To transform Labour into a modern, grassroots, member-led party with a transformative, socialist programme, we need all Labour members to get active in their local party.
Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) across the country are holding their Annual General Meetings (AGMs) and electing their delegates to Labour Party Conference now and over the next few months. If you are a Labour member but haven’t yet gone to a local Labour meeting, now is the time to get involved.
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Here are some of the ways you can get involved in your local Party:
Attend your next branch and/or Constituency Labour Party (CLP) meeting. You should receive emails about meetings from the local party. If not, check on your CLP website or contact your CLP Secretary, whose details should be on the back of your Labour membership card.
Contact your local Momentum group to link up with other Momentum members in your branch or CLP and go to meetings together.
Find out the date of your CLP Annual General Meeting (AGM).
Once you know the date of upcoming local meetings, including branch and CLP AGMs, you can use the Grassroots Now phone canvassing website, to call Momentum supporters in your area to encourage them to attend. Just email the details of the meeting to firstname.lastname@example.org and then click here to start calling. Why not meet up with other people from your local Momentum group and call together?
For more detailed suggestions about how to get involved locally, check the email you received from us on 19th January titled ‘Organising for Labour Party Conference 2017’ or just email us at email@example.com
Why is organising for Labour Party Conference important? Labour Party Conference is the sovereign body in the Party’s policy-making process, where delegates come together to discuss and decide rule changes and policies. Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) elect their delegates to the Labour Party Conference any time between January and June.
How can you and your local Momentum group organise for CLP delegate elections?
a) Find out whether your CLP will be sending delegates to conference
Most CLPs will send delegates to conference. If yours does, contact your CLP Secretary to find out when and where the meeting will be that elects the delegates, how many delegates will be elected, and if voting is open to all members in the CLP or only to delegates from branches.
CLPs that decide not to send delegates often choose not to do because of cost. If this is the case in your CLP, you might consider ways that you can organise fundraising events for your local Party.
CLPs do not have to elect their full entitlement of delegates and the number of delegates sent does not affect CLPs' voting weight. Therefore, focus should be on ensuring that CLP delegates support policies to transform Britain, and thus reflect the views of Labour’s membership, rather than increasing the overall number of delegates.
b) Hold meetings with Momentum members and other supportive Labour members to ensure there will be strong candidates who can be nominated in the CLP when it elects conference delegates
Ideally, conference delegates should be prepared to work with other like-minded Party members and have the confidence to make speeches if necessary. In particular, people from working class backgrounds and from liberation strands (women, BAME, LGBTQ+, disabled people) should be encouraged to stand.
c) Email local Momentum members and supporters to inform them of relevant meetings
If you have any queries about how your local group can access or use the data, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
d) Phone-bank local supporters to encourage them to attend meetings
If the meeting to elect conference delegates is open to all members, phone-banking is a great way to get many local members to attend and vote. You can also use phone-banking to encourage people to attend their branch meeting to nominate the candidates you are backing. Phone-banking local supporters can be done using the Grassroots Now phone canvassing website. Upload details of your branch and CLP meetings to the website by emailing email@example.com and then get calling, and encourage others to call as well. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
e) Organising for delegate-only CLP meetings
If only delegates can vote at your CLP meeting (rather than an all members meeting) then you should focus on encouraging CLP delegates to attend the CLP meeting and vote for the candidates you are backing.
Also, following a huge increase in Labour Party membership last summer, many branches are entitled to send additional delegates to their CLP. Find out if your local branch is entitled to send more delegates, and if so, encourage people to stand as delegates to the CLP. They will then be able to vote for delegates to conference and other positions within the CLP.
Furthermore, candidates should be able to stand to be a delegate to conference even if they are not a delegate to their CLP, as long as they are nominated by a branch or an affiliated organisation. For clarification on criteria for candidates, check with your CLP Secretary
CLPs are entitled to one delegate for the first 749 full members and a further delegate for every additional 250 individual members. At least every second delegate from a CLP has to be a woman, and where only one delegate is appointed this must be a woman at least every second year. In CLPs where there are 100 or more women members, an additional woman delegate may be appointed. In CLPs where there are 30 or more young members, an additional delegate under the age of 27 may be appointed.
CLPs do not have to appoint their full delegate entitlement, although they do have the option of crowdfunding to finance additional delegates. However, the number of delegates sent does not affect CLPs voting weight. Therefore, focus should be on ensuring that CLP delegates support policies to transform Britain, and thus reflect the views of Labour’s membership, rather than increasing the overall number of delegates.
There are also two important internal elections this year where CLPs can nominate candidates. The following candidates support the Party leadership and are being backed by the Centre-left Grassroots Alliance and the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy:
1.Conference Arrangements Committee (CAC)
· Billy Hayes (Mitcham and Morden CLP, Communications Workers’ Union, Labour Membership Number A065571)
· Seema Chandwani (Tottenham CLP, L1187007)
The election for these reps will be by a One Member One Vote ballot this summer.
2. National Constitutional Committee (NCC)
· Anna Dyer (Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn CLP, L0081865)
· Emine Ibrahim (Hornsey and Wood Green CLP, L0150489)
Your CLP will have a nomination meeting at some point in the next few months - you can find out the date from your CLP Secretary. Why not download and print a copy of the candidates’ statements to take to your nomination meeting?
The election of these reps will be by CLP delegates at the Annual Conference in September.
Check out our Grassroots Now materials on Labour Party participation here
For new members, getting involved in the Party and navigating its structures can seem daunting and, at times, confusing. We’ve produced some simple materials explaining how the Labour Party works and how you can get involved as part of our Grassroots Now campaign on Labour Party participation. If you have any questions please get in touch with us at email@example.com
Together, we can continue our work to deliver a members-led Labour Party, that is rooted in communities and capable of getting into government to rebuild and transform Britain.