Guide to Labour Party Conference 2019

 

A Delegate’s Guide to Labour Party Annual Conference 2019




Introduction

 

Many thanks for reading Labour First’s Delegate’s Guide to Conference. This document is intended as an aid for moderate delegates attending Labour Party Conference 2019. Please think of these pages as a rough guide, not a roadmap. Therefore, as we will reaffirm throughout this document, it is very important that delegates attend the Labour First briefing sessions and webinars; read and share our daily briefings; and sign up for email updates to stay informed during conference week.



The Conference Agenda

 

The Conference timetable will include the following:

 

  • The National Executive Committee (NEC) Report and any late NEC statements that can be issued to delegates during conference

 

  • The Conference NPF Report, including reports from the eight policy commissions of the National Policy Forum.  

 

  • General Policy Motions - on ten topics chosen in the Priority Ballot by the CLP delegates and ten topics chosen by Affiliates; Emergency Motions

 

  • Proposed rule changes from the NEC and from CLPs – rule change proposals from CLPs are those submitted in the previous year and those submitted this year as the old ‘one year rule’ delaying debate on CLP proposed rule changes has been abolished

 

  • The election of three CLP reps to the National Constitutional Committee (NCC)

 

  • The election of a Disabled Members’ Rep on the Conference Arrangements Committee (CAC) - elected by the whole of Conference




Reports from the eight Policy Commissions

 

There are now eight policy commissions, which draw up policy reports for discussion by the NPF.

 

The eight policy commissions (each made up of 16-20 members representing the shadow cabinet, the NEC and the NPF) are: Economy, Business and Trade; International; Housing, Local Government and Transport; Health and Social Care; Early Years, Education and Skills; Work, Pensions and Equality; Justice and Home Affairs and Environment, Energy and Culture.

 

Reports from each of these Policy Commissions need to be approved by conference and the relevant sessions are usually held on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

 

Policy Motions from CLPs/affiliated organisations

 

Previously this CLPS/affiliates could submit “contemporary” motions (i.e. areas of policy not covered in the NPF report). At last years conference a rule change was passed which dropped the ‘contemporary’ requirement, meaning motions can now cover any area of policy. The closing date for submission of a motion was 12 noon on 12th September 2019.  Each CLP can send one motion provided that they have not already submitted a rule amendment. The motion must be no more than 250 words, cover one topic and not propose a rule change. 

 

Topics for debate will be selected at the ‘priorities ballot’ on the Saturday afternoon of Conference, from 1.30pm to 4.00pm. The entire vote for a CLP is given to cast to the first delegate from that CLP to arrive at the Ballot Area and ask for the ballot.

 

The Conference Arrangements Committee (CAC) meets on Monday 16th September to rule on which of the motions selected are valid and can go forward to the priorities ballot. Appeals will be heard on Wednesday 18th September.

 

Emergency Motions

 

Emergency resolutions may be submitted on matters that arise after the final date for submitting Contemporary Motions.  To be valid, the CAC must determine whether Emergency Motion:

 

  • Could not reasonably have been the subject of a motion
  • Has arisen after the submission deadline for motions (12th September)
  • Or be an issue of urgent and immediate importance to the discussions of the whole party at Annual Conference

 

It is up to the CAC to rule whether or not Emergency Motions are in order. The Left tend to lobby heavily for as many Emergency Motions as possible in an attempt to push their own agenda and disrupt the business of conference.

 

Rule changes from the NEC

 

Advice in relation to these rule changes will be given to delegates in Labour First’s Daily Briefing as well as by email. The NEC only decides what rule changes to include in the democracy review on Tuesday 17th September, sometimes even on Saturday 21 September, so there may be some nasty surprises.

 

Voting for the National Constitutional Committee (NCC) and Conference Arrangements Committee (CAC)

 

The NCC is the committee which deals with serious compliance cases and disciplinary procedures within the Labour Party. Sadly, this has become an increasingly important body in recent years.

