Sedgemoor Labour Group held an emergency meeting on Wednesday night to elect a new leadership team for Sedgemoor District Council. Westover councillors Brian Smedley and Kathy Pearce were elected unanimously as Leader and Deputy Leader, following the resignation of Diogo Rodrigues.

Cllr Brian Smedley , Leader of Sedgemoor Labour Group
Cllr Brian Smedley , Leader of Sedgemoor Labour Group

Brian Smedley said after the meeting,

“It’s an honour to take on this great responsibility. Despite the state of politics nationally, the day-to-day business of being a councillor is helping to run the town and trying to improve things for its people. Obviously, we condemn anti-semitism and racism in any form, but this is nothing to do with our work and the great challenges and opportunities ahead. What is important is our economy, the environment and our communities. Myself, Kathy and the Labour Group will continue to do our best to serve, and to build on our achievements. On Town Council we are taking Climate Change seriously, tackling the transport chaos in the area and trying to positively promote a bright future for our town. We will naturally be happy to work with any parties or individuals provided they take a constructive approach to the future of the town and aren’t just playing political games.“

“We are a team”

Kathy Pearce Deputy Leader of Sedgemoor Labour Group
Kathy Pearce Deputy Leader of Sedgemoor Labour Group

Councillor Kathy Pearce, who was elected as Deputy Leader, added,

“We won our seats locally because of the progressive Labour manifesto to continue the good work of the last electoral term, which we delivered in full. We are a team. We were elected as a team and we’ll work as a team. “

Kathy continued,

“We laid out a manifesto for Bridgwater and for Sedgemoor which was devised and created by members and we will deliver that. Unity and solidarity are core principles in the Labour movement. Saying what you’ll do and then doing what you say is why people have put their trust in Labour over the years. From the creation of the National Health Service to our defence of Internationalism and the historic and on-going fight against fascism it’s Labour values that are the motor for progress.”

Going from strength to strength

Branch Secretary Gemma Shanahan on the BBC today promoting Labour values
Branch Secretary Gemma Shanahan on the BBC today promoting Labour values

The changes come at a time when Bridgwater Labour Party is going from strength to strength, and when yesterday, 11th July, its 18 year old Branch Secretary Gemma Shanahan appeared on national TV on the Victoria Derbyshire show promoting Labour values saying,

“There are bigger issues in this country then Brexit, like the destruction of our NHS and education systems. I am glad that Labour have taken a clear stance, so that maybe now people can actually start concentrating on our policies rather than that we are stuck on the fence. And that also if a general election is to come then the issue that we need to concentrate on is ending austerity. The Labour Party, and especially Corbyn have really encouraged young people to get involved in politics, they have given us a voice and shown us that what we have to say does matter. The Labour Party shows that we are all equal, and because of this we all stood up together to help fight these recent elections and we will again when the general election comes.”

It looks like there is a change coming to the face of Labour in Sedgemoor District Council.

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