Reframing Social Democracy? PDF Print E-mail

On the afternoon of Saturday 14 April, Labour Party members from around NE Derbyshire gathered at the North Wingfield Community Resource Centre. The purpose of the meeting was to consider the future direction for the Labour Party.

Those present broke into three groups to discuss our values and philosophy, how we should organise, what we should stand for in terms of policy and priorities. What emerged was a series of statements and questions; an agenda for future discussion and ideas for further development. They are now presented for further analysis and comment; as an agenda for further development.


  • Labour is a peoples’ party
  • Labour’s purpose is to look after people
  • Labour should work towards greater equality
  • Labour should not be “Tory Lite”
  • The NHS symbolises Labour values
  • We want Labour politics to be  a vocation rather than a career
  • We believe society should be organised on a collective and cooperative basis
  • We support the public service ethos


  • Given the geography of NE Derbyshire, Labour should organise in Branches rooted in the distinct communities of our towns and villages
  • There would be some value in holding All Member meetings two or three times a year
  • We should build an on-line presence to engage with younger supporters/members and enable them to use their digital communication skills


  • Labour has to be in office/power in order to get things done
  • Labour should support local groups and provide the social glue in local communities
  • Labour should be more than a vehicle for selecting candidates
  • There is lots to do at local level



  • What works in London may not work here.
  • How do we translate local activity into delivering a Labour government?
  • What is the answer to “what’s in it for me?” when voters ask?
  • Despite the policy review, “policies” just seem to be announced from on high.
  • How can we address the challenges imposed by globalisation?
  • Has “political correctness” gone too far?
  • Young people do not know what a Tory government really means.

Labour should:

  • Stop apologising!
  • Stop being defensive and begin setting the political agenda.
  • Re-frame social democracy.
  • Put the PLP back in touch with CLPs.


  • Labour should prioritise council housing.
  • Labour should restore real power to local councils.
  • Labour Reduce expenditure on the military.

Those who took part, and in no particular order, were:

Jane Austen, Dave Ridley, Pam Hemsley, Julie Hill, Nigel Barker, Kenny Trodden, Cathy Goodyer, David Hancock, Mark Grayling, Jean Innes, Peter Innes, Geoff Butler, Alan Charles, Jordan Stapleton, Betty Hill, David Skinner, Harry Barnes, Jason Tomlinson, Harold Laws, Tracy Reader, Andy Reader, Steve Ramsdale, Mairi Ramsdale, Edwin Holmes, Barry Barnes, Michael Gordon, Kevin Gillott, Jill Brunt, Graham Baxter, Kevin Eansworth, Meg Ridley.

Many thanks to all.

Labour's Five Point Plan for Jobs and Growth in the East Midlands PDF Print E-mail


Visit to Manthorpe Engineering, Ripley

Last week Ed Miliband and Rachel Reeves visited Manthorpe Engineering in Ripley to launch Labour's Five Point Plan for Jobs and Growth in the East Midlands. Manthorpe Engineering is an excellent example of a growing local company, who place a great emphasis on apprenticeships. During the visit Ed and Rachel were given a tour of the factory by owners Paul and Carol Pochciol and then also took questions from employees.

Labour's campaign for jobs and growth highlights that unemployment has reached its highest level in 17 years. It is clear the Tory-led Government's austerity plan is hurting, but it isn't working. There is a better way...Labour's Five Point Plan is a real plan for jobs and growth to get the East Midlands economy moving again and help get the deficit down in a steadier and healthier way.

We are calling on the Government to adopt Labour's Five Point Plan:

1. Create up to 5,500 jobs for young people and build 1,400 new homes

2. Bring forward investment projects like the 44 building schools for the future projects that were scrapped by the Tory-led government and transport infrastructure projects

3. Temporarily reverse the Tory-led Government's damaging VAT rise - an extra £450 for a couple with children would provide a boost for our high streets and help struggling families.

4. Cut VAT on home improvements to 5% for a year

5. Give up to 140,000 small firms here in the East Midlands a tax break to take on extra workers.

Natascha voted Backbench MP of the year 2011 PDF Print E-mail

North East Derbyshire's Labour MP, Natascha Engel was announced as the winner

of the Backbench MP of the Year 2011 at a ceremony held in Parliament on 6 July. 

The award is in recognition of her work as the first Chair of the Backbench

Business Committee.

Receiving the award Natascha said that chairing the backbench

business committee has been "the greatest privilege I have ever had".

She paid tribute to the other members of the committee, which has

"changed the way parliament works" and made the democratic process

"much stronger and livelier".

After topping the poll of all 650 MPs, Natascha was presented with her award

by Mr Speaker, who called her "one of the most engaging and personable

people it is possible to meet".

Seminar update: Natascha Engel MP on Parliamentary Reform 18 November 2010 PDF Print E-mail

Natascha Engel gives a public seminar on the topic of parliamentary reform and the work of her committee.


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