Monday, 29 September 2008

John Hannett supports David

Usdaw General Secretary John Hannett said, "I am delighted to see that David is seeking to be selected as the Labour candidate for Crewe and Nantwich. He has the full support of all Usdaw’s affiliated branches. David is a hardworking, dedicated and talented Political Officer for Usdaw and I know he will be an excellent MP.

"David has taken a leading role in organising our successful campaigns, including to protect Christmas Day, extend the minimum wage to 16 & 17 year olds, to extend family-friendly rights, and protecting shopworkers from violence, threats and abuse. He has progressed these issues through negotiation with Government Ministers, Parliamentary lobbying and mobilising activists to become politically engaged, I know that David will make a first class advocate for the people of Crewe and Nantwich.

"David always puts our members first and understands that we are most successful when we are reflecting their real daily experiences and using evidence based arguments to gain new rights for hardworking people.

"We would be very sorry to see David leave his role in Usdaw, but I know he will do a first rate job as an MP. Our loss would be Crewe and Nantwich's gain."

Please click here to visit Usdaw's website

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Fight Back Friday 3rd October

The next Fight Back Friday will take place at 6.30pm, on Friday 3rd October, meeting outside the Captain Webb Public House, on the corner of Underwood Lane and McLaren Street in Coppenhall. The address is: Underwood Lane, Crewe, CW1 3SF.

We will be collecting petition signatures for the campaign to get Crewe a Town Council and talking to voters about their issues and concerns.

Please click here for more information on the Captain Webb

Saturday, 27 September 2008

David wins the nominations race

The longlist for the selection of a Labour candidate for Crewe and Nantwich has been settled. Nominations closed at noon yesterday.

David said, "I am absolutely delighted with the result, because I managed to secure 85% of the nominations. This is way beyond my expectations. It is a clear endorsement from the activists in the Labour Party branches and the affiliated organsiations.

"I am very much looking forward to the shortlisting meeting, where the delegates representing the various Labour Party and affiliated branches will decide who goes on the shortlist."

Friday, 26 September 2008

Fight Back Friday - Peggy Style

After the door knocking session tonight we were walking back to the Cross Keys and met Cllr Peggy Martin on her way to work.

Peggy is on a personal mission to get 1,000 signatures on the petition (I think she'll do it) which would be brilliant because that's a quarter of the target. She had a wad in her hand to take to the Club. On the way she stopped at the Cross Keys and collected some signatures from the locals outside, at the beginning of their Friday night out (see picture).

They were a great crowd and we had a chat with them about recent car crime in the area. Peggy was making notes and I know she'll be taking up the issue at the first opportunity.

Fight Back Friday

Just back from Fight Back Friday, which we did in North street Crewe.

Again we were collecting signatures for the petition to get a Town Council for Crewe and talking to voters about supporting Labour. I have to say that the response to both is getting better. I think the recent letters in the Chronicle have helped the Town Council campaign and people are warming to the Prime Minister.

I was delighted to welcome Jon Colclough to the usual team. Jon is a member in Shavington, who is currently studying at Oxford University. It's great to see a local comprehensive school student getting to one of the best Universities in the country. Jon is also famous for running the Crewe Rivals website.

The next Fight Back Friday is at 6.30pm, 3 October, at a venue to be confirmed.

Unison Backs David

David said, "As the agent and campaign organiser for Gwyneth Dunwoody MP I worked closely with Unison activists in Crewe and Nantwich to support Unison’s campaigns for better pay for health service staff, opposing cuts at Leighton Hospital and backing council workers in local government reorganisations.

"In my current role as Usdaw’s Political Officer I have been working closely with the Unison representatives on the Labour Party’s National Policy Forum and I was part of the TULO team negotiating with Government Ministers on a joint trade union programme for the manifesto. We were keen to support Unison, on key issues like equalities legislation, free school meals and tackling issues around the two-tier workforce."

Please click here to visit Unison's website

Thursday, 25 September 2008

TSSA Backs David

David said, "I am particularly pleased to get the support of TSSA, because I am very keen to campaign on transport issues.

