Warwick Labour hosted our annual Freshers’ Reception on Friday night, and the event was full of new members, lively discussion and a great speech from special guest, Warwick and Leamington prospective parliamentary candidate, Lynnette Kelly.
The Mighty Duck provided the backdrop for a relaxed few hours where new members, from freshers to postgraduates, could meet the exec and find out more about the society and our events.
The centrepiece of the night was Lynnette’s speech, in which she underlined the importance of winning back the marginal seat of Warwick and Leamington from the Conservatives, by pointing out the damage the government had done and was planning to do for young people.
The huge rise in tuition fees was a theme, but so was the proposal to axe housing benefit from under-25s. ‘Young people often need to leave home and move to a different city to find work,’ pointed out Kelly, ‘This doesn’t just affect the low-skilled – if you get a graduate job in London on a short-term contract and then face three months’ unemployment and your parents can’t afford to support you, you’ll have no chance of staying in the frame for the next job. You need that certainty that you can get help if you need it.’
The candidate also pointed out that the current MP appears short of ideas for how to help Leamington’s businesses. ‘I was at a business event with [sitting Tory MP] Chris White, and he said something woolly about people working together. Businesses in this area need real help, which is why Labour’s policy of cutting business rates for small businesses is a good one.’
Attendees were treated to a free drink from the Duck, and were given a taste of what to expect this year in conversations with the exec. By the end of the evening, everyone was already looking forward to the first event of week two, our Lefty Lattes on ‘Why I’m Labour’ on Thursday (5pm) at the same venue, followed by our ‘Paint the Town Red’ bar crawl in Leamington the same night.