 

Labour First are supporting Gillian Troughton, Joanne Harding and Dora Dixon-Fyle for NCC.

 

Please let us know if you can help distribute campaign literature at the Regional receptions, briefings or outside the conference hall.

 

The ballot takes place on Tuesday.

 

The CAC is the steering committee for Conference. There is a ballot for the new role of Disabled Members’ Representative.

 

Labour First is supporting Katrina Murray.

 

The ballot takes place on Monday.

 

In both cases the entire vote for a CLP is given to cast to the first delegate from that CLP to arrive at the Ballot Area and ask for the ballot.

 

Before conference starts, please remember…

 

Pre-Conference Regional Briefings

 

Before conference delegates are usually called to at least one briefing meeting in their region.  In the last few years the practice has developed of handing delegates who attend these meetings their conference credentials and other conference material (rail tickets through the pooled fare scheme, will be sent to home addresses).  Any delegates unable to attend these briefings must contact their regional office to make alternative arrangements for obtaining their credentials – any delegate without a credential is denied entry to conference. Every CLP delegate (including women and youth delegates) should have their own card vote booklet.  But when voting for the NCC and in the priorities ballot only one delegate votes on behalf of the whole delegation, and who this is should be agreed collectively. Card vote booklets are given to delegates by regional officials before conference starts on Sunday. Otherwise they can be collected from the Ballot Area, probably from 12 noon.

 

There have been reports in recent years of Left Wing activists using the regional briefings to manipulate first-time delegates by pushing CLPD campaign material (The Yellow Pages) as if it is the official Labour Party line. They have also been known to use these meetings to push the fallacy that most delegates are ‘mandated’ by their CLPs. THERE IS NO SUCH THING IN THE PARTY RULES AS ‘MANDATING’ OF DELEGATES. There is no need to argue this case directly with those pushing this line, just be confident in the knowledge that you are there to represent your CLP as you see fit and there is nothing in the rulebook about mandating. Please pass this information on to other delegates who are unsure on the issue of mandating. 

 

The reason that the Hard Left get so exercised over this issue is that they know the only sanction against a delegate who does not abide by a so-called ‘mandate’ is that they will not elect them as a conference delegate again. Which – seeing as they don’t vote for moderate delegates anyway – isn’t really much of a threat.

 

Please use the regional briefings and receptions to get to know your fellow delegates. Conference votes will be incredibly close this year, so any bonds you can form or swing delegates you can win over to your side could be the difference between winning and losing crucial votes.



Labour First Rally

 

The Labour First Rally will be held at 12.45pm on Sunday the 22nd of September at The Queens Hotel, 1-3 King’s Road, Brighton, BN1 1NS.

 

This is always one of the highlights of Labour Party Conference. It is a great opportunity for moderates to meet like-minded members and hear from prominent Labour voices on the current state of the Labour Party. In the past this event has received coverage in the national media.

 

Speakers will include Margaret Hodge MP, Ruth Smeeth MP, Angela Eagle MP, James Asser (NEC) and Darren Jones MP.

 

Volunteering

 

Labour First publishes a daily briefing sheet on behalf of all the moderate organisations.

Labour First relies almost exclusively on volunteers (we have only one paid member of staff). We are always on the lookout for people to distribute our daily briefings, sign up new subscribers and communicate our recommendations on conference floor. If you can volunteer at any point over conference weekend, please let Matt Pound from Labour First know (07727 606999). 

 

Conference Times

 

Conference starts at 2.30pm on Saturday; 9.45am on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday; and 9.00am on Wednesday.

 

Delegates should arrive early each day as the security arrangements involve long delays and on the Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday there is almost invariably an attempt by the Hard Left to move “reference back” on the CAC report i.e. to challenge the agenda or the way votes are being taken. Please look after your documentation carefully, as any delegate who misplaces documentation will need to report to the CAC for replacements (before conference opens, the Secretary of the CAC can be contacted at the NEC hotel).   Delegates need to be in the conference hall from the start of each session since this is when the CAC gives its very important reports.

