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LRC at Brighton Fringe 2015


Do Public Services Have A Future? – 7pm, Tuesday 19 May

How Labour Can Make Our Votes Count 2pm, Saturday 23 May

Let’s Build the Houses – Quick! – 2pm, Saturday 30 May

Refreshments available half an hour in advance of start times at all events

Fringe web logo


JohnMcDonnell MPAll the fun starts in the South Wing conference room at Community Base on Tuesday 19 May, when  you can join LRC National Chair John McDonnell MP, Mark Serwotka, General Secretary of the campaigning PCS Union, and Laura Watson, spokeswoman for the English Collective of Prostitutes, to discuss how we stop the new government treading the same old path on pay and the public sector. 


IMAG0943Austerity has devastated public services and increased inequality. The Coalition turned a global financial crisis caused by corporate and personal greed into an ideological attack on public services, pay and pensions.  We must demand that this political con-trick be reversed by any Labour government.  Do public services have a future?  We must act to ensure that they do.

This meeting is the LRC’s fringe meeting for PCS conference 2015.

15.10.14 PCS flags


Jeremy Corbyn_05.10Next at The Brighthelm Centre on Saturday 23 May, we discuss how Labour can make our votes count.  Whatever the election results, with no real economic recovery under austerity, what will Labour do for us?  Join Jeremy Corbyn MP, Nancy Platts (by then, we hope, Labour’s new MP for Brighton Kemp Town & Peacehaven) and firefighters’ leader Matt Wrack (FBU General Secretary) to discuss the major changes Labour can bring about by insisting on increased public investment and wealth redistribution. 

Nancy PlattsEveryone will benefit from restoring our communities, public services, welfare state, NHS and economy. We must ensure that Labour makes our votes count.  Come along to this meeting to discover some definite ideas as to how we can do this.


Michael Meacher MPFinally, back at Community Base, on Saturday 30 May we discuss different solutions to the housing crisis with Join Michael Meacher MP and Saskia O’Hara (Focus E15).  We say let’s build the houses – quick!

Housing is a basic need for all.  It must be met.  Yet our local housing stock is old, insufficient, often of poor quality and inaccessible to many, while strong demand means we suffer some of the highest private rents and house prices in the country.  Can we build our way out of the housing crisis, or do local land shortages mean we need different solutions?  What should we demand from our elected representatives? Is it effective to take direct action ourselves?  And what about proposals for a Land Value Tax?


Our homes not your investments banner


Get your tickets now for our upcoming Brighton Fringe events, which are all priced at £5 (waged) or £3 (concessions) per event.  Contact us if you want to buy tickets with no booking fee or if you are a PCS member applying for a free ticket for the meeting on Tuesday 19 May.  Alternatively, tickets for all our Brighton Fringe events are available via the Brighton Fringe Box Office online or on 01273 917272.

Austerity that's enough_colour

We hope to see you at our LRC events during Brighton Fringe 2015.  If you’re undecided, take a look at the main speakers from our 2012, 2013 and 2014 Brighton Fringe events via Sussex LRC TV .  Here’s one recommendation:

Tony Benn at Brighton Fringe 2012; (c) Morten Watkins

Tony Benn at Brighton Fringe 2012; (c) Morten Watkins

Austerity – That’s Enough!


Hastings & Rother LRC public meeting

2pm – 4.30pm, Saturday 14 March 2015

The White Rock Hotel, White Rock, Hastings TN34 1JU

Austerity - That's Enough! 14.03.2015

Millions exist on the breadline due to austerity.  Over the past five years ordinary people have paid a high price in lost jobs, low wages, reduced hours and wrecked public services.  This massive attack on our living standards has all been to bailout failed bankers, provide tax cuts to millionaires and pay for wars overseas. We say: Austerity – That’s Enough!  Why not increase taxes on the rich and use the billions spent on war and weapons for our NHS, homes, jobs, public services and schools?

Austerity that's enough_colour
Discuss these and other issues with leading anti-austerity campaigner and the LRC’s National Chair John McDonnell MP, Jay Kramer, Chair of Hastings & Rye Labour Party, who retired as one of Tressell ward’s councillors in 2014, and Simeon Elliott from Labour CND.