"As Gwyneth Dunwoody’s agent and campaign organiser I worked closely with local TSSA activists, supporting their campaigns. I was with Gwyneth during the time that we were campaigning against the privatisation of the railways and supported her in her work on the Transport Select Committee.

"In my current role as Usdaw’s Political Officer I have worked with the TSSA representatives on the Labour Party’s National Policy Forum and I was part of the TULO team negotiating with Government Ministers on a joint trade union programme for the manifesto.

"We were keen to support TSSA on their amendment to bring the railways back into public ownership and I voted for it at Warwick to secure a minority position, which was subsequently endorsed by Conference. I am disappointed that the Government ignored this and I remain committed to bringing the train operating companies back into public ownership.

"The public ownership of the railways is a key campaign aim for me."

The two TSSA branches supporting TSSA are:

Crewe and Cheshire General
Atos Origin West

Please click here to visit the TSSA website

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Unite the Union backs David

David said, "As a former Unite member and shop steward at Rolls Royce and Bentley Motors and on Crewe Bus Station, I am grateful for the support of Unite the Union.

"Whilst working for Gwyneth I worked closely with Unite reps and members supporting campaigns for jobs at major employers in the constituency, including Bombardier, Leighton Hospital and Bentley.

"I have worked with the Unite representatives on the Labour Party’s National Policy Forum. I was part of the TULO team negotiating with Government Ministers on a joint trade union programme for the manifesto, including key policies on supporting UK manufacturing, protecting public service workers and promoting trade union rights."

David is supported by the following thirteen branches of Unite:

Rolls Royce and Bentley Motors
Crewe No. 2
CMA Crewe Letters
Crewe MM
Cheshire CPHVA
Gallacher Distribution - Crewe
Warrington MM
North Cheshire
Warrington CPHVA
Warrington 28/BH
GPM Merseyside Branch

Please click here to visit the websites of: Unite the Union - Amicus Section - Unite the Union - T&GWU Section

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

David welcomes Browns' speeches

Today was Leader's Speech Day at Labour Party Conference in Manchester and most of the media were billing it as a make or break speech for Gordon brown. I think that reflects more the sensationalism of our modern media rather than a true reflection of the Party's view of the Prime Minister.

However, he needed to do well so that we can start to eat into the Tories poll lead and I think he was excellent. A speech that put us onto the front foot and pressure on Cameron.

I also liked the first Brown speech, by Sarah. I'm sure the killjoys will pan it, but it was different and helps to bring Gordon's real character out.

The three things that he did well was:

1. Pride in what we had achieved and demonstrated that he is the only person to get us out of the current economic difficulties, "It is no time for a novice".

2. Had a go at the Tories. He quoted Osbourne saying it’s “a function of financial markets” that people make “loads of money out of the misery of others”.

3. Showed that he is in touch with real peoples concerns and set out a whole host of policies for the future, demonstrating that we gave more to offer, "a new settlement for a new age".

Please click here for the text and video of Gordon Brown's speech.

Join Labour - Join the fight for Britain’s future.

Monday, 22 September 2008

GMB backs David

David said, "I am very pleased to secure the support of GMB. I am a former GMB rep in two workplaces and I have been a GMB member for the last 17 years.

"As Gwyneth’s campaign organiser I worked closely with the local GMB full-time official, Don Beckett, and local activists. In my current role as Usdaw’s Political Officer I have been working on a joint trade union agenda to deliver new rights for workers as part of the Labour Party’s National Policy Forum. We supported the GMB on issues like equal pay audits, protection for workers in private equity takeovers and re-linking the state pension with average earnings."

Please click here to visit the GMB website

Usdaw launches new leaflet

Labour hopeful, David Williams, has written a new leaflet for Usdaw, which is based on the booklet 'What's the Labour Government Ever Done for Us?' and we launched it at this week's Annual Labour Conference in Manchester.

David said, "The Party must get on the front foot again, highlighting our achievements in Government and contrasting them with the threat from a Tory Government. I hope this leaflet helps Labour activists across the country to spread our important message."

To take a closer look at the leaflet please click on the images.