 

Make sure you take the time to plan where you’re going to be and what time you have to be there every day. Particularly if you are a first-time delegate, aim to arrive at everything 20-30mins early. You will never be penalised for being early.

 

Speaking in the debates

 

During the debates there will be a platform introductory speech and a platform reply. During policy debates members of Policy Commissions will move reports.  Ordinary delegates are invited to speak but usually limited to two minutes on the platform. We will need moderate delegates to put themselves forward to speak out in favour of our position. 

 

If you are planning on speaking in a debate, please let someone at Labour First know (contact details on the final page). We can provide you with top tips on how to get noticed by the Chair and hopefully increase the likelihood of getting picked.

 

As always, our position on various votes will be laid out in our daily conference briefing. When speaking on the platform, please remember to keep it concise, making one or two clear points. Please try to stick to the allotted time and bear in mind you will be trying to win over swing delegations, not rile Momentum up or preach to the converted.

 

Voting at Conference

 

Voting takes place at the end of a conference session and is normally by show of hands unless a card vote is requested by a delegate or by the chair (voting on rule changes is always by card). A card vote means that each CLP or affiliate casts one vote, equal in value to its membership size, these are then counted in two sections, 50% of the vote is allocated to CLPs and 50% to affiliates. 

 

Important Debates, Reports, Votes

 

Saturday Afternoon – CAC Report 1

 

CAC Report No 1 (and the Delegates Report) is moved by the Chair of the CAC.  CAC Report 1 gives details of the definitively agreed timetable for the week. Now that the CAC is dominated by the Left, they will often leave off crucial motions and information from the report in an attempt to push their factional agenda. We will need delegates in the conference hall at the beginning of each day’s first session, when the report is given, to challenge these decisions and if necessary move ‘reference back’.

 

Saturday Afternoon - The Priorities Ballot

 

Motions ruled in order by the CAC will be grouped into subjects and published in CAC Report 1 available on Saturday afternoon at delegation meetings, from the Party stand and when delegates enter the Conference Hall.  These subject headings then go into the Priorities Ballot, which will be held on Saturday, between 1.30pm and 4pm. Our Priorities Ballot recommendations on which topics to vote for will be widely available in advance through social media and our daily briefings. 

 

Due to the way the Priorities Ballot is conducted – through a ‘10 and 10’ formula – it is guaranteed that the top ten motion subjects voted on by the unions and the top ten subjects voted on by the CLPs, will be debated. It is very important that moderate delegates look out for our recommendations and vote accordingly. The unions use a block vote format to ensure their topics get on to the conference agenda. Therefore, a vote for the topics that the unions are already choosing is a wasted vote.

 

Saturday and Sunday evenings – compositing meetings

 

The delegates involved with the successful motion topics emerging from the Priority Ballot (announced at the end of the Saturday afternoon session) will be requested to attend compositing meetings, on Saturday or Sunday evening. Every delegate must attend, unless they are given permission by the CAC to be absent and in this case the words of their motion can be used.  If you don’t do this your text disappears and can’t be used. At these meetings delegates will meet the relevant NEC Policy Commission co-convenor and shadow ministers to discuss how the subject could be taken forward. If there are multiple motions on the same topic the text is composited (merged) into one motion if everyone agrees, or more than one if there is text that is taking opposing political positions. Speakers to propose and second the subject on the Conference floor will also be chosen.

 

If you are invited to the compositing meeting please immediately let us know by calling either Matt Pound or Luke Akehurst.