People not Trident

Meet Hastings & Rother LRC at this public event at The White Rock Hotel, starting 2pm on Saturday 14 March 2015.   Hastings & Rother LRC members hold regular, friendly and informal meetings.  You will be able to obtain details of the group’s next meeting at this event.

Hastings fishing huts_crop

7.30pm, Tuesday 3 March

Brighton & Hove LRC meeting

Speaker: Carol Hayton on Labour’s policy-making process

The Mesmerist, 1-3 Prince Albert Street, Brighton BN1 1HE

CAC 2015

Carol Hayton, one of Labour’s National Policy Forum regional representative for the South East region and a member of Horsham Labour Party, will talk generally about the Labour Party’s policy-making process and why it is vital to elect more people from the left onto the National Policy Forum (NPF).

Labour Party members have until 10 June 2015 to elect conference delegates, nominate candidates for the NPF elections for the South East seats and also for the Conference Arrangements Committee (or CAC – which determines the agenda of annual conference) and National Constitutional Committee (or NCC – which rules on constitutional and disciplinary matters).  The Centre Left Grassroots Alliance candidates for the CAC are Katy Clark MP and Jon Lansman, and for the NCC is Gary Heather.

Brighton & Hove LRC holds friendly and informal meetings every other month, usually chatting around a table in a pub room.  All welcome.

Btn beach_brightondebs

No More Lies!


Solidarity with Firefighters’ 24 hour strike

Starting 7am Wednesday 25 February 2015

Support FBU pickets at firestations across Sussex

Support FBU “No More Lies” rally


For over a year now firefighters have been striking against Coalition attacks on firefighters’ pensions and the reckless cuts to the Fire & Rescue Service – cuts happening nationwide, not just across Sussex.  Please stand together with firefighters as they take action again on Wednesday 25 February 2015.  Support picket lines outside fire stations in East and West Sussex.

Hastings am

Many FBU pickets across Sussex will be barely staffed as firefighters and supporters descend on central London for the FBU’s No More Lies rally and protest, after Tory Fire Minister Penny Mordaunt MP gave non-existent guarantees to secure MPs’ votes in the recent parliamentary debate on firefighters’ pensions.

No More Lies

FBU General Secretary Matt Wrack explains why firefighters are striking again: “Firefighters are justifiably angry with how this government is treating them.  MPs, the public and firefighters were completely misled and given a false guarantee in order to pass the legislation. This is wrong.”


Firefighter Paul Drinkwater has also caught the determination and mood of all firefighters in his brilliant beat poem.


We encourage you to support the FBU’s London rally if you can and, if not, to show solidarity with pickets at local firestations. We’re sure spirits will be high when firefighters return to picket lines tonight. The defence of firefighters’ pensions is the defence of our Fire Service. Stand together united!


For a Socialist New Year!

11am – 4pm, Saturday 7 February
ULU, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HY
We wish everyone a happy, healthy, peaceful, tolerant and socialist New Year.  In particular, we wish everyone working, caring or volunteering – whether emergency or rescue workers like nurses, paramedics, firefighters, coastguards or police, other public sector, transport, rail or road maintenance, hostel or shelter workers, and any shift workers, especially those working in fast food outlets, pubs, clubs and the hospitality industry – a quiet and straightforward time as they work on to keep the rest of us safe, well and warm.
5 key pledges
As we look forward to 2015, it’s clear that we must rid ourselves of the Coalition, elect a Labour government and then hold Andy Burnham, Ed Miliband and others to their pledges if we are to save our NHS and Fire Service, stop Osborne taking all public services back to the 1930s and ensure that Britain retains a social security system worthy of the name.  Attend the Labour Left Platform to discuss the key policies the Left will demand from a Labour government in 2015.
All workers must receive fair pay not poverty pay.  As 2015 begins our thoughts are with City Link workers,  miners and others starting the year facing redundancy, unemployment and an uncertain future.  A commitment to full employment must be the overriding policy objective of any Labour government.   John Tempest has already put for miners the question that should dominate the 2015 election for everyone: “why won’t the government help the mining industry like the banking industry?
Hastings firefighters say Save Our Fire Service!

Hastings firefighters say Save Our Fire Service!

