A REVITALISED Newbury Labour Party has announced a new chairwoman.
Gemma Lowe has declared her intention to “take the fight to the Tories” with a series of campaigns aimed at highlighting perceived social injustice across West Berkshire.
The renewed drive from Newbury Labour follows the election of an all-new executive team and Ms Lowe said: “In under a month the new team have stepped up neighbourhood leafleting drives, increased our social media presence and we’re looking in detail at the workings of West Berkshire Council.
“But this is also about helping re-engage and support a community that is being torn apart by vicious Tory Government cuts.
“And, while many of our members are actively involved in providing assistance with the soup kitchen, the food banks and the homeless shelter over winter, we don’t support the replacement of key government services by the charity sector.”
She added: “We recognise that many West Berkshire residents – a great majority of them working – are struggling day-to-day.
“We also need to ask ourselves how is it possible that we have dozens of people sleeping rough during winter months in makeshift tents along the Kennet canalside in one of the UK’s wealthiest constituencies.”
New campaign co-ordinator Moz Bulbeck Reynolds said: “Since 2013, we have seen four food banks open across the constituency due to significant demand.
“Rising inflation, stagnant wages and austerity are impacting many just-about-managing families – the hardships associated with Universal Credit will come at the worst time of year for many people.”
Newly-elected secretary Alan Rivers said: “The local council are callously terming the pre-cut budget planning process a ‘consultation’ about frontline services, but the truth remains they are simply parroting the broken record of failed austerity emanating from Downing Street and a Government which can only deliver bad news.
“In West Berkshire Council the foxes are in charge of the hen house and vulnerable families are paying the price.
“That said, people are also recognising the value of the Labour Party for local as well as national representation and they ultimately want a fair go – it’s no coincidence that just five months ago Labour grew its vote share to figures not seen since the late 1970s in West Berkshire.”