AT THE LRC AGM in February, when I was elected as a national officer, one of my commitments was to recruit more members and establish an active Oxfordshire branch of the LRC. Four months later we had the required ten members signed up and held our first public meeting – a panel discussion on Labour’s economic policy and direction with Anneliese Dodds, MP for East Oxford, as our keynote speaker.
The success of this meeting, increasing disillusion with the direction of Momentum, our local LRC campaigning with the FBU, a new recruitment leaflet, attendance at demos in Manchester, London and Oxford and numerous conversations and discussions saw our membership increase to 22 by the time of our first AGM in August.
We had members from Oxford, Wantage, Didcot, and Faringdon attending, and were delighted to welcome Adrian Scandrett as an observer bringing solidarity from LRC comrades in Northamptonshire.
We agreed to keep the structure of our branch flat with little hierarchy and three key officers who were elected unanimously: chair – Cathy Augustine, secretary – Gwynne Reddick and treasurer/organiser – James Sweeten. We debated two motions – to affiliate to JVL and also to the recently established Labour Left Alliance (LLA) – both of which were passed unanimously.
As a branch made up of local activists, the bulk of the meeting was spent discussing and agreeing how to focus our campaigning time and energy most effectively.
Our priorities will be continuing to build FBU relationships in readiness for any further proposed cuts to crews; support for Laeticia Carter the selected Labour candidate in her Thames Valley parliamentary campaign; solidarity with local Asda workers in dispute over “contract 6” and, of course, mobilising for a general election, including building networks through LRC, Labour Left Alliance and union contacts.
Wantage CLP and Unite member.