Do You Think Schools are Being Opened Too Soon? If So, Take Action!

Show our solidarity with the teaching unions, teachers and staff at our schools. We need the wider public to support them at this very crucial time during the Covid 19 crisis.

We are asking that you show this by sending copies of the letter below and either email them or, post them to the head teacher of a school where you have relatives (children, grandchildren, etc) and also email Anne Marie Morris, MP for Newton Abbot Constituency.

If you do not have relatives at a school please still email Anne Marie Morris, thank you

• Anne Marie Morris’s email address is:


• Postal Address:

2 Salisbury House, Salisbury Road, Newton Abbot, TQ12 2DF

Dear Head Teacher,

I am the Parent/Guardian/ Grandparent (please delete as applicable) of a child/children attending your school, I am writing to express my concerns regarding the impact returning to school too soon during the Covid 19 crisis will have on the teachers and staff at school, as well as the wider community.

I am in support of the statement released by UNISON, AEP, GMB, NAHT, NASUWT, NEU, NSEAD, Prospect and Unite and support the principles they have set out for returning to school as noted below:

“We all want schools to re-open, but that should only happen when it is safe to do so. The government is showing a lack of understanding about the dangers of the spread of coronavirus within schools, and outwards from schools to parents, sibling and relatives, and to the wider community.

“Uniquely, it appears, school staff will not be protected by social distancing rules. 15 children in a class, combined with their very young age, means that classrooms of 4 and 5-year olds could become sources of Covid-19 transmission and spread.  While we know that children generally have mild symptoms, we do not know enough about whether they can transmit the disease to adults. We do not think that the government should be posing this level of risk to our society.

“We call on the government to step back from the 1st June and work with us to create the conditions for a safe return to schools based on the principles and tests we have set out.”

The principles and tests include:

  • Safety and welfare of pupils and staff as the paramount principle
  • No increase in pupil numbers until full rollout of a national test and trace scheme
  • A national Covid-19 education taskforce with government, unions and education stakeholders to agree statutory guidance for safe reopening of schools
  • Consideration of the specific needs of vulnerable students and families facing economic disadvantage
  • Additional resources for enhanced school cleaning, PPE and risk assessments
  • Local autonomy to close schools where testing indicates clusters of new covid-19 cases

I would ask that you speak up against the premature opening of your school, and schools in general; in defence of the staff, and the community which you serve so well.

Yours faithfully

Open Meeting with Ian Lavery MP

Newton Abbot & Kingsteignton Branch Labour Party is hosting an open meeting on Friday 1st May at 7:30pm. Using the social distancing safe Zoom meetings. Joining this meeting is Ian Lavery MP for Wansbeck and former Party Chair in Jeremy Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet.

This is a chance for members to chat about the devastating defeat in Decembers GE and also the new leadership. What next for Labour?

Details of the zoom call will be shared with members via email, anyone interested in joining should contact Ryan Hall – for the details.

Newton Abbot Labour Lockdown Pub Quiz

Bored of evenings in lockdown watching repeats of catchphrase on TV?

Why not beat the boredom and join the Newton Abbot Labour Lockdown Pub Quiz.

Using the power of technology (Zoom) we are holding a pub quiz to raise funds for the Newton Abbot Covid-19 Mutual Aid group, to support the work they are doing to support the vulnerable at this time. £2 suggested donation.

With quiz master – Councillor Ryan Hall
When: 26/03/2020 at 19:00
Where: the comfort of your own front room (book shelves not mandatory).

Sign up – We will share a link nearer the time.
Stay safe and keep smiling.

Newton Abbot Branch Labour Party

Results of the Labour Leader and Deputy Leadership Election

It has been announced this morning that Kier Starmer has been elected as Leader of the Labour Party and Angela Rayner has been elected as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party.

After a long and well fought contest, we must be united and continue to fight and campaign for the socialist ideals we passionately believe in.

When we are through this pandemic, all essential workers, the elderly, the poor, the ill, disabled, homeless and vulnerable will all need us to fight for a fairer future. For increased pay, for union protection, for a roof over their heads, for a more caring and compassionate society that leaves nobody behind. A better future is possible.

COVID -19 Update and Advice

The Labour Party has decided to suspend ALL party meetings and campaigning until further notice. Newton Abbot Constituency Labour Party is following this advice and all members will be kept up to date.

