I joined Labour’s NEC as a local government representative in September 2014 and have been working tirelessly to make sure Councillors voices are heard at the top of the party.
Opposing cuts to local government and standing up for Councillors
This is a challenging time for local government. The Tories continue to make massive cuts to Council budgets. It is important that Labour is vocal and effective in opposing these disgraceful, damaging Tory cuts, while at the same time emphasising about the amazing, positive difference Labour Councillors make to our communities.
Throughout the UK our Councillors demonstrate the difference voting Labour makes. Councillors are proud of our role in the Labour Party and everything we contribute, particularly our contributions to election campaigning and the Party’s finances. Our 7,000 Labour Councillors are leading the electoral fight-back. It is important that within the Party we get the respect we deserve.
Equally, Labour Councillors should not be unfairly blamed for the Tory cuts to local government. I have worked constructively with colleagues from across the Party to secure support for Councillors in our budget setting processes, including statements of support from Jeremy Corbyn, Jon Trickett and John McDonnell.
Improving campaigning, communications and engagement and more support for Councillors
The NEC is currently reviewing how we can improve campaigning, communications and engagement through digital technology and party reform. Party reform includes reforming local and national party structures, improving equality and diversity of representation, reviewing our policy making, campaigning and organising, providing greater support for Councillors and responding to the devolution agenda.
Deputy Leader Tom Watson is leading this work via the NEC Party Reform working group. I am co-chairing the Support for Councillors and Devolution strands and, if re-elected, will be able to continue this vital work and drive through the changes in the Labour Party that Councillors deserve.
The Party Reform work I am co-chairing recognises the vital role Councillors play. Key issues we are addressing includes:
- How local government can work more effectively with the Shadow Cabinet and MPs
- Improving training and development opportunities for all Councillors
- Using Councillors and local government leaders more in national media
- Ensuring Councillors are well resourced to fight elections and are able tailor campaign
- messages and materials to their local audiences
- Ensuring accountability and transparency for our ALC subs
- Giving Councillors a stronger voice within the party and improving Councillors
- representation on bodies like the NEC, NPF, CAC and regional boards
- Improving support for Labour Groups and championing and supporting the work of
- Labour Groups in opposition
This work will be completed by autumn 2016. If you have views or ideas about how Labour could better support Councillors please get in touch.
Learning Lessons from Labour’s election defeat
I was part of the Labour Taskforce the reviewed Labour’s 2015 General Election defeat and looked at the lessons we could learn for the future. I gathered feedback from thousands of Councillors and ensured our views were reflected in the final report.
I have been a member of Labour’s National Policy Forum since 2012. I have worked with Councillors, members, MPs and trade unions to develop policies on the issues that matter most to the communities we represent.
Improving Diversity of Representation
I am a member of the NEC Equalities Committee. It is important that Labour’s elected representatives reflect the diverse communities we represent. I am working hard with NEC colleagues to improve diversity and encourage more people from politically underrepresented groups to stand to be Councillors and to occupy leadership positions. This means providing greater support to women, BAME, LGBT, working class and disabled candidates.
Proud of Labour’s link to our Trade Unions
Strong civil society needs strong Trade Unions and I am proud of Labour’s Trade Union link. The Tory Trade Union Bill is an attack on democracy and it is vital we all work together oppose it. I have a strong record of working closely with colleagues from the Trade Unions on the NEC on a variety of important campaigns, including opposing the Trade Union Bill and Tory cuts to local government, supporting Unison’s Ethical Care Charter, championing ethical procurement policies to tackle issues such as blacklisting in the construction industry, improving pay and conditions for low-paid workers and supporting the Living Wage. An important part of my NEC work includes sharing best practice to support and foster strong, constructive relationships between Trade Unions and local authorities. At work, I am an active union member and my workplace’s UCU membership secretary.
You can read my NEC meeting reports at https://aliceperry.wordpress.com/nec/. I also publish my NEC reports on Labourlist and circulate them via the LGA Labour Group newsletter. You can also sign-up to receive email from me directly.
I also regularly report back to Councillors face-to- face at meetings throughout the UK including at national and regional conference, training events, Labour Group meetings and campaigning days. It is always a pleasure meeting other Councillors and hearing about the amazing work that is going on in Labour Groups throughout England, Scotland and Wales.
It is also important for NEC members to knock on doors and talk to voters across the UK. I have a strong record of campaigning with Councillors and party members in key seats throughout the country.
Please nominate Alice Perry and Nick Forbes for the NEC
Nominations for the two local government NEC reps are open until 24 June. Please nominate me (Alice Perry!) and LGA Labour Group Leader and Newcastle City Council Leader Nick Forbes.