 

Sunday Afternoon – Rule Changes

 

Whilst we are still waiting for the full list of rule changes to be debated at conference, but we do have the full list of rule changes submitted by CLPs, of  which the key changes are outlined below (bear in mind many of these will be remitted to the NEC):

  • The establishment of a Cornish Labour Party, with its own national structure and Cornish General Secretary
  • Reverting to the pre-1994 Clause IV (the Party’s stated aims and values, the current version can be found on the back of your membership card)
  • Lifting the requirement of being a British or Irish citizen or resident for membership of the party
  • Various proposals to get around the “three year rule” that prevents conference from revisiting a rule change for at least three years after it’s made a decision
  • Proposal for the direct election of the General Secretary
  • Changing the voting system for national committees like the NEC and CAC to STV instead of first past the post
  • Proposal to stop the overrepresentation of some regions on national committees.
  • A formal code of conduct for members in public office
  • Various attempts to reform the disciplinary process, varying from a fully independent appeals process to removing a complainant’s right to anonymity
  • Abolishing Local Campaign Forums (LCFs) and reverting to the previous Local Government Committee structure (LGCs) for managing local election selection processes
  • Attempts to limit affiliate’s rights to submit motions
  • Introducing “BAME priority areas” for Parliamentary selections
  • Reducing the length of the freeze date for participation in local government selections
  • Direct election of council group leaders and group officers by the membership

 

Please, look out for our daily briefing for our recommended position on these issues and any other rule changes put forward by the NEC. 



Sunday/Monday/Tuesday - Reports from the eight Policy Commissions

 

There are now eight policy commissions, which draw up policy reports for discussion by the NPF.

 

The eight policy commissions (each made up of 16-20 members representing the shadow cabinet, the NEC and the NPF) are: Economy, Business and Trade; International; Housing, Local Government and Transport; Health and Social Care; Early Years, Education and Skills; Work, Pensions and Equality; Justice and Home Affairs and Environment, Energy and Culture.

 

Reports from each of these Policy Commissions need to be approved by conference and the relevant sessions are usually held on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.



Morning Sessions - Referring back sections of the CAC reports and NEC reports

 

As already mentioned, we will need people in the hall first thing on most days to prevent attempts by the hard left to ‘reference back’ the daily CAC report if the CAC has taken decisions they disagree with.






Monday - CAC Ballot

 

As already mentioned we are supporting Katrina Murray for CAC. Remember, the vote on this ballot cannot be split between delegates. Voting will open early on Monday morning and close at 4pm the same day.



Tuesday – NCC Ballot

 

As already mentioned we are supporting Gillian Troughton, Joanne Harding and Dora Dixon-Fyle for NCC. Remember, the vote on this ballot cannot be split between delegates. Voting will open early on Tuesday morning and close at 4pm the same day.



Key Contacts/Information



Matt Pound - National Organiser, Labour First

matt@labourfirst.org

07727 606999

 

Nathan Burns - Digital Organiser, Labour First

Nathan@labourfirst.org

0788419 3871

 

Luke Akehurst - Secretary, Labour First

AkehurstLuke@googlemail.com

07949 152562

 

This guide can be downloaded here


Labour First's Submission to the Democracy Review 2018

Preamble

Labour First is a network of Labour Party moderates. We believe that the structure of the Labour Party should be determined by the purpose of the Labour Party. This is set out in Clause I of the Party’s constitution:

“Its purpose is to organise and maintain in Parliament and in the country a political Labour Party.

The Party shall bring together members and supporters who share its values to develop policies, make communities stronger through collective action and support, and promote the election of Labour Party representatives at all levels of the democratic process.”

Labour is not an NGO or a social movement campaigning on a single issue, we are a social democratic political party that fights elections with the objective of taking power locally and nationally to build a more equal and just society. We therefore have to balance out priorities to create a programme for government that we can win elections with and implement once in power. Our structures always need to enable us to effectively fight and win elections, and to govern effectively.

Our structure is a federal one, representing the nature of the coalition of trade unions and socialist societies (with the later addition of individual members organised in CLPs, and a formal alliance with the Co-operative Party) that came together to found the party with the objective of achieving representation for working people in Parliament.

Here are our responses to the questions set by the Review:

 

Diversity and Participation 

How should Young Labour be organised nationally, regionally and locally?

We believe the current rules for Young Labour give sufficient flexibility for an organisation focussed on campaigning, political education and enjoyable social events.

We would not want to see a more rigid structure with multiple layers of office-holders, policy-making and delegates to party structures as the experience with Labour League of Youth, Young Socialists and LPYS was that this made the organisations attractive targets for entryism.

