Delegates from branches across the south west met in Exeter in November for the bi-annual congress of the South West England and Cornwall District of the Communist Party.
Communist Party General Secretary, Rob Griffiths, congratulated the outgoing District Committee, the party branches of the district and every member in the South West and Cornwall for all of the hard work carried out over the last two years. Membership is increasing, as is the profile and influence of the party – a fact recognised by leading party members across the country.
Liz Payne, the outgoing District Chair, presented a written report of the work carried out since the founding congress in 2011. Liz highlighted the creation of a new party branch, members’ active involvement in the peace and anti-war movements, comrades’ positions in the trade union movement, the growing support for the Morning Star, including new Readers and Supporters groups, the electoral work of the North Devon branch, the growing number of women in the district and the success of the district website.
Congress then voted on the resolutions submitted by party branches. These covered a wide range of issues affecting the south west, including the abolition of the Agricultural Wages Board, provision of public transport and the renationalisation of the railways, working in the trade union movement, promoting the Morning Star, the value of twinning party branches with other communist organisations around the world, the importance of organising young people, fracking, housing and the destruction of the emergency services by government cuts.
A full report of resolutions is available – 2013 Congress Resolutions.
After the election of a new district committee, congress then discussed the 2014 EU elections and Rob outlined the Communist Party’s joint campaign with the Socialist Party and RMT union to stand as part of the No2EU – Yes to Workers’ Rights campaign.
As congress ended to the rousing chorus of The Internationale it was clear to everyone that the Communist Party has deep roots in the south west and a solid foundation to carry on growing in both size and influence.