Izzy Fisher spoke powerfully from the frontline about the sharp end of austerity borne by the old, the sick, children, doctors and care workers who did nothing to cause the financial crisis. 

Uther Naysmith for Young Labour recalled his family’s Labour history and looked forward to the future - his full speech is here

Finally, Andy Botham, train driver, county councillor, parliamentary candidate, introduced the man himself. They had arrived by train from an earlier rally in Derby and walked into Matlock’s Hall Leys park to a swelling round of applause from the crowd of over 1,500 people enjoying the sunshine and a holiday atmosphere.

BBC News report here and watch Jeremy Corbyn’s full speech here 


Belper Nailed web site also produced a full report of the rally in Derby and Matlock here

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commented 2016-08-26 12:40:47 +0100
Ann Western ( Leader of Derbyshire County Council)

“Anne Western spoke about the achievements of Labour in Derbyshire through the County Council, despite Conservative parliamentary representation. Her speech was a revelation of how much is being done to resist austerity and the reduction of services.”
(From Belper Nailed web report)

“I’ve been asked to talk about austerity and the cuts to public services.

But I’m not going to do that. I’ve spent every waking minute of the past 3 years worrying about cuts. One third of the council’s budget has gone and we, like all other Labour councils, have had some horrendous decisions to make.

Instead, I’m going to talk about what we’re doing in spite of the cuts.

Not closed a single library. Indeed we’ve built a new one in Heanor and will be building two more, in Belper and in Glossop.

Introduced the Living Wage – the real one – not the Osborne cheap copy – over 3,000 low paid workers, mostly women, have benefited

Not switched off street lights, but investing in energy-efficient LED lighting. Cheaper and better for the environment,

A major road re-surfacing programme so we aren’t constantly re-filling potholes

Building a railway station in Ilkeston. No longer the biggest town in Britain without a station

Bringing the Crescent in Buxton back from dereliction to create a world-class spa hotel to revitalise the tourism industry

Building new schools in Glossopdale and South Derbyshire. Criminal that they have to be academies. Great that Jeremy recognises the value of local authorities in his education plans

Creating new jobs and cleaning up old industrial sites at Markham Vale, Coalite and the Avenue in Bolsover and NE Derbyshire alongside our district council partners

Helping young people to develop skills and self-confidence to get decent jobs

Still have a council-run youth service

Supporting foodbanks, breakfast clubs, CAB, DUWC, the Law Centre and our own Welfare Rights service to provide help, advice and support to those who need it most.

Created a network of Safe Places for people with learning disabilities. A place of refuge if they feel unsure or unsafe.

Where things have to close, such as children’s centres, ensuring support for families and children through our MATs. ( Multi Agency Teams)

And social care for older people. In Derbyshire we still pride ourselves in having a directly provided home help service and a network of residential care homes, run by the council, staffed by properly paid, properly supervised, properly trained people. We still have 18 residential homes, that the Tories were committed to closing.

For years we’ve been viewed by the rest of the country as dinosaurs to insist on providing these services directly through the council. But in the last two winters we’ve been vindicated, because we haven’t suffered the hospital discharges crisis that other places have. We have our own flexible, responsive staff teams who can be there to support people who are ready to come home. You can’t do that with a contracted, out-sourced, commissioned service.

And we’re building new facilities for older people as well. Meadow View up the road next to the Whitworth hospital, a brand new community care centre offering a range of services.

That’s the difference a Labour council makes. So think what a Labour government led by Jeremy could do.

So Jeremy, welcome to Matlock, welcome to beautiful, resourceful, resilient, caring, creative Derbyshire.

Last year when I spoke at your rally at the Roundhouse in Derby, I said

‘The politics of making the world a better place is not a spectator sport’

Meaning that this isn’t just down to one man, we all have to step up.

People have quoted that back to me since then, whenever they have got involved in a community campaign or project.

And hundreds of thousands of people have felt inspired to join the Labour Party.

We are seeing a resurgence of community politics – here in the Derbyshire Dales and down the valley in Belper.

So Jeremy take heart from the overwhelming support you are getting.

Nobody said it would be easy – but it will be worth it.”
commented 2016-08-26 12:29:30 +0100
Andy Botham (County Councillor)

Key Points from Andy’ speech:

“Socialist policies don’t make you unelectable as I found when I won Matlock in 2013. The first Labour Councillor in over 60 years in this seat, and I stood on a socialist agenda.

Corbyn is the leader of our party and we should all give him the support he needs to do the job.

Austerity is not working and is punishing those in our society who need our help most.

If we don’t re-elect Corbyn as our leader the socialist agenda will be lost for ever.

Millions of people registered to vote in the last election didn’t vote because they felt all the parties were offering the same. I ran a campaign bases on socialist principles from a left wing platform and increased the Labour vote in the Derbyshire Dales.

Jeremy Corbyn is electable and his policies are what the people want.

It’s time to put this behind us re-elect Jeremy and get on with fighting the Tories. "
commented 2016-08-23 12:59:34 +0100
So why did the Matlock Mercury report simply that there was ‘more than 250’ people there? It certainly looked like the much higher number to me.
commented 2016-08-18 19:09:05 +0100

Amazing Turnout – so a big thank you to everyone who made this possible – Matlock Branch, the stewards, people managing the stalls, the speakers, Andy Botham & Chris Williamson for making this possible.

And thank you to everyone who came to the park and listened in a polite respectful manner. This was such an exiting and inspirational event – so many people gathered in Hall Leys Park – a good day for democratic participation – good to see so many young people too!!

CLP Secretary
commented 2016-08-17 14:29:23 +0100
We were in charge of Derbyshire Dales Labour Party Womens’ Forum banner. It looked good – some frantic adjustments the day before, with suspenders and a top bar, then plenty of helpers on hand with lots of string and pen knives!
Lovely sunny day, a lot of people there just enjoying the park perhaps not knowing of the impending visitation! I hope they were impressed and perhaps converted to the cause.
Park filled slowly, I’d guess we had 2000+ by the end. This guess based on my memories of school gatherings – I can recall what 650 people look like en bloc, I reckon we had at least four times that.

Quite intense really as all the speakers very effectively spelled out aspects of what socialism and civilisation itself is about, and how it is under threat from the right. I could see a few people obviously moved by these reminders – and so they should be!
Corbyn good – quite a long speech very well put together – he’s getting plenty of practice! He comes over not only as a thoroughly decent chap with a sense of humour but also as someone who has a very strong and well thought out socialist agenda.

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