This leaflet is ideal for giving out to voters on street stalls or pushing through letterboxes. To order a supply for your local campaigning please e-mail:

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Mick Roberts supports David

Crewe North member and Works Convenor, Mick Roberts said, "I support David Williams as the Labour Party candidate in the fight to regain Crewe & Nantwich at the next General Election.

"David has strong associations with local working people and knows the issues that are important to us.

"I know David's political values, beliefs and abilities make him the ideal person to represent the working people of Crewe & Nantwich."

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Usdaw backs David

David said, "I am delighted to have received support from the activists of the nine Usdaw branches who are affiliated to Crewe and Nantwich Labour Party.

"Usdaw is my own union, I am Chair of my branch and National Political Officer.

"It is very pleasing to get the endorsement of those who know you best and I have been encouraged by the messages of support I received from the activists who work hard to campaign for the Union and our members."

The Usdaw branches supporting David are:

North West Morrisons No. 3
North West B&Q
North West UCL Food No. 2
North West Retail Non-Food No. 1
North West Retail Non-Food No. 2
North West General No. 3
North West SATA
Manchester GUSCO
North West General No. 2

Please click here to visit the Usdaw website

David wins the race for Party branch 'open' nominations

Crewe South was the last branch to meet tonight and congratulations to Darren Willetts who secured their 'open' nomination.

This means that David Williams has won the majority of the six Party branch 'open' nominations, having secured three.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Fight Back Fridays

There wasn't a Fight Back Friday tonight because I was up at Labour Party Conference. There are two planned as follows:

Friday 26 September: 6.30pm at the Cross Keys.

Friday 3 October: 6.30pm, venue to be confirmed.

Trade Unions for Labour

Tonight I was at the Annual General Meeting of National TULO (Trade Unions for Labour Organisation). This is a meeting of the General Secretaries and Political Officers of each trade union affiliated to the Labour Party.

It is traditional for the Leader of the Labour Party to attend this meeting and give us an annual report, tonight was no exception.

The Prime Minister gave an appraisal of the current economic situation. He demonstrated real concern and understanding for people's current worries and problems with the increases in fuel, energy and food prices. Gordon went on to say that he is dealing with the situation and has already moved to regulate the City, provide a support package for homeowners and deal with expensive pre-payment meters.

David said, "Around the table, the feeling was that the Prime Minister is the right person to deal with the current economic difficulties. They are global problems and Gordon is the only British politician who has the experience and proven track record to get the country through this.

“The meeting was very positive and supportive of the Prime Minister, who we want to get on with the job of defending peoples jobs, homes and incomes."

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Mick Harvey backs David

Crewe North member Mick Harvey said, "Having worked for Gwyneth, David has a real grasp of local issues and would be a natural choice to win Crewe and Nantwich back for Labour."

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

David wins Super Wednesday

David Williams tonight won the nomination of three Labour Party branches.

Crewe North, Crewe East and Crewe West all met at the LMR Club in Goddard Street to decide their favourite to be the next Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich.

David said, "I am delighted to have secured the support of so many local members of the Labour Party. A lot of the members here tonight have been in the Party for years and have seen a good number of 'wannabes' between them. So it is a great honour that they feel able put their trust in me."

Tonight's result means that no other candidate can secure more Party branch 'open' nominations than David and puts him in pole position to get on the shortlist.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

We want our park back

I went to Queens Park at the weekend and was amazed to see that it was still in a real mess. The boating lake and half the park is encased in a ring of steel. I can't see any sign of progress in the last few months.

There was the sad sight of a family who came to feed the ducks and the little girl was pushing pieces of bread through the steel fence, until the ducks worked out they could underneath.

When are the council going to get this sorted out? I can remember regularly coming to Queens Park as a child and it was a real treat. I doubt any child would regard a visit as being special when it is in such a state.

To me this is another example of where the Tories are running down the Town's facilities, along with the bus station and the town centre.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Arthur Edwards Backs David

South Cheshire member Arthur Edwards said, "David was Gwyneth’s right hand man and is a good union man. I will be supporting David."

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Save Crewe swimming pool

I've just joined the Facebook group to save Crewe swimming pool.

