Thursday, 30 September 2010


Labour activists hear the result
The month long Woolavington By-election caused by the death of Sedgemoor Labour Leader Roger Lavers has ended in a victory for the Conservatives

LibDem leader Joe Leach
Tory leader McGinty now has a 24 seat majority
Woolavington, which has been Labour since 1991 and traditionally one of Sedgemoor closest marginals, was grabbed by Tory candidate Alison Hamlin while the intervention of a surprise LibDem canddiate for the first time  in 15 years resulted in a split opposition vote which combined would have kept the Tory out.

The political balance on Sedgemoor District Council has now shifted even more in favour of strengthening the Tory majority giving them 37 out of 50 seats with Labour down 1 to 10 and the Lib Dems still on 3..

The Turnout was 33.4%  on a dull rainy day and after dark the final hours saw almost no one turn up to vote  as can be see from the action picture of the Polling station staff.(left)

The final result
ALISON HAMLIN (Conservative)  264
TINA MARSH         (Lib Dem)         184
IAN TUCKER         (Labour)           141

Friday, 24 September 2010

Labour Candidate Speaks at Council meeting

Ian at Bridgwater House this week
Labour candidate for next weeks  Woolavington By election, Ian Tucker, spoke passionately at this weeks Sedgemoor District Council meeting calling on the authority to enter into serious negotiations with EDF to deliver swimming facilities to Bridgwater  and to reject plans for yet another supermarket.

The full text of Ians speech is below;-

"There is obviously still a lot of concern from the public about the building of Hinkley C, and therefore it is imperative that EDF addresses the concerns that the authorities have with both the stages 1 and 2 consultation process. ARUP have done a lot of work in evaluating EDF's proposals, and together with the authorities it is very re-assuring that a proper response to EDF is being developed in an attempt to address major concerns. 

There are two major concerns that I would like to mention in my limited time.

BRIDGWATER BY PASS It is felt that this is of the utmost importance for both relieving congestion and more importantly safety. Imagine the chaos if there were a major incident at the power station, with emergency vehicles trying to battle their way through parts of Bridgwater which are already grid locked. Save Cannington Action Group and others have put forward proposals for a dedicated road to Hinkley from Dunball ,and as stated in ARAPS report detailed reasons for rejecting this proposal must be given by EDF. The cost which has been estimated at only 1.5% of the total cost of the whole Hinkley project and delay considerations are not good reasons for rejection. I am not anti nuclear, but I feel without a dedicated road, for safety reasons alone, there could be an argument that the whole project should be scrapped.

COMMUNITY BENEFITS As recognised by the authorities the mitigation proposals have been disingenuous and £1M into a community fund to say the least is miserly. However I believe there is still room for discussion with EDF, particularly on specific projects and I have had some dialogue with EDF's Community Director concerning EDF's letter, dated 8th July last year, where they state a new swimming pool may be a candidate for investment. And as you know even Mr Rickards has been quoted in the press as saying we could even get two pools.

I have now, on behalf of most people in Bridgwater come to the stage of pleading with you to talk to EDF on the possibility of funding town centre swimming. With an influx of 5,000 workers what would be better for both EDF and the people of Bridgwater than to have a state of the art eco friendly pool in the centre of town that we can all be proud of.

Bridgwater Forward collected well over a 1000 signature petition in little more than three hours at Wembdon fete alone and the numbers signing grows by the day. 


As I believe Cllr Herbert said this morning, individual voices must be heard. Please let EDF know not only what the council wants but what local people want."

Labour support in Woolavington 'Looking Good'

Labour candidate for the Woolavington By-Election - now only a week away on September 30th, Ian Tucker has been out and about canvassing in the village and has met with a  positive response.

Ian says "I tend to spend a lot of time talking to people so I can understand what issues really matter to them and so far the reaction has been great. People want to talk and I want to listen, learn and help them"

Ians election leaflet has been delivered to every hosuehold now and he is quietly confident. After a typical days canvassing he told us " Today the returns were  Labour 21 (plus another 5   I am fairly sure will vote Labour )  Lib Dem 1,  Tory 0, Don't know yet 20,  Will not vote 2,   P***  Off Party 1!"
Ian having a 'tea break' in Woolavington with Sedgemoor Labour group leader Kathy Pearce and agent Shaun O Byrne

Monday, 13 September 2010

"The Council has let Bridgwater down badly" says Labour Candidate

SDC Tory   leader Duncan McGinty has angered many people around the district with his  comments about his Councils latest position on the Northgate development.

In an interview with the Bridgwater Mercury, McGinty says “Whatever the development at Northgate, there should be linkages with the town centre and ways to improve and regenerate the town centre and at the moment, Tesco’s thinking is not along the same lines as ours.”

Bridgwater Labour Party alongside such local campaigning groups such as Bridgwater Forward and the Bridgwater Trades Council, have long argued and campaigned for Town centre swimming to provide this crucial linkage as it did with the Splash - which the Tories hastily knocked down in the face of petitions.protests and even an occupation last year.

