A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

NEC CLP Visits

On Twitter Scott Eastwood from North Norfolk CLP asked:

Can lab clp#nec members tell me how many clps they've visited. Tbh I haven't heard of any other clp nec mmbs apart from @JohannaBaxter

This is an important question so I thought it deserved a full answer of more than 140 characters.

I am very proud to say I have visited 18 CLPs to date to give reports (Barking, Dover, Hackney North, Hackney South, Hammersmith, Hertford & Stortford, Hornsey & Wood Green, Ilford North, Ilford South, Pudsey, New Forest West, Reigate, Sittingbourne & Sheppey, Thanet South, Tottenham, Twickenham, West Bromwich East and Windsor), plus 4 other bodies that are not CLPs (West Hampstead BLP, Barnet & Enfield JLM, Kent County Party Education Working Group, Leicester Progress event).

I have visits scheduled to Battersea, Leeds NE, Norwich, Crewe and Congleton. I would welcome further requests to do visits.

I try to use every possible online channel (my own blog, weekly columns for Labourlist and Progress, Twitter, Facebook and regular email reports) to communicate with members, including those who do not attend meetings, and to inform as many people as possible about how I am representing them on the NEC, and what the politics are that I fight for.

This is in addition to my core duties as an NEC member:

Attendance at Annual Conference (5 days)
6 daytime Full NEC meetings a year
6 daytime Organisation Committee + