Contemporary Motions 2014

Crisis in Gaza

Conference remembers that on 3 August 2014 an Israeli missile struck next to a UN school being used for civilian shelter, resulting in 9 deaths and 27 injuries.

Conference expresses alarm at the UN (OCHA) assessment that between 7 July and 13 August 1,965 Palestinian, mainly civilian, and 67 Israelis, three of whom were civilians, have been killed, and 9,986 Palestinians injured.

Conference notes that under the laws of war ‘parties to a conflict are prohibited to target civilians and required to take all feasible precautions to avoid attacks that result in civilian casualties’ and ‘unnecessary attacks on their means of livelihood such as farms, housing, transport and health facilities, are forbidden.’ Conference notes that the loss of life and destruction of civilian infrastructure indicates Israeli Forces used disproportionate and reckless force.

Conference highlights the 12 August UN OCHA assessment that:

15 hospitals, 18 clinics, 14 UNRWA installations, 48 WASH facilities, 18 ambulances, 230 schools, and 41 mosques have been damaged or destroyed and that that over 100,000 people have no home to return to.

Conference therefore calls for:

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End austerity and the cost of living crisis 

Conference notes:

  1. The ONS announcement on 13 August that nominal wages fell by 0.2% in the second quarter of 2014 with the fall in inflation-adjusted pay since 2009 representing the most sustained decline in real wages since the 1870s.

  2. The Trust for London analysis published on 14 August that the number of low paid jobs in London has increased for the fourth year running, indicating growth of a low-pay culture.

  3. Pay restraint in the historically low-paid public sector has resulted in local government wages falling by 18% since 2010, with over 400,000 workers earning less than £15,000 per year, and has resulted in unprecedented joint action by Unite, Unison and GMB.

  4. For the first time on record the majority of people living in poverty in the UK are from working families.

Conference believes a cost of living crisis from falling incomes, through real terms wage cuts, the growth of precarious employment and reductions in social security payments, stem from Tory austerity policies.

Conference therefore supports the fair pay in local government campaign led by Unite, Unison and GMB, and the Britain Needs a Pay Rise campaign led by the TUC.

Conference resolves that Labour would end the cost-of-living crisis through:

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The deadline for receipt of contemporary motions is Thursday 11 September 2014 at 12 noon.

The title has a maximum of 10 words and the motion a maximum of 250 words

Contemporary Motions 2014


Conference notes Shelter’s research, published on 29 July 2014, showing that many 20 to 34 year old working adults have no choice but to remain living with their parents because of the lack of affordable housing. Shelter’s Robb Campbell says that those that do not have the option of living with their parents ‘face a lifetime of unstable, expensive private renting.’

Conference also notes that mental health and young people's welfare organisations have expressed concern about the housing difficulties faced by young people with mental health problems and those leaving care.

Conference notes that on 7 August 2014 Shelter reported that a major shortage of affordable homes in the capital means that London councils are struggling to find suitable housing for homeless families in need of support, resulting in 1 in 3 homeless families being stuck in temporary accommodation for over two years.

Conference notes that, as a result of low pay and high housing costs, the number of working people relying on housing benefit to boost their income, has doubled in five years to a figure of 962,000 in 2014.

These examples of the growing crisis of affordability in housing demonstrate social and economic problems that urgently need to be addressed. The Tory government is ignoring this crisis. Conference calls upon the Labour Party to expose Tory failure and address Shelter’s call for bold action that will meet the urgent need for affordable housing and prevent further inflation of housing costs.

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End the division in Tower Hamlets

Conference notes:

  1. In August Tower Hamlets Council backed the ‘Save our Surgeries’ campaign and launched its ‘Summer Night Lights’ project to tackle crime.

  2. These and other such Labour policies are the initiatives of Lutfur Rahman, the former Labour Leader of the Council, who was elected for a second term as the Borough’s Mayor in May this year.

  3. In 2010 Lutfur Rahman overwhelmingly won the selection contest in Tower Hamlets to be Labour’s candidate for Mayor. But subsequently, following an Islamophobic Tory campaign, the NEC removed Lutfur Rahman as Labour candidate, without investigating the situation.

  4. In the 2010 and 2014 Tower Hamlets Mayoral elections Labour’s previous support divided - Lutfur Rahman winning as an independent candidate and Labour’s reputation damaged.

Conference believes:

  1. The NEC has a responsibility to help bring this division to an end.

  2. The Party’s priority, including in Tower Hamlets, should be focussed on removing the Tory-led government and drawing together the broadest possible coalition of supporters. The division within Tower Hamlets, with Labour publicly fighting Britain's first ever ethnic minority directly-elected Mayor, does not assist Labour’s national standing amongst Muslim and minority voters.