It would be great for Crewe to have an Olympic size swimming pool, whether it is sited at MMU or anywhere else, but it should not be at the expense of the local community pool. Particularly the 13th best leisure facility in the country, as reported in the Chronicle.

Please click here to join the campaign through Facebook.

I'm on Crewe blog again...

…only for football punditry this time. Please click here to see my view of the Alex's 2-0 demolition of Colchester.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Peggy Griffith

After I left the Civic I was very saddened to receive a text message telling me that Peggy Griffith had died.

Peggy is one of those unsung heroines who never sought office, but was absolutely essential to the successful running of the Labour Party. There are many Councillors who can thank Peggy for their electoral success. There is also at least one MP, the late Gwyneth Dunwoody. Peggy was an absolute rock for Gwyneth, a great friend, confidante and soul mate.

I first met Peggy in the 1987 General election and learnt very quickly that she was a woman as formidable as Gwyneth, who didn't suffer fools gladly. In the 1992 General Election Peggy ran the Crewe South Office when I was the Agent. Peggy made sure the leaflets were delivered, the canvassing was completed and the troops were fed and watered (after they'd done some work).

Peggy never did anything in half measures. She was as passionate about her football as she was about her politics. A die-hard Manchester United fan, she would never hear a word said against the club, players or management.

Crewe and Nantwich Labour Party will very much miss Peggy.

Meet the candidates event II

Tonight was the second meet the candidates event in the Peggy Killick Suite at Nantwich Civic Hall.

That was very fitting for me, as Peggy was a bit of a heroine of mine. The "Queen of Nantwich" was a very hard-working, principled and thoroughly lovely person. I was honoured to be Peggy's agent twice. She was a very easy candidate to organise for, because absolutely everyone knew her and respected her. She was the scourge of the Tories and she was always pleased about that.

Anyway back to the meet the candidates event. Again there was a good turnout and it was a very interesting evening. There happened to be quite a few current and retired teachers there so we had a really good debate on testing children.

Personally I am very concerned about the pressure put on children through SATs and I am particularly concerned about the Year 6 variety. It is important that we know how a child's education is progressing, but we don't need to make such a song and dance about the test. And we particularly shouldn't be coaching children for the test, that is almost a return to the dreaded 11+ (which by the way I failed).

I understand that you can now buy good luck cards for SATs! Which, to me, says that we are putting our kids under too much pressure, too early in their education.

The debate around my casual picture continues

I've been asked to defend Labour's record on our five 1997 key pledges, please click here to see more. Of course that was quite easy, one of the many impressive things about Labour's record in Government is our delivery on policy promises.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Meet the Candidates Event

I went to an event where Labour Party members have an opportunity to meet the wannabes trying to become Labour's candidate for the General Election. There was a good turnout of both members and candidates at St Michael's Church Hall in Coppenhall.

This is an informal gathering to give members an opportunity to get to know the candidates, there are no speeches. Although I knew the vast majority of the people there it was good to chat with everyone and get a chance to meet the other candidates.

It was great to catch up with Frank Lewis (pictured) who is a lifelong Labour supporter and retired railwayman. Frank said, "Having met David and read his CV, I feel David's union connections and local knowledge will see him succeed as our next MP."

I'm very grateful for Frank's support and the backing of many other members in Crewe and Nantwich.

Maggie Holland Backs David

Party member and former secretary to the late Gwyneth Dunwoody, Margaret Holland said:

"Gwyneth always had a lot of time for David. Not only was he her campaign agent and tireless party activist, he was her sense check for legislation and its effects on shopworkers. When David left, to work for the Labour Party, he and Gwyneth stayed in touch and he was always ready and willing to come back to the constituency and help out.

"Gwyneth recognised in David that there was the knowledge, drive and genuine desire to make things better. She believed that his role within Usdaw would help prepare him for the greater challenges ahead and I know that she would have been delighted to support him as the next Labour candidate for the Crewe and Nantwich Constituency.

"Personally I have known David for 20 years and worked closely with him in Gwyneth's Constituency Office for over 5 years. I know he is very committed to Crewe and Nantwich and passionately believes in helping people to get a fair deal out of life. In the 20 years I worked for Gwyneth I have met a lot of people in politics and there are few I hold in higher regard than David."