Ian Tucker, Labour party candidate for the Woolavington By-Election on September 30th says " The council has let Bridgwater down badly. I can't see how a supermarket is going to regenerate the town centre at all, we have enough of them within easy reach of the centre as it is, and look what has happened to Eastover since Asda arrived. Come on SDC times will get better, your Chief Execurive keeps stating Bridgwater is in an enviable position so keep Northgate for leisure/ swimming."

Ian is currently knocking on doors in Woolavington  in his campaign to keep up the pressure on Sedgemoor Tories by ensuring that Labour keeps it's seat at the By-Election  .

Cllr Brian Smedley, Labours shadow spokesman for Health & Well Being said "Ian has been consistent in his campaign to support local people in their fight to retain town centre swimming and with him on the Labour group we can make sure the Tories really do get the message that people are not happy with their running of the District Council;!

Monday, 6 September 2010


Nominations have closed for the Woolavington By-Election scheduled for September 30th. All 3 Sedgemoor parties are each standing a candidate and leaflets have already been hitting doormats.

Ian Tucker - Campaigning in the Community for the Community
   Labour , who have held the Woolavington seat since 1991 , are fielding hardworking local activist Ian Tucker ,  pictured here campaigning hard for town centre swimming. Christine Lavers, who held the Woolavington seat for Labour at every election from 1991 until her husband Roger took over the mantle on 2007, has given her  endorsement to  Ian saying "Ian Tucker cares for the local community, he is involved in many campaigns to ensure that the voice of the local community is heard and would make an excellent representative for Woolavington"

The Conservatives -who have failed to win in Woolavington since 1983, are fielding Alison Hamlin, the candidate beaten by Roger Lavers in 2007, whilst the Lib Dems, who only occaisonally manage to stand a candidate in this ward, have now entered the fray with new recruit Tina Marsh at a time when people are turning away from the Lib Dems in droves because of the national coalition with the Conservatives.

Cllr Brian Smedley, secretary of the Labour Group on Sedgemoor District Council, said "Tory control of SDC is assured if they win or lose an extra seat. They are a virtual one party state here and so what is needed is a strong opposition. The fact that Labour won and held Woolavington for all these years is a real thorn in their side. It's one of Sedgemoors most marginal seats and we need everyone to turn out and maximise the Labour vote so we can keep up the pressure on the Tories. Lets face it, the Lib Dems - in national coalition with the Tories and despite kidding people they were deadly enemies before the last election, are really no alternative and now risk splitting the vote."

Thursday, 2 September 2010


Roger Lavers
Following the sad and sudden death of popular Sedgemoor Labour leader Roger Lavers a By-Election has been called for the remaining 7 months of the current council. The By-Election will be held on Thursday 30th September and the Labour candidate will be Woolavington bus driver Ian Tucker.

Ian reported Labours first campaign victory to us . "When I found out that Sedgemoor were planning to just use one polling station in Woolavington for the by-election - and it was the one at the bottom of the hill , I immediatly alerted new Labour leader Kathy Pearce (a former Woolavington resident) who straight away got on to the Chief Executive and convinced them of the unfairness of this and they agreed!"

Cllr Kathy Pearce wrote to Sedgemoor ;-
Ian Tucker at Woolavington Polling station
It has been brought to my attention that there will only be one polling station in North Ward (Woolavingon Village Hall) at the Woolavington by-election on 30th September. I believe that this decision has been made for this by-election on cost grounds.
On behalf of the Labour Group, I am writing to protest at this decision on the following grounds:
1. Democracy: The decision is undemocratic in that residents living in the South Ward will be disadvantaged in not having a polling station in their ward. The fact that it is a by-election should make no difference in terms of organising the election to enable as many people as possible to take part in the democratic process.  In terms of the demographics within the village, it is obvious that there is potentially a greater potential Conservative vote in the North Ward and I would like to know the criteria for selecting that particular location and who made the decision. 
2. Fair Access: This is significant in terms of the steep hill which makes it very difficult for elderly residents or those with disabilities who live at the top of the hill being able to access the polling station at the lower part of the village.  I believe that not having a polling station in the Woolavington South Ward sets a dangerous precedent and cost should not be a factor if it prevents residents enjoying their democratic right of going to the polling station and putting their cross on a ballot paper.
I understand that the opportunity to vote by post has been offered to every resident.  This is simply not adequate in that there will be some residents who would wish to vote but would struggle to organise their vote in this way.
I am therefore requesting that you review this decision and uphold the principle of providing a polling station in every ward.
New Sedgemoor Labour leader Cllr Kathy Pearce
Sedgemoor elections officer Christine Facey wrote back accepting Kathys  calls;- "The decision to have only one polling station was made with the good intention of reducing costs. I have now had an opportunity to discuss this with Kerry (Rickards, Chief Executive) , and as historically there have always been two polling stations at Woolavington it has been decided  to use both stations for this particular election"