The March NEC meeting covered a range of different areas including the General Election Campaign, local government, international politics and Europe, as well as reports from the Leader, Deputy Leader and General Secretary. Our NEC report focuses on the topics and discussions most relevant to local government.
Local Government Conference
The joint Association of Labour Councillors (ALC) and Local Government Association (LGA) Labour Group Labour local government conference took place in February in Nottingham and was attended by over 300 councillors. We had a diverse range of speakers from local government, the shadow cabinet members and experts in their fields. Trade Unions, affiliated societies and think tanks also ran a number of fringe meetings. Ed Miliband delivered the key note speech in which he thanked Labour councillors for their continued contribution and recognised the vital role they play in communities across the country.
The conference provided delegates with a platform to discuss key issues such as devolution and local government funding. Discussions also fed in to Labour’s manifesto process. Thank you to everyone who attended and contributed to the debate.
General Election Manifesto
Labour councillors continue to work with Shadow ministers on developing the Labour Party manifesto. The Manifesto is in its final stages and will be launched imminently. Labour has also recently launches the party’s 2015 election pledge card. You can view the full National Policy Forum policy documents on the Your Britain website.
Labour will also be launching a business manifesto, women’s manifesto, young people’s manifesto and many more – look out for these on the Labour Party website.
Local Government Manifestos
The LGA Labour Group are producing an online collection of local Labour manifestos in the run up to the local elections in May. You can view them online at http://lgalabour.local.gov.uk/best-practice
Campaigning to win in 2015
The NEC heard an excellent report from TULO’s Councillor Byron Taylor, the Leader of Basildon Council Labour Group. The report covered the impressive work collectively undertaken by Trade Unions to engage voters and help deliver a Labour Government in May. Key campaigning messages are built around popular and important Labour policies (as agreed by the NPF) on decent wages, job security, rights at work, saving the NHS and helping people with the bills.
You can visit the Unions Together website for information about campaigning, events and activities in your area.
It is vital we all do what we can to ensure we elect a Labour government in May. Your local Labour Party can provide you with information about campaign activity in the key seats Labour must win to return to government.
If you haven’t done so already, you can register for a postal vote to ensure you have even more time to campaign on 7 May. No one wants to wake up on 8 May to another five years of Tory government.
Interested in standing for election yourself?
The LGA produces a range of excellent materials and training programmes for people interested in standing for election. The LGA Labour Group has recently produced a guide for disabled members and local parties about being a Labour Councillor. You can view or download it on the LGA Labour Group website.
The Government have made a number of announcements of devolution to Labour Councils over the last few weeks. While Labour councils have to work with the government of the day to get the best deal for their communities, we have always been clear that devolution deals will not prevent Tory cuts are devastating public service. We have also been clear that Labour is the true party of devolution as the Government’s deals only cover small parts of the country and lack in ambition.
Internal Party Elections
A number of internal elections will take place later this year. This includes the election for Labour’s candidate for London Mayor. Party members in London will be able to make nominations for Labour’s London Mayoral candidate in May and June. Ballot papers will be sent out in July. This ballot will also cover the National Policy Forum elections, where members can vote for regional representatives.
Councillors will also be able to make nominations for the Association of Labour Councillors representatives and local government representatives on the National Policy Forum. Labour Group Secretaries will be issued with further guidance in May. Please do get in touch with Alice Perry if you have any questions about this.