Councillor Chris Hammond is the new Leader of Southampton Labour
Southampton Council’s Labour Group chose Councillor Christopher Hammond to lead the Labour Group and the city, and re-elected Cllr Jacqui Rayment as Deputy Leader tonight.
The vote to formally elect the Leader of the Council will take place on Wednesday 16th May.
Chris has been a Councillor since 2013, when he won in a by-election, re-elected in 2016 and was re-elected again last week for the ward of Woolston in the Southampton Itchen constituency.
He has served in the Cabinet since 2015, most recently as Cabinet Member for Sustainable Living, where he has delivered significant progress on a number of fronts, most notably the Clean Air Strategy.
Chris brings a range of private and public sector work experience, most recently as a Project Manager for Nationwide Building Society.
Chris commented ‘I am absolutely delighted and humbled to be elected as the Group’s new Leader. Simon Letts will be a hard act to follow. I am determined to build on the great achievements we have made to date as a Labour Administration to further transform the Council and make a positive difference for the people of Southampton’.
Councillor Chris Hammond is the new Leader of Southampton Labour Southampton Council’s Labour Group chose Councillor Christopher Hammond to lead the Labour Group and the city, and re-elected Cllr Jacqui...
Southampton sticks with Labour
Yesterday’s local elections produced no overall change for Southampton, leaving Labour still in majority control of the Council with 25 out of 48 seats.
Southampton Labour Party thank the people of this great city for entrusting the important task of running the Council in these elections.
We congratulate all our successful candidates, and also thank the dedicated Councillors and candidates who did not get elected as well as those who retired this year.
A special thankyou to former Councillor Simon Letts, who ably led the Council for the last five years through many challenges. His leadership has significantly benefited the city’s economic performance and his work to repair damaged industrial relations has been a critical building block in ensuring the council has a sustainable future.
We were elected to deliver an exciting and broad-ranging manifesto.
Investing in our infrastructure, particularly roads and pavements, improving air quality, investing in more housing including new Council housing, a focus on growing the economy, increasing apprenticeship opportunities, improving the quality of social care are just some of the priorities of this Administration.
Despite large Tory cuts to our budgets we have consistently sought to protect frontline services and try different approaches so we still have the services that people rely upon. We are one of the few Councils that have retained all their Sure Start Services, we have restructured the library service to keep all the libraries open by working with other community groups, we have sought new partnerships to offset the tough financial climate.
The Southampton Labour team looks forward to implementing this manifesto and delivering further improvements for the people of Southampton.
Southampton sticks with Labour Yesterday’s local elections produced no overall change for Southampton, leaving Labour still in majority control of the Council with 25 out of 48 seats. Southampton...
Door knocking and the Labour party go hand in hand as naturally as rain and the British summer.
But what is door knocking, and why is it such a big deal to us?
Simply put, door knocking is when groups of Labour Party supporters (or any party’s supporters) go up and down a targeted road knocking on people’s doors to have a conversation with them about what matters to them, and what their concerns are or might be. Southampton Labour Party are very active door knockers and usually have something happening most weekends.
One of the regular responses we get from residents when we knock on their door is ‘what are you guys doing here? You only come around at elections?’ We find that we often give people a nice surprise when we come around in the winter or early in the spring, as it helps dispel the myth that we only care about reminding people to vote in May.
We come around and talk to people as we want to hear what you have to say! If there are issues with your roads, your bins, or access to your GP, then we may not always be able to help straight away but we want to hear about it so that we can feed it back to the council services. Our session almost always includes local councillors, often for that area, who will then have a direct line to many of the services at the Council. We also do this as we are aware of a lot of the bad press that Politician’s – usually unfairly - get for being ‘out of touch’. We want to dispel this and say ‘hello, this is who I am, I am standing out here in the cold to listen to you’. We won’t deny that door knocking gives us valuable data about voting preferences so that we can target our resources effectively, but the main reason we do this is that we genuinely care what people think.
So what are ‘mass canvasses’?
So once a month, and often more when we get close to local elections, we organise what we call a ‘mass canvas’. We pick an area around Southampton and arrange for everyone we can muster to turn up there. This is attended by councillors, regular members from the party, first time activists, and even Alan Whitehead MP. Everyone is welcome and everyone gets stuck in. We split up into small groups (after the obligatory photo) and set off to tackle roads in the area. This means that if 20-30 of us attend, it really gives us the chance to really get to know an area in a short amount of time and to talk to lots of people. This gives us great information on the local issues that are important to people and we can pass these issues back to our wonderful group of councillors, who can then act on them.
It can be really fun and a good chance to make new friends. We have even made several attempts at ‘synchronised door knocking’ (maybe a new Olympic Sport)? The idea is that everyone lines up along a straight road and then knocks the door at once (with a camera on hand for proof later).
So if you are new to the party, want to make a difference and get to know your local area, or want to make new friends (various trips to coffee houses or local pubs usually happen afterwards) then we would strongly encourage you to come along to a mass canvas. They are advertised months in advance and your local councillors and ward captains will be aware of them. If you are new to door knocking then we can pair you up with more experienced members until you are comfortable with the process.
If you are not initially comfortable talking to strangers on their doorstep then that is ok too. Each team always needs to have someone who ‘runs the board’, which is when someone records all the information that we get from residents. They then tell our door knockers the names of the next residents that they are talking to so we can be more polite when talking to them. ‘Running the board’ is easy to pick up and learn and is considered a general introduction to the process.
If you are a resident in the area which is being mass canvassed, please don’t be alarmed. Our volunteers are very friendly and we just want to get to know you. We split up into much smaller teams so you should never feel overwhelmed by large groups turning up at your door. We want to hear about your issues and problems in the local area so that we can help.
Southampton and Romsey Labour Party: Working hard with the community to listen, and act on issues. All while making friends and keeping fit!
Door knocking and the Labour party go hand in hand as naturally as rain and the British summer. But what is door knocking, and why is it such a big...