Tracey Hale Backs David

South Cheshire branch member and former Borough Councillor, Tracey Hale said, "David was my agent when I was first elected to the Borough Council. He worked hard ensuring that I was well supported with a professional campaign. David knows the area, the people and the issues. He is dedicated to winning this seat back for Labour.

"After working for Gwyneth, David went on to become the National Political Officer for Usdaw. He has a lot of experience running successful campaigns in Parliament and lobbying Government Ministers.

"I am supporting David because he has the right mix of local kowledge and Parliamentary experience to be a strong voice for Labour in Crewe and Nantwich."

Brian and Mary Cherrington Back David

Members in Crewe East Mary and former Borough Councillor Brian Cherrington said, "We have known David a long time.

"David is a good organiser and campaigner, he worked for the good of our Constituency Party whilst Gwyneth's agent.

David knows the area as well as any candidate and will give us the drive and energy to win back Crewe and Nantwich at the next election."

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Crewe Blog Casual Photo

I've been singled out for a casual photo on the Crewe Blog (thanks Jules). Please click here to see the article and my response.

Ken Woolley Backs David

Crewe North member and former Borough Councillor, Ken Woolley said, "I first met David when he was a young shop steward at Rolls Royce and Bentley Motors in Crewe.

"Having later worked with David as Gwyneth's agent over many years, I recognise David's potential to become an MP.

"I am now retired, but when I was a Unite full-time official, David always kept us fully informed of the campaigns he was doing with Gwyneth and he was always there to support working people in the town.

"I have no hesitation in recommending David and I hope he gets the support of Party members, as he will be getting mine."

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Win Back Wednesday 10 September

Just back from the first Win Back Wednesday and I was delighted to welcome Peter Wheeler, member of Labour's NEC to help out. Peter is keen to assist in as many key seats as possible in the run up to the election.

We were again collecting signatures on the petition to get a Town Council for Crewe. Nobody we spoke to was opposed to the campaign. Residents agreed that the Town needs its own council to ensure that we have a strong voice for Crewe in the new Cheshire East authority.

We were also talking to voters about supporting Labour and we received a good reception. People are still shocked that we lost the by-election and can't quite come to terms with the loss of a strong constituency MP like Gwyneth and the fact that we now have a Tory MP.

We are due to be out on Win Back Wednesday next week, venue to be confirmed.

Pictured: David and Peter collecting a signature from a resident in Greenway.

Please click here to visit Peter Wheeler’s blog.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Cllr Gordon Fyffe Backs David

County Councillor for Crewe East and member in Crewe South, Gordon Fyffe said, "I have known David for 20 years, he was a very effective agent for Gwenyth and will make a very effective MP.

"I remember one time we were out canvassing and he knocked on the door of Rodney Jack, then top striker for the Alex. David did what any real fan would do, he was speechless and totally forgot to ask who he was voting for. I would have been the same if I'd met a top player from Preston North End."

Monday, 8 September 2008

John Mayman Backs David

Former Mayor's Chauffeur and Party member in Crewe North branch, John Mayman said, "I have known David through work and found him amicable and easy to get on with.

"I always considered him to be Gwyneth's apprentice. It is time for David to take up the reins."

Milli Pover Backs David

Crewe East member Milli Pover said, "I was really pleased when David told me that he was going to try to be selected as the candidate for Crewe and Nantwich.

"It is a real pleasure to work with David as a volunteer for the Party. We always had a good time working on our campaigns and enjoyed a lot of success when he was the agent for Gwyneth.

"I know that he will work very hard to win Crewe and Nantwich back for Labour and he is the best man for the job."

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Jean Nurse Backs David

Nantwich branch member, Jean Nurse says, "I'm backing David Williams, because he is just the man for the job. David has local knowledge and knows the people, streets and villages of our area well.

Cllr Ron Salmon Backs David

Ron Salmon is a member in Crewe East and Borough Councillor for the Waldron ward.

