96% of members deprived of input into regional conference – and women especially disadvantaged
Letter to Amy Fodé from Branch Secretaries
Greater London Labour Party
CC National Executive Committee Constituency Labour Party representatives, Conference Arrangements Committee members, chair and vice-chair of Regional Executive Committee
We are branch secretaries who want to express our clear opposition to the last-minute rescheduling of the London Regional conference from November to the 24th and 25th July.
The announcement at the beginning of June of the revised timing of the Regional Conference is not reasonable notice. It comes at the start of what is the busiest month in the annual calendar as local party units prepare for AGMs and National Conference.
During the last year, in the challenging circumstances of Covid-19, branch secretaries with other elected representatives have worked hard to keep members engaged and to minimise the disruption that has been caused to normal party business. They deserve to have their rights and those of ordinary members respected by being afforded sufficient time for the important democratic process of electing delegates, preparing motions and standing as candidates. The deadline of 14th July will deny them this.
There will be extra pressure on branch secretaries in CLPs with AMMs to ensure that all branch members, especially new ones, are aware of the implications of the change of date of Conference and the importance of submitting motions and attending any scheduled branch meeting. Pre-planned branch business is likely to restrict the amount of time available for discussion. Subsequent CLP decisions regarding motions and delegates will likely require an additional ‘special’ meeting. Determining a convenient time for this at such short notice will not be straightforward. In CLPs with a delegate structure, branches have been cut out of the process entirely, meaning 24 out of every 25 members will have no input into the conference at all.
For so many reasons, holding the Conference in July is very far from ideal and not least because the scale of the task confronting the Labour Party is huge. To develop the effective policy responses required to address the growing list of issues impacting our region from soaring inequality, catastrophic climate breakdown and the government’s callous handling of the pandemic it is vital that members are on board and fully able to contribute their energy and ideas.
A rushed, ill-prepared Conference will not allow for thoughtful debate and discussion of how collectively as a party we move forward on the key problems that we face as a society. As the Conference is at the start of the school summer holidays, it means many women in particular are likely to be excluded from the chance of attendance due to child care issues.
We call on Amy Fodé to rethink the decision and return to the planned autumn date for the Conference.
Bensham Manor Branch Secretary
Boleyn Branch Secretary
Bruce Grove Branch Secretary
Cazenove Branch Secretary
Cleveland Branch Secretary
Clissold Branch Secretary
Cranbrook Branch Secretary
Dalston Branch Secretary
Finchley Road and Kilburn Branch Secretary
Greenford Green Branch Secretary
Hackney Central Branch Secretary
Hackney Downs Branch Secretary
Haggerston Branch Secretary
Highbury East Branch Secretary
Hobbayne Branch Secretary
Hoxton West Branch Secretary
Islington Mildmay Branch Secretary
Kings Park Branch Secretary
Lea Bridge Branch Secretary
Muswell Hill Branch Secretary
Shacklewell Co-Branch Secretary
St Leonards Branch Secretary
Tottenham Green Branch Secretary
Tottenham Hale Branch Secretary
Victoria Branch Branch Secretary
The Labour right’s determination to railroad members into rule change and bypass or subvert democracy is an ongoing scandal.
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