Alice Perry speaking about Party Reform at the 2016 Local Government Conference
Labour’s National Executive Committee is reviewing how we can improve campaigning, communications and engagement through digital technology and party reform. Party reform covers a number of important areas including reforming local and national party structures, improving equality and diversity of representation, reviewing the 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. The working group consists of six word strands, each chaired by members of the NEC. The strands are policy-making chaired by Angela Eagle, gender representation chaired by Ann Black, under representation chaired by Jennie Formby, devolution chaired by Johanna Baxter and Andy Kerr (Scotland), Cath Speight (Wales) and me (England), support for Councillors chaired by me and Ann Lucas and party organising and community organising chaired by Jim Kennedy.
This is a challenging time for local government. The Tory government continues to make massive cuts to Council budgets. It is important that Labour is vocal 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 fightback. It is important that within the Party we get the respect we deserve.
The support for Councillors strand recognises the vital role Councillors play. Key issues to address include looking at how local government can work more effectively with the Shadow Cabinet and MPs, improving training and development opportunities, 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 for ALC subs, reviewing how Councillors are represented within the party on bodies like the NEC, NPF, CAC, regional boards and so on, reviewing the effectiveness of LCFs, reviewing Councillor selection processes, and how the party supports Labour Groups, from ensuring they have access to local membership lists to giving Groups supporting nomination rights in Labour Leadership and Deputy Leadership elections. Continue reading