Ron said, "I shall be supporting David Williams for the nomination for the constituency of Crewe and Nantwich. I have known David many years when he was Gwyneth's agent and he was a loyal servant to the local Labour Party, supporting us as candidates and giving a political lead from the MP's office.

"I am sure we will have picked the right man if we select David Williams and he is my choice."

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Worrying times at Bentley

It was very concerning to hear yesterday's news that 1,400 Bentley employees will be reduced to a 3 day working week because of a downturn in sales.

I spoke to the Chair of the Works Committee last night and expressed my concern and support. I was impressed with the deal the unions had negotiated some years ago to help members deal with short-time working. Instead of their wages taking a hit they maintain income through a system of banking hours, which is some comfort to those affected.

Let us hope that things don't get as bad as they were in the early 80s when I started as an apprentice at the Crewe site. At that time the company had just made 1,500 redundant and the apprentices were told that they may be finished after their first year. Fortunately we were allowed to complete our apprenticeships.

It seems that the management think the current situation is a short-term difficulty and the company will continue to go from strength to strength.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Cllr Peggy and Bill Martin Back David

Peggy is a Cheshire East Councillor for Crewe East Division and is married to Bill. Both are Party members in Crewe East Branch.

They are backing David because he has a great personality. He is an experienced Parliamentary campaigner and knows how Central Government works.

Having worked for Gwyneth, David knows the area and the people and is committed to winning back Crewe and Nantwich for Labour.

David is easy to talk to and down to earth. He has good local connections, being a local lad and a former Rolls Royce apprentice.

David is a hard worker and I was grateful for his support in the local elections. He was knocking on doors in Crewe East right through polling day and late into the evening.

David is a man who gets things done.

Fight Back Friday

I'm just drying off from this week's Fight Back Friday, which was a bit of a wash out. What a summer we are having, or not having.

Anyway, never beaten we will carry on regardless. Next week is the first Win Back Wednesday on 10th September, meet at the LMR Club, Goddard Street, CW1 3HL.

All welcome.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Save our Sorting Office

Labour hopeful David Williams is backing the CWU's campaign to keep the Royal Mail Sorting Office open on Weston Road in Crewe.

David said, "I can't believe that Royal Mail is pulling out of Crewe. Everyone else recognises the town as being strategically important, the gateway to the North West. It makes no sense for Royal Mail to leave the town in favour of a facility on the outskirts of Warrington.

"This is a bad decision for Crewe, with 600 jobs under threat. It is also a bad decision for the environment. The carbon footprint of a letter posted in Crewe will significantly increase as it is transported across the North West. That cannot be right."

To support the campaign to save the sorting office you can click on the picture above, print the coupon and send it to the Crewe Chronicle.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Lucy Smart Backs David

Crewe East member Lucy Smart says, "I have known David a long time. He was a hard working campaign organiser for Gwyneth and motivated us volunteers.

"David is very easy to get on with and is very down to earth. He is easy to talk to and listens to what you say. He cares about people and wants to do whatever he can to help.

"We all love David."

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

David welcomes repossession safety net

Today's announcement of a Homeowners' Support Package is very welcome Government help in a very difficult housing market.

Labour hopeful, David Williams said, "I am particularly pleased that the Government has stepped in to help up to 6,000 homeowners who face repossession."

The scheme will help keep families stay in their own home by offering either shared ownership, shared equity or sale and rent back with councils and social landlords.

David continued, "This makes a great deal of sense. Local authorities currently have to re-house families who had been repossessed. Now they can help the family stay in their own home. This in turn helps avoid the stress and heartache associated with repossessions, along with issues like shifting children to another school and a new neighbourhood.

"Contrast this with the Tories who used mortgage interest rates as a tool to try to control inflation. A policy that led to nearly 1,500 repossessions a week in 1991.

"The Government is getting to grips with the credit crunch, helping those feeling the pinch."

Click here for more information on the Government's Homeowners' Support Package

Monday, 1 September 2008

Winnie Billington Backs David

Former Mayoress and a long-standing member in Crewe West, Winnie Billington said, "I have always found David committed and someone who has the best interests of Crewe and Nantwich at heart. I believe he is the best man to win Crewe and Nantwich back for Labour."