Inspiration may come early this year if Syriza wins the upcoming elections in Greece and applies its socialist, anti-austerity programme of “modest common sense” without flinching.  This will require international support but, like the possible election of Podemos in Spain, would then provide an alternative for other European countries, including Britain, to follow.  We must do all we can to support the election of Syriza (and Podemos) as this could spell the beginning of the end for European austerity


Support our Firefighters!


Solidarity with Firefighters’ 24 hour strike

Starting 9am Tuesday 9 December 2014

Support FBU pickets at firestations across Sussex

Defend Firefighters against “No Job, No Pension”

Preston Circus_13.11.13_2

For over a year now firefighters have been striking against Coalition attacks on firefighters’ pensions and the reckless cuts to the Fire & Rescue Service – cuts happening nationwide, not just across Sussex.  Please stand together with firefighters as they take action again on Tuesday 9 December 2014.  Support picket lines outside fire stations in East and West Sussex.

Hastings firefighters say Save Our Fire Service!

Hastings firefighters say Save Our Fire Service!

We are seeing continued huge and reckless cuts to Fire Services in both East and West Sussex and across the country.  The FBU reports that central government funding has been cut by over 20% under the Coalition, with more than 5,000 frontline firefighter jobs cut in the UK since the Coalition took power in 2010.  This jeopardises the Fire Service’s ability to deal with floods and all major incidents.  Firefighters perform over 100 rescues a day, including 4,000 people annually from fires.  That level is similar to a decade ago but cuts mean that the average response time to dwelling fires in England is now almost two minutes slower than two decades ago, while response times to road traffic collisions have also slowed substantially.  We say: Save Our Fire Service

Picket outside Eastbourne Fire Station, 4 November 2014

Picket outside Eastbourne Fire Station, 4 November 2014

During 2014 Sussex has been battered by storms and flash floods, including the tail-end of hurricane Bertha.  We have seen the resulting travel chaos on road and rail, plus numerous major fires, most notably the devastating blaze on Eastbourne Pier.  Why doesn’t the Coalition recognise the work of the Fire & Rescue Service during floods, give it statutory responsibility to deal with flooding and the necessary funding?  Rather, the Coalition continues to cut Fire Service budgets and force through an increase to firefighters’ retirement age from 55 to 60, with plans to reduce a key firefighter fitness standard from 42 to 35 VO2.  Such a drop in fitness of nearly 20%  will put everyone’s lives at risk in the emergency situations when we most rely on our rescue services.  Do we want to test whether crews of 60 year old firefighters could have coped with 2014 in Sussex?

Old age firefighter

Coalition plan for firefighters

We now have Cameron’s third Fire Minister in four years,  but Tory MP Penny Morduant has carried on as before by dissembling to the FBU leadership, trying to ignore firefighters’ elected representatives and issuing misleading press releases, rather than entering into a constructive dialogue to settle this dispute.  The responsibility for next week’s strike, as with earlier strikes, lies entirely with the Coalition.  Please support the FBU’s Hands Off Our Pensions campaign.

Firefighters picket outside Crowborough Fire Station, 1 November 2014

Firefighters picket outside Crowborough Fire Station, 1 November 2014

Recently Morduant met with Brighton Tory MP Simon Kirby but discussed only roads – not the reckless cuts to East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, which will particularly hit emergency cover in Hove, Brighton & Hastings.  Still only 1 Sussex MP is among the 260 MPs to have signed EDM454 to defend firefighters’ pensions.  Keep urging your MP to sign up until the deadline of 11 December and also ask MPs to support Labour’s call for a parliamentary debate of this Early Day Motion.  You can also ask your local councillors to pass an emergency motion in support of local firefighters in their pension dispute.


Clear message from Preston Circus firefighters, 31 October 2014

Firefighters remain united and determined.   Please show firefighters your support by standing with them on FBU picket lines at local firestations, sending solidarity messages and posting support on social media.  Firefighters are there for all of us, providing fire and rescue services in the most dangerous of conditions, whenever needed.  This is routine for firefighters, who are deeply committed to their local communities and do not take strike action lightly: “People do not become firefighters to become rich…(but) to serve the public, to put other people first, to risk their lives to save others” Simon Herbert, Chair, East Sussex FBU.

