Chris Ostrowski selected again to win Watford for Labour at General Election
It was standing room only on Tuesday 16th January as over 300 local Labour Party members voted following a hustings of four parliamentary hopefuls for the now highly winnable Watford constituency. Members selected Chris Ostrowski, who almost won the seat for Labour in June 2017 slashing the Tory majority to just 2,092
Chris said,“I am humbled by the huge support I have received in this contest. We are now united and the Watford Labour Party is campaigning on full throttle as there could be a General Election any time. This weak and incompetent Tory Government is letting the people of Watford down. It's time for a change"
Rail Fare protests across local stations
Watford Labour members were out leafleting commuters at local stations on 2nd January to protest at a 32% hike in rail fares since the Tories came to power in 2010. The protest at Watford Junction was held jointly with the RMT union. Labour's mayoral candidate Jagtar Singh Dhindsa said, “Passengers in Watford have been hit again and again by eye-watering rail fare rises. They have now rocketed by 32 per cent since the Tories came to power, that is two times the rate wages have gone up. For many people here, travelling by train isn’t a luxury; it’s how they get to work every day.
A season ticket to London now costs a staggering £4,656, up £716 since the Tories got into power. Labour’s policy is to bring the railways into public ownership so they can be run for passengers not profit. That means fairer fares, investment in a 21st century railway and listening to passengers.”
Watford Labour Women's Christmas support to local women
Watford Labour Women's Forum organised a major collection drive for local organisations who are supporting women in precarious home situations or who are homeless.
Sarah Flynn, Watford Labour Party Woman's officer said, " Thanks to the super generous members of @WatfordLabour and our friends we have distributed over 40 bags of donations for local foodbanks, youth charities and women’s groups - thank you!"
Nascot Lawn to close - Labour slams CCG and blames Government cuts
Cllr Nigel Bell,Labour County Council spokesman on Childrens services slammed the Herts Valleys CCG tonight as “cynical and uncaring in the way they have yet again decided to withdraw funding from the NHS respite centre in Langley Road Watford ". Nigel said,”the fight will not stop here, we will continue to call on the 11-Conservative MP’s in the County to demand the extra funding from senior NHS Managers." Full statement and sign Labour's petition here.
Parliamentary Candidate Selection
Watford Labour Party has started the process of selecting a parliamentary candidate to challenge the Tory MP Richard Harrington at the next general election. With the Conservatives losing their majority in the House of Commons, an election is likely to be held before the end of the five year term. Watford is now a highly marginal following Labour slashing the Tory majority to just over two thousand at the General Election on June 8th.
Eligible Labour members interested in being considered for this seat should apply via Labour Members Net
LATEST The result will be declared on Tuesday 16th January
Watford Labour Party members have selected their candidate to fight the Watford mayoral election in May 2018. Vicarage ward councillor and chair of Watford Borough Council, Jagtar Singh-Dhindsa will contest the election.
Councillor Singh-Dhindsa said: “I am delighted that Watford Labour Party members have chosen me to represent them in the mayoral election next year. I will be a unity candidate to represent not just Labour in Watford, but all residents, to make our town a better place to live for everyone – for the many, not the few.
Mike Jackson, chair of Watford Labour Party, said: “We are delighted to have a candidate of Jagtar’s character and experience standing as our mayoral candidate. He will truly be a mayor to represent all of Watford. Our town faces many challenging issues and we’re confident that Labour values will bring a better deal to our residents and community.” Read more
Faced with a Judicial Review hearing, Herts Valleys NHS Clinical Commissioning Group has backed down on its plans to close Nascot Lawn Children's service in Langley Road, Watford. Read report. But campaigners warn that the reprieve may only be temporary as the CCG has to find £45 million cuts imposed by the government. Campaigners praised Labour councillors Nigel Bell and Asif Khan for their support. Nigel Bell said, "I call on both the Herts Valleys CCG and the County Council to seize this opportunity by finally come together, working constructively and creatively to find the money to keep Nascot Lawn going to at least March 2019 and beyond." Read Labour's Press Release and more about Labour's campaign here. Read newspaper report here
Watford Labour Party has slammed The Council's decision to support a pilot scheme to require voters to present identification to get a ballot paper in polling stations for the Mayoral and Local Council elections in May 2018. Labour's Election Agent Mike Jackson said, "This is a sledgehammer to crack a walnut. There is no evidence or suggestion of election fraud in Watford. The bigger risk is that many voters will be disenfranchised." Read Labour's full statement
Mayoral race - Tories select failed career politician - 4 time loser!
Watford Conservatives are so short of local talent that have resorted to selecting a failed career politician with no connections with Watford as their mayoral candidate. George (Jaber) Jabbour has stood in recent years in Doncaster, Belfast, Bridgend and Inverclyde, in most cases producing a reduced vote for the Tory party. Now he has been parachuted into Watford and can expect the same result. Mike Jackson, Watford Labour's Election Agent said, "The mayoral race will be a straight fight between Labour's Jagtar Singh Dhindsa and the Liberal Democrats - between Labour who want to see change and those who want the same old boring Lib Dems who get the priorities all wrong in our town."
Emily lends a hand - Watford anti-austerity protest - No mandate for cuts
Emily Thornberry, Labour's Shadow Foreign Secretary joined Chris Ostrowski and Labour members in Watford High Street as part of the party's national campaign day against the Tories austerity policies. Chris Ostrowski said, "The Tories failed to win a majority and have no mandate to maker further cuts to our NHS and public services. This has to stop."
Despite a Lib Dem challenge, popular councillor Nigel Bell romped home in West Watford polling 1,300 votes more than his nearest challenger. In one of the hardest political battles in many years in North Watford, Labour's Asif Khan retained the County seat whilst new candidate Richard Smith won the Leggatts by-election. In both cases, the Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate who was also standing in these Council elections,was defeated. Further reports. Full Results
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The Conservative MP has hung onto Watford by his fingernails as Labour' slashed his majority from 10 to 2 thousand as the counting finished at 3am on Friday the 9th June. A massive 16% increase in the Labour vote, the best result in Herts, was not quite enough to win the seat for Chris Ostrowski. Meanwhile the Liberal Democrats lost half their votes collapsing to their worst local result in decades. See full report and results here.