New Year Message
By Chris Whitwood,
It gives me great pleasure, on behalf of the Yorkshire Party Executive Committee, to send our best wishes for this festive season and the year ahead.
2018 has presented us all with many challenges but it has also been a year of successes for the Yorkshire Party. In May we stood in many council elections and in the Sheffield City Region mayoral election. Thanks to the hard work of candidate Mick Bower, the enthusiasm of our campaigners and generosity of Party supporters, the Yorkshire Party was fourth overall and third in three of the four South Yorkshire council areas!
We have also contested a number of by-elections, including Town Ward in Doncaster where we polled more votes than the Green Party (third) and the Conservative Party (fourth) combined, firmly establishing the Yorkshire Party as the main alternative to Doncaster Labour.
We gained our first two district level councillors and our first county councillor.
Through the Party’s new policy process we have adopted four new and in-depth policies showing that our desire to improve Yorkshire goes beyond merely a wish for devolution. Devolution is the means by which the Yorkshire Party hopes to transform our region for the better.
At our Autumn Conference in Hull, our most successful yet, we discussed and debated some of these ideas. We also welcomed new member of the Executive Committee, following the first contested internal elections. Since then, the Executive Committee and many other members have taken on greater roles, driving the Party forward and stepping up to take on responsibilities from Leader Stewart Arnold who, following his re-election, has been on sabbatical since October. I am confident that with such enthusiasm from members the Yorkshire Party will continue to go from strength to strength.
At this time of year, many of us take time to reflect on what has passed and consider the future. It is true that the Yorkshire Party still has a long road to travel but we are beginning to show that we do have the potential to make a difference. Our shared aspiration to make Yorkshire a fairer, happier, more industrious, more caring and more prosperous region is one that together, step-by-step, we can realise. Let’s make 2019 a year that resounds with success. Please give your time, donations and support.
On behalf of myself, the Executive Committee and the rest of the Yorkshire Party may I wish you a very happy new year!
Homelessness Policy – Nobody Left Out
It was appropriate that the Party focused on homelessness in the run-up to Christmas.
First it published its own research showing the link between youth homelessness and cuts in council youth services. https://www.yorkshireparty.org.uk/yorkshires-homelessness-rise-linked-to-youth-service-cuts/
Then it joined the condemnation of the Hull hotel that cancelled a Christmas booking for 28 local homeless people.
In a major statement, the Party unveiled its detailed policy on homelessness, calling for the doubling in the number of homes being built each year.
Read the full policy at https://www.yorkshireparty.org.uk/homelessness-policy/
And Bridlington member and campaigner Andy Walker denounced the official statistics that he said underplayed the number of people living on the streets.
As part of the development aimed at making the Party’s website more informative and a livelier forum, Huddersfield member and journalist Bikatshi Katenga, who has already contributed analysis articles to the site, will be writing some personal commentary pieces from a Yorkshire or a Yorkshire Party perspective. The first will appear next week.