Saturday, October 24, 2009

Staines - Local Council Work 1943

Local Council Work
Organising for Offensive Action - Feb 1943

By Naomi Wolf

The health and welfare of the people and the provision of satisfactory social services and amenities will play a big part in the drive ?! for increased production necessary to support the 1943 offensives. The control and development of these services is in the hands of the local councils, and it is to these councils that it is essential for the Communist Party to direct its attention.

Some useful examples of good work done by our Party come from Staines Communist Party Branch (Branch Secretary D.J.Goodwin) The Lagonda Factory Group took up with their management the question of the provision of a pathway giving direct access to the factory and thus saving the workers some thing like half-an-hour's walk.

At the same time the Communist Party Branch worked with the local councillors, who presented proposals to the Staines Council for the provision of the necessary pathway, A campaign was developed on the issue with the result that the Council agreed to the proposals, and negotiations for the -purchase of the necessary land are now under way.

The Party Branch in Stains were also successful in obtaining some immediate improvements in the local sewage system, by working with the local councillors and supporting their proposals in the Council .itself,, by organising a public petition'. on the matter and publication of the demands in the local press.

The elected councillors of a local council decide its policy and are, responsible for the administration of all the services under its control.

With the growth of our Party we have both the opportunity and responsibility to. play a leading part in influencing the policy of the local councils in the interests of the .people.

To do this we have to acquaint ourselves with how our local councils work, what their policy is, and how individual councillors carry out their work.

We can learn a lot from the Labour Party in this field of work,'and as soon as we understand how the social problems of the people are being dealt with in the local councils, we can give real assistance to the local Labour Parties in developing their work in the Councils, by making proposals to them based on our Party knowledge of the needs of the people, and our knowledge of what the Council has done or failed to do.

At the same time we can stimulate support and activity around our Party's proposals in the Trade Union Branches, Trades Councils, etc and begin to re-awaken. the civic consciousness of the people themselves.

To organise our work in this field properly, the Communist Party London District is asking every Branch to appoint a comrade who will undertake to attend every local council meeting, to read and study the agenda (available at public libraries), and to develop friendly relations with the councillors themselves.