Refounding Labour – New Rules: an example

This is how the new rules could apply to the Westminster parliamentary constituency of Greenwich and Woolwich. This paper has been circulated to branches for consultation.

A new rule book was agreed at 2011 Annual Conference. While our Constituency Labour Party (CLP) objected, on the grounds that most of the changes had not been subject at all to consultation, and that we had just a few days’ notice, nevertheless they were approved and must be implemented. Key decisions for the CLP are:

Annual Meeting (AGM) Dates – under the new rules this should be held in or after May. Branch AGMs are not set down by the rules (January is deleted) but advice is they should be after elections. Currently, we have the Branch AGMs in early-mid January and the CLP AGM at the end of February. We could:

  1. Hold Branch AGMs and CLP AGMs all in May
  2. Hold Branch AGMs in May and the CLP AGM in June
  3. Hold both the Branch and CLP AGMs in June

Delegate or General Meetings – Currently, we have a delegate General Committee (with delegates from Branches and affiliated organisations but we open all GCs to all members and have made a number of them all-member meetings with invites to everyone. Though any voting is by delegates only, the one exception being when we did our leadership and National Executive nominations. Two options:

  1. We can keep the current delegate structures allowing a fair representation across all branches and affiliates, but opening meetings for wider participation and have a number of all-member meetings
  2. We could have General Meetings only, with no delegates. The full membership would then elect the Officers and executive as well as take decisions on resolutions. Thus no delegates would be elected, and any member could attend, vote and stand. Members would be able to attend and vote at both their Branch and constituency meeting; it may therefore blur their distinctive roles.

Officers – The CLP currently has 8 Executive officers. The new rules provide for a base of just 5 with a number of co-ordinators (functional officers) though there is the option to have more Executive Officers if we choose.

  1. Have just 5 Executive officers (Chair, Vice Chair Membership; Vice Chair Campaigns; Secretary and Treasurer of which at least two must be women
  2. Have 6 Executive Officers (above 5 plus Equalities Officer) of which three would be women. The Equalities Officer would co-ordinate the roles currently carried out by Ethnic Minorities Officer, Women’s officer, Youth & Student officer and Disabilities officer)
  3. Retain current 8 Exec Officers with at least 4 women. This would need approval

Co-ordinators we need to refresh the functional officer roles as Co-ordinators. This may mean we want to rationalise the roles and rather than having job shares to have teams.

 

Local Campaign Forum (LCF) – The new rules replace the Local Government Committee with a re-focussed Local Campaign Forum for co-ordinating council elections, selections and liaison with the Labour Group. The CLPs in Greenwich will need to collectively determine their preferred model but in general it will meet less frequently and be much slimmer (currently 65 members altogether). The Management and Executive Committees can be replaced by a single unitary body. Options include:

  1. A unitary LCF of 10 Party delegates (4 G&W CLP), 1 Co-op plus Group Leader and Deputy. This could be supplemented by a Borough Conference open to all Labour councillors and either all members or all CLP GC delegates which would be at least annual but possibly more frequently to help develop policy and policy commissions which would draw from the wider membership and be co-chaired by Party and group co-ordinators.
  2. A unitary LCF of 17 Party delegates (7 G&W CLP), 2 Co-op plus leadership. Again, this could be supplemented by a borough Conference and policy commissions
  3. A Management Committee of 39 Party delegates (16 G&W which could be 2 per BLP plus Chair and Sec); 4 Co-op and Group leadership. This would need a separate Executive.
  4. A Management Committee broadly as currently of 55 Party delegates (22 G&W CLP) plus 5 Co-op and group leadership. Again, a separate Executive.

 

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