The party has recommended members take action in their communities, to ensure those who need help get it. Mutual Aid UK has started a network of groups across the country to help those in need and to organise volunteers in communities up and down the country.

Groups have been set up in Newton Abbot, Teignmouth and Dawlish.

Teignmouth Group:

Newton Abbot Group:

Dawlish Group:

Please get in touch with us if you need anything in the usual ways.

More Info can be found using the following links.

Pre-budget report on local government

John McDonnell has highlighted how local government funding has been ravaged over a decade, with particularly brutal cuts in youth and children’s services, as well as a crisis in social care.

Ahead of next week’s Budget, the Shadow Chancellor has released the latest in a series of reports highlighting a sharp decline in public services after a decade of Tory rule.

Labour’s Shadow Treasury Team has published ‘The Road to the Budget – A Decade of Decline in Local Government’.

The report shows that spending on youth services has been decimated by 70% since 2010, with a real-terms cut of £880 million. 

Government funding to councils to run children’s services has been cut by almost a third since 2010.

Successive Tory governments have failed to tackle the social care crisis, with cuts to local government exacerbating that crisis, the report finds.

John McDonnell, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor,  commenting on the findings, said:

“Local governments provide basic services that are key to our social fabric and our people’s lives.

“Successive Conservative administrations have torn the heart out of local government, weakening the bonds that tie us together, and damaging services that are important from the cradle to the grave.

“Only a massive injection of funding at the upcoming Budget will begin to repair the damage that the Tories have done – and this Budget looks set to showcase a chaotic government that risks five years of disappointment.”

Newton Abbot Labour Supports 20mph Speed Limit

Newton Abbot Branch Labour Party welcomes and supports proposals to introduce 20mph speed limits across Newton Abbot, as part of a trial by Devon County Council and believes this should include all roads in and out of the town. Lower speed limits have been proven to improve safety and benefit the environment, as more people decide to walk or cycle. The Town Council also has recently decided to support this proposal for the town.

Cllr Ryan Hall, Newton Abbot Town Council comments: “It’s great that Newton Abbot has been chosen as one of the towns to trial reduced speed limits. 20mph speed limits have been introduced across other towns and cities, with great success. The benefits to health and the environment are obvious. We all want Newton Abbot to be a safer and healthier town and this would be an important step”.

An Evening With Clive Lewis – TOTNES 5TH JUNE 2020

Totnes CLP have invited Clive Lewis MP to the town for an evening in conversation. Clive has served in Jeremy Corbyn’s Shadow cabinet as defence and business secretary.

This event will be ticketed and info on how to book will be sent out to Newton Abbot CLP members as soon as available, although tickets will initially be limited to members of Totnes, Newton Abbot and Torbay CLP’s any remaining will be made available to the public.

Devon children face worse and more unequal life expectancy

A blistering ten years after the Coalition government accepted his last report, new findings from Health expert Sir Michael Marmot show that overall life expectancy in the UK has slowed down to an extent not seen for over a century. The 2020 Marmot Review argues that damage to health in the last ten years has been ‘unprecedented’ and points to rises in child poverty, the closure of hundreds of Sure Start centres, unequal council cuts and a growing wage gap, all of which are believed to help determine people’s health. 

Whilst cuts have hit the North hardest, Devon has also been hit with the closure of all but two Sure Start centres and suffers from areas of low income.

Devon County Council has recently reported that child poverty rates in the most deprived areas of Devon, such as Torridge, are four times those in the least deprived. Child poverty rates are also higher in younger families, due to higher benefit claimant rates and lower incomes in persons in their 20s and 30s. Single parent households, particularly where headed by a female, are also likely to experience economic poverty; as are children of disable parents. Marmot and Devon County Council alike acknowledge that people with lower income tend to have poorer health, and that child poverty is intergenerational and bi-directional; where parents’ income can influence their child’s health, and a child’s health can influence their learning and earning capacity later in life.

Yvonne Atkinson, Labour’s Shadow Portfolio Holder for Economic Development at Devon County Council comments, “We ask Devon County Council to urgently review its strategy in the light of Marmot’s further report, and to urge Devon’s Tory MPs, and the government, to increase our local government funding back to 2010 levels. This government must urgently support economic development in Devon’s most deprived areas, otherwise our county’s children will not only be facing worse rates of life expectancy across the board, but also rates that are increasingly unequal through no fault of their own.”