We believe that the important electoral role of students in Labour’s coalition of support, and the unique organisational challenges of voters on campus, student union and NUS elections, mean that Labour Students should be enfranchised in the election of the NEC Youth Rep, either through an electoral college (one third each for Labour Students, Young Labour and young trade unionists and socialist society members) to elect a single NEC Youth Rep or 2 reps, one each for Young Labour and Labour Students.

 

How can your local Party better reflect the local community?

The cost of membership remains prohibitively high for working class people, which means the party has a membership that is disproportionately white, middle class, southern and graduates. Within CLPs, middle class ward parties are often many times larger than working class ones. The party needs to target recruitment campaigns at working class and BAME communities. Now that we have a larger membership and a culture of many members giving small donations, the cost of joining should be reduced and the rates simplified to £20 for people in work and £10 for people not in work.

 

How should Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority members and organisations be represented in the Party?

For many BAME members, the principle of BAME self-organisation is an important one. We would therefore recommend the party develops a recruitment and development plan with BAME Labour to enable it to grow into a large and vibrant organisation representing as many as possible of Labour’s BAME members. This will require the party to proactively encourage BAME members to join BAME Labour, and BAME Labour to be supported to absorb this increased membership. BAME Labour should continue to have a seat on the NEC. It should receive a second seat if it reaches 20,000 members.

 

How should women's organisations operate and be represented in the Party?

We believe the current rules for Women’s Forums give sufficient flexibility.

 

What role should Women's Conference have?

We support the new formal role in the policy making process of National Annual Women’s Conference.

 

How do we improve the number of women candidates, and increase women's representation and the involvement of women in the Party?

Quotas and All Women Shortlists are currently the way to ensure the fair representation of women as candidates, in party office-holder positions and as delegates in party structures.

 

How do we improve the number of candidates from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds and increase the representation and involvement of people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds at all levels of the Party?

An estimated 12.8% of the UK population are from ethnic minorities so the party should be looking for at least this level of BAME representation in its national structures and parliamentary candidates. In the absence of it being legally possible to have BAME quotas and all BAME shortlists, initial progress will need to be made by political encouragement of CLPs and wards to select BAME candidates, particularly in areas where there are multi-member council wards, and use of de facto all-BAME shortlists in some of the constituencies where late or by-election shortlists gives the NEC control of the shortlisting process.

 

How would we make it easier for people with disabilities to be involved in the Party?

There needs to be a national fund that people with disabilities can apply to to cover the costs of them accessing Labour Party activities, and for CLPs to apply to to cover the costs of making the necessary adaptations to make activities accessible.

Best practice from Oxford, where a group of members with disabilities has encouraged and mentored several disabled council candidates to come forward, should be shared nationally.

 

How do we improve the number of disabled candidates we have and increase the representation of people with disabilities in the Party?

The level of disabled representation in parliament is lower than that of any other minority group. This is unacceptable. As well as the national fund mentioned in the previous question giving grants to prospective candidates to help them overcome barriers to access such as travel costs, the national party should run weekend schools and mentoring schemes and maintain a central list of candidates with disabilities who it judges would make excellent holders of public office and promote them to CLPs.

There should be a reserved seat for people with disabilities on the NEC, to be elected by Disability Labour members once this socialist society has been supported by the party to recruit 2,500 members.

 

How do we improve the representation and involvement of LGBT+ members in the Party?

There should be a reserved seat on the NEC elected by LGBT Labour when this socialist society reaches 2,500 members. The party should promote recruitment to LGBT Labour to maximise its membership and the number of people involved in electing this NEC rep.

 

How do we improve the number of LGBT+ candidates we have and increase LGBT+ representation in the Party?

The Party should work with LGBT Labour to run weekend schools and mentoring schemes to ensure LGBT+ members have the skills and support necessary to run for public office as councillors or MPs and to stand for office in their CLPs.

 

What other groups should we focus on?

