Friday, 28 March 2008

Oxford Respect select union rep to stand in Cowley ward

Paul Garraway, the newly elected branch secretary of the local post workers union branch has been selected as the Respect candidate for Cowley ward in the city council elections this May. Mr Garraway was unanimously selected by Respect branch members at a meeting in Florence Park Community centre.

Respect intend to make the proposed closer of the Cowley Mail centre and its relocation to Swindon a key theme of their campaign.Paul, who is 41 and works in the Littlemore delivery office commented that:

“As well as 400 plus families affected by the plans it will be a disaster for local small businesses, it will mean later deliveries and earlier collections, imagine you mail stuck on a truck in traffic on the Swindon Road, that’s what they are proposing. This is an attempt to break a union branch that is prepared to stand up to bullying and privatisation, there is no other explanation moving to Swindon, we are determined to overturn this decision”

Respect stood in Cowley ward in 2006 and obtained 13% of the vote. It will also be campaigning against the creeping privatisation of health and education by Labour, supporting the call for an oxford living wage of £7 an hour and keeping the pressure on pro war East Oxford Labour MP Andrew Smith over his support for the invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. Respect point out that in the last election many people in Cowley voted Liberal Democrat to punish Labour over the war, only for the elected Lib Dem candidate to defect to the New Labour party.

Pippa Whittaker, a local teacher and Cowley Respect candidate for 2006, said

“Cowley is not being well served by New Labour, Council budgets are being squeezed at the same time Labour is pouring billions into the war and bailing out Northern Rock. I think it’s brilliant that Paul has agreed to stand, he is an excellent candidate”.