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Does that surprise you?
In the last eighteen months, hundreds of people in this part of East Sussex joined Labour for the first time or re-joined, seeing that the party was now a true force for social justice in a way that perhaps it had moved away from in recent years.
Lewes may be in the ‘affluent south’ but that is just a misleading generalisation. The constituency of Lewes stretches from Seaford and Newhaven through Lewes and up to just short of Uckfield – west to east, it covers the area between Ditchling across to Chalvington. And in our area, many people suffer from poor or unaffordable housing; from low-paid employment and zero hours contracts; from VERY poor public transport; from insufficient Social Care and on and on the list goes.
Schools in our area are facing cuts every bit as deep as anywhere else in the country; Lewes’ NHS services are suffering as much as they are nationally. And don’t get us started on how the train service is under Southern, surely enough evidence on its own that the railways would be better back in public hands with customer service as the main goal rather than just shareholder profit.
And that’s why people are turning to Labour.
Because, quite simply, they’ve had enough and they see no prospect of the Conservative Government switching away from its disastrous and grossly unfair ‘austerity’ plan.
Nationally, the Labour Party will reset all its policies this summer and confirm them at the National Conference in Brighton at the end of September 2017. This will create a unified agenda for everyone from MPs in Westminster to grassroots members in Lewes. Meanwhile, our local party is cracking on with doing everything it can to simply help our fellow citizens as much as we can to get by in these very difficult economic times.