Conference calls on the NEC to initiate a process to bring Lutfur Rahman back into the Labour Party at the earliest opportunity, to heal the division and send out the clear signal that Labour stands for uniting with Britain’s diverse communities to build a better and inclusive society for all.

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The deadline for receipt of contemporary motions is Thursday 11 September 2014 at 12 noon.

The title has a maximum of 10 words and the motion a maximum of 250 words

Contemporary Motions 2014

NHS: resisting the Tory threat can’t wait until the election

Conference welcomes the countrywide demonstrations in support of our NHS, including the August-September march from Jarrow through over 20 other towns and cities.

Conference agrees with Andy Burnham’s 29 July declaration that the Tories’ privatisation of our NHS is proceeding so fast that our response can’t wait until the coming election.

Conference accordingly applauds our Party leadership’s support for the Private Member’s Bill being introduced by Clive Efford MP on 21 November to stop the Tories’ unaccountable privatisations before it is too late.

Conference notes that the Department of Health’s recently-published accounts for 2013/14 reveal that £10.02 billion of NHS spending went on the purchase of healthcare from non-NHS bodies such as Virgin Care and Care UK.

Over the same year 279,200 ambulances were delayed in queues outside A&E departments for more than 30 minutes, with a further 30,600 kept waiting for more than twice as long.

Conference reaffirms Labour’s responsibility to campaign with healthworkers and all NHS supporters to :

It was Labour that fought to create the NHS. It is now up to Labour to fight to defend it.

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Britain’s railways: passengers, not profits, are Labour’s priority

Conference notes:

  1. This August’s report that the publicly-run east coast mainline repaid no less than £235 million to the government for the year 2013/14, an increase of 12% over the previous year.

  2. The subsequent insistence by Conservative ministers that they will not only continue outsourcing Northern Rail and TransPennine Express but that they will also return the east coast mainline to private ownership, despite the evidence of other private franchises indicating that this will further increase British fare levels (already the highest in Europe).

  3. The 19 August announcement of the inflation figures on which next year’s fare-rises will be based, exacerbating the cost-of-living crisis confronting many passengers.

Conference therefore welcomes the commitment of Labour’s leadership to put a cap on annual fare-rises; but conference is not persuaded that merely ‘reforming’ the franchise system would benefit the British public.

Conference calls on our Party leadership to reconsider whether taxpayers should be obliged to finance any franchising process at all, in that franchising is inherently expensive, complicated, time-consuming and open to legal challenge.

Conference welcomes our leaders’ recognition that ‘the first priority should be passengers, not profit’; and therefore believes that the income contributed by passengers and other taxpayers should be spent on holding down fares and investing in service improvements, not on paying for a franchising procedure or on subsidising (as the Conservatives demand) the unearned dividends of private company shareholders.

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The deadline for receipt of contemporary motions is Thursday 11 September 2014 at 12 noon.

The title has a maximum of 10 words and the motion a maximum of 250 words

Contemporary Motions 2014

Disarm Trident

Conference notes the Message to Congress by President Obama of 24 July on the extension of the US-UK Mutual Defence Agreement.

Conference further notes that the Prime Minister failed to consult or inform Parliament before signing the extension of this Treaty and regrets this disregard for democracy by the Government.

Conference recognises the extension of the Treaty is to permit ‘the transfer of classified information concerning atomic weapons’ in order ‘to assist the United Kingdom in maintaining a credible nuclear deterrent’.

Conference further regrets that the extension to the US-UK Mutual Defence Agreement runs counter to our Non-Proliferation Treaty commitment to disarm our nuclear weapons.

Conference notes that Labour's National Policy Forum of 18-20 July discussed almost 50 submissions on Trident.

Conference welcomes the NPF decision to recognise the success of past international bans on weapons of mass destruction such as landmines, cluster munitions, and chemical and biological weapons and supports a definitive commitment to disarmament.

Conference resolves that Labour will support an international process to ban nuclear weapons, as a complementary and necessary mechanism to our commitment to disarm UK nuclear weapons under the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Conference resolves that Labour will disarm Trident and re-allocate spending to where it best serves our society, including developing an industrial plan to make use of the skills of those workers in the sector.

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The deadline for receipt of contemporary motions is Thursday 11 September 2014 at 12 noon.

The title has a maximum of 10 words and the motion a maximum of 250 words