Older people, people from working class backgrounds.

 

Electing our leadership

How should we elect our Party Leader?

The Leader and Deputy Leader should be elected by an Electoral College that reflects the main stakeholders in the party. We would propose its composition should be MPs 30%, Members 30%, Affiliates 30%, Councillors 10%. There should be no multiple voting within or between sections, and each section should vote by OMOV.

 

What role should registered supporters have in leadership elections?

None. Now that we have a mass membership party there is no need for a separate category of registered supporters and this should  be abolished.

 

What should be the nomination threshold to get on the ballot paper to stand for Party Leader?

Candidates for Party Leader and Deputy Leader should require nomination from 20% of the PLP. This should also apply to incumbents in the event of a challenge, which should be triggerable by a vote of no confidence by the PLP.

 

How should "freeze dates" work in elections for the Leader, the National Executive Committee and for delegates to Annual and other Conferences?

There should be a uniform freeze date of six months for all these cases, in order to prevent recruitment solely for the purpose of influencing an internal election or selection.

 

Does the current composition of the National Executive Committee need to be changed or not?

In addition to the changes set out in the section on diversity, we believe that the CLP section is not sufficiently diverse geographically, with the particular issue of northern and Midlands regions, which elect the majority of Labour MPs, being unrepresented; and we believe councillors are a key stakeholder in the party as a funder through the ALC levy, as representatives of Labour in power locally, and as the backbone of local campaigning. We would therefore propose:

  • An increase from 9 to 12 representatives for CLPs (with representatives elected by OMOV by pairs of regions, with a second rep for London due to its large membership, in order to ensure gender balance - 2 reps for London; 2 reps for Eastern, South East and Labour International; 2 reps for South West and Wales; 2 reps for East Midlands and West Midlands; 2 reps for North West and Yorkshire & Humberside; 2 reps for North, Scotland and Northern Ireland).
  • An increase from 2 to 4 representatives for councillors.

As these changes and other recent ones would result in a large NEC, we would recommend formalising the role of the Officers’ Group as the inner permanent standing committee elected by and from the NEC, renaming it the Officers’ Committee and defining its membership as the Leader, Deputy Leader, Treasurer, Chair, Vice-Chair, Chair of the Organisation Committee, NEC Co-Convenor of the JPC, Chair of the NPF (when an NEC member), Chair of the Equalities Committee and Chair of the Disputes Panel.

 

Does the current system of elections for the National Executive Committee need to be changed or not?

In the event that our proposal for regionalising the CLP section is not taken forward, we would recommend a proportional voting system for the NEC so that diversity can be promoted.

 

Building a mass movement

How do we get our increased membership more involved in the Party?

CLPs and branches need to be encouraged to use their formal meetings to plan a campaign activity at least every month, a social event at least every quarter, and a political education event or debate at least every quarter, as it is these activities that will attract members to get involved rather than an expectation of immediate interest in attending formal meetings. However, many CLP and Branch Officer teams will need training and support to carry out this level of activity and the party needs to be careful not to put people off taking up voluntary roles as local officers by making excessive demands on them, given that the basic functioning of a CLP in terms of internal democracy, finance and compliance, and contesting elections is already an onerous workload for volunteers.

 

How do we recruit more people into the Party?

The cost of membership remains prohibitively high for working class people, which means the party has a membership that is disproportionately white, middle class, southern and graduates. Within CLPs, middle class ward parties are often many times larger than working class ones. The party needs to target recruitment campaigns at working class and BAME communities. Now that we have a larger membership and a culture of many members giving small donations, the cost of joining should be reduced and the rates simplified to £20 for people in work and £10 for people not in work.

 

How we make policy

What role should Constituency Labour Parties have in making policy?

CLPs should organise local deliberative forum-style discussion of policy to enable members to input ideas, express their views and increase their political education. The results of these deliberations should be submitted to the National Policy Forum. Resolutions on more urgent issues passed by CLPs should be submitted direct to the relevant Shadow frontbench teams.