Nancy Platts joins pickets outside Hove Fire Station, 31 October 2014

Nancy Platts joins pickets outside Hove Fire Station, 31 October 2014

On Tuesday 9 December, please make an effort to show firefighters your appreciation and support.  If you cannot attend a picket at your local firestation, please ensure that you have supported the FBU campaign Justice for our Firefighters by signing the petition calling on East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service to pay the compensation due to the families of Brighton firefighters Brian Wembridge and Geoff Wicker, who were killed at Marlie Farm in 2006.  It is nothing short of a scandal that East Sussex Fire Authority members allow ESFRS management to continue to contest this case despite damning court judgements.


Picket outside Battle Fire Station, 1 November 2014

Remember, an attack on workers’ pensions is always the first step of a government preparing to sell-off a public asset, as private companies do not want the open-ended liability of paying staff pensions.  Cutting a service to the bone is the second step – in an attempt to persuade people that the service could be better run privately.

Purna Sen supports pickets outside Preston Circus Fire Station, 31 October 2014

Purna Sen supports pickets outside Preston Circus Fire Station, 31 October 2014

Please support firefighters’ picket lines during this 24 hour strike from 9am Tuesday 9 December to 9am Wednesday 10 December 2014.  The Fire Service is facing huge cuts under the Coalition.  We must stand together with firefighters now to defend our Fire Service.  This must include demanding the reinstatement of firefighter Ricky Matthews, who was sacked by Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service for participating in the last strikes.

Always a warm welcome from firefighters picketing outside Bohemia Road Fire Station, Hastings

Always a warm welcome from firefighters picketing outside Bohemia Road Fire Station, Hastings


No Justice! No Peace!


Brighton & Hove LRC meeting

Speaker: Bev Trounce, author of “From a Rock to a Hard Place”

7.30pm, Tuesday 2 December 2014

The Mesmerist, 1-3 Prince Albert Street, Brighton BN1 1HE

Snowdown Womens Support Group


Brighton & Hove LRC discusses “No Justice No Peace” with local author Bev Trounce at its next meeting at The Mesmerist, starting 7.30pm on Tuesday 2 December 2014.  Bev has spent the last year researching the effects of the 1984/85 Miners’ Strike on the mining communities.  Her talk will focus on the deprivation these communities experienced after the Thatcher government cut social security payments to striking miners, the effects this had in the run-up to Christmas 1984, and the years since.  Her book, “From a Rock to a Hard Place” will be published on 2 February 2015.  After Bev spoke so passionately to us on the 30th anniversary of Orgreave, everyone is looking forward to hearing more from her, so do come along.  More details for this meeting are listed in our Events tab.

From a Rock to a Hard Place

Brighton & Hove LRC holds friendly and informal meetings every other month, usually chatting around a table in a pub room.  All welcome.

Vote NOW for the East Kent Railway!


Before midnight, Monday 24 November 2014

EKR logo

Please support the East Kent Railway’s “Prepare for Steam” project today by voting for it to receive a “People’s Millions” grant.  You can vote by calling either 09015 228217 (landline) or 622 8217 (mobile).  Mobile & BT landline votes cost just 15p.  Other networks may vary.  Please vote before midnight tonight, Monday 24 November, and also encourage everyone you know to vote.

EKR Til carriage

Monday 24 November is a very important day for everyone connected with the East Kent Railway but especially for young people from Kent’s former mining communities which were devastated by the closure of their pits after the 1984/85 Miners’ Strike.  Supported by Kent NUM, the EKR provides jobs, apprenticeships and training to young people who would otherwise face a bleak future.

Kent NUM 1984 badge

Tonight’s 6pm Meridian News on ITV will include a feature on the East Kent Railway but you don’t have to wait to vote!  Lines are open so please get voting!

EKR board

The motto of the East Kent Railway is “From our Past we can create a Future”.  Help EKR do this today by spending just 15p per phone call. 

EKR loco

Text Relay users should dial 18001 before the landline number and, from mobiles, users can go to the App Store or Google Play Store and download an app to enable them to vote.  No profits are made by ITV or the Big Lottery Fund from your calls.  Terms & conditions


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