Whalley Range Labour Party in Alexandra ParkThis is the website of the Whalley Range branch of the Labour Party. The ward is located in south Manchester and includes parts of Manchester Gorton and Manchester Central parliamentary constituencies. You can contact the branch team using this link.

General Election 2019 – make sure you can vote

As you will certainly know by now, a general election will take place in the UK on Thursday 12 December.

While Labour supporters will embrace the opportunity to ditch a failed Tory government and hopefully put Labour back in power, the timing of the election will bring problems – short daylight hours, cold weather (or worse), winter break holidays, the distraction of the pre-Christmas season and (for students) the ending of university term may all conspire to lower the turnout. So please make sure that you and everyone you know who backs Labour will be able to use your votes – feel free to pass on this information to anyone you know who might need it:

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Buses for people not profit – have your say now

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority have published their proposals to change the way our buses are run, putting the needs of the public ahead of the bus companies’ wish to maximise their profits. As part of this process, they have launched a formal consultation open to everyone.

Assia Shah, who will be Whalley Range Labour’s candidate in 2020, says “The big bus companies will be fighting back and lobbying hard, so it’s vital that the rest of us make our views known if this change is to become a reality. Even if you’re not a regular bus user at present, a ‘London style’ bus franchising system can bring many environmental and social benefits for the whole population – including reduced traffic congestion”.

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Tackling ageism together – Mary speaks at Council

Mary Watson speaking in Council

At the full Council meeting earlier today, Whalley Range Labour councillor Mary Watson seconded a motion calling on the Council to promote positive images of ageing, raise awareness of the benefits of older workers, and champion more age-friendly activity and infrastructure in our neighbourhoods. Mary used as an example the twelve benches installed in our area earlier this year with the support of Age-Friendly Whalley Range, which have proved really popular with local people, older and not so old.

To hear Mary’s speech in full, click on the image or follow this link.

Assia Shah – Labour’s new candidate for Whalley Range

Mary and Assia

As many people know, Councillor Mary Watson has decided to stand down from the City Council next May after fourteen years of service to all the people of Whalley Range. She says “Although I will no longer be a councillor, I’m not going anywhere – I hope to remain involved with Whalley Range groups and meeting local people here for many years to come”.

At a packed selection meeting on Tuesday 17 September, Labour members in Whalley Range chose Assia Shah to be their candidate to stand in Mary’s place in the next local election to be held in May 2020. Assia, seen in the photo chatting with Mary, is a social worker with a long career in the public sector and many voluntary roles, and has a particular interest in promoting community cohesion. She says “I am so pleased to be have been selected, and delighted to be joining Mary, Aftab and Angeliki. I’m really looking forward to meeting as many people as possible in Whalley Range in the next few months”.

Make sure you’re registered to vote – and maybe go postal

Events are moving very fast at the moment in Parliament. The Labour Party leadership have been very clear – they would like to have a general election as soon as possible, provided the Tory government are prevented from forcing the country out of the EU without a deal on 31 October. Once that safeguard is in place, we desperately need an election – to address all the problems facing the UK at present, not just Brexit.

To take part in an election, you need to be registered to vote – see here for our quick Q&A explaining what’s involved, and here for a link to register. If an election is called for 15 October, the deadline for registration will be 27 September, so if you need to register why not do it now – it only takes five minutes. And if you’re away from home a lot, or maybe you’re a student and you want to vote in your home constituency, consider applying for a postal vote.