 

What role should Party Conference have in making policy?

Party conference should have the final sign-off on all policy documents.

 

What role should motions and contemporary motions have at Conference?

We do not believe that the party should return to the pre-1997 model of adversarial debates on motions. This is an artificial, confrontational and divisive way to decide policy. It does not result in developing policies that can command consensus support, and are based on evidence. It runs the risk of creating stories of internal division that damage conference’s role as a showcase for Labour as a potential government to the public. The primary route for policy development should be the NPF and its commissions where proper consideration can be given to evidence, and policies can be negotiated that have consensus support.

 

How do we develop local and regional economic plans and local policy?

Policy forum structures should be convened for the relevant geographical area that represent all stakeholders in the local party. The final sign-off on manifestoes should continue to be with the relevant Labour Group.

 

How can motions from Constituency Labour Parties be dealt with more effectively?

Motions on urgent matters should be submitted to the relevant Shadow frontbench teams. Motions or local policy forum findings relating to longer-term policy development should be submitted to the relevant NPF Policy Commission. In both cases there should be a guarantee of a written response setting out what the view of the receiving

 

What are your views on the National Policy Forum and how it works?

The composition of the NPF is a reasonable reflection of the different stakeholders in the party whose voices need to be heard in policy-making. The actual NPF membership includes many people with a wealth of policy expertise. It is therefore a shame that the NPF is not seen to be carrying out the leading role in policy development. It needs to be meeting regularly, and the work programme of evidence taking, research and drawing up policy documents of its Policy Commissions needs to be clearly publicised so that members, CLPs and affiliates know where and when to feed in their ideas.

 

Your local Labour Party

What changes (if any) are needed to the way we work at Constituency level?

We believe that the current rules give considerable scope for flexibility in how CLPs are organised, to reflect local geography and very dramatic differences in size of membership. We believe the NEC should issue guidelines on the maximum membership size of a branch, and encourage CLPs to split up branches where they have become unmanageably large; and on the maximum size above which it is unrealistic to have an All Member Meeting model and a delegate-based GC would work more effectively.

 

The way we work

Do changes need to be made to Annual Conference, and if so what changes?

The current system of bundling debates on different motions and policy documents together, with them all moved and then calling speakers at random produces unbalanced and confusing debates.

We propose that there should be separate debates timetabled for each motion or policy document. Within each debate speeches should be balanced with the same number of speeches for and against the motion or document, with each speech in favour followed by a speech against. Rather than the chair having to notice speakers indicating from the floor, a system of cards requesting to speak would ensure balance in the debate and in terms of gender, geography, CLP vs Affiliate delegates etc.

 

What changes (if any) should be made to the way we work at a regional level?

We do not propose any rule changes to the regional level of the party.

 

How do we strengthen links between the Party and the trade unions locally?

CLP trade union officers should be supported by being provided contact details of relevant union branches in their area so they can encourage them to formally affiliate and thence become involved in the life of the CLP.

 

How do we get more trade unionists involved with the Party?

A substantial database of the trade unionists most interested in the Party already exists in the form of the Affiliated Supporters who signed up to vote in the 2015 and 2016 leadership elections. CLPs need to be encouraged to use this data to invite them to campaigning, political education and social events.

 

How do we develop the relationship between Labour local authority representatives and the Party at a local level?

We believe that in most local authority areas there is already a very healthy relationship between Labour Groups, the LCF and CLPs.

 

What changes (if any) need to be made to the Party's relationship with any of our Socialist Societies, Friends Groups or other similar groups?

We do not propose any changes in this area.

 

How do we harness the potential of social media across all aspects of our democracy and political work?

Individual members should be given every opportunity to submit their views on policy to the NPF and its policy commissions via social media. This will however require staff time to analyse, process and respond to submissions.

 

 

 


Local Groups Guidance Note

If you are interested in starting a local Labour First group, please begin by reading our guidance note. This document provides detail on how these groups should function as well as advice on how to start, maintain and grow your moderate network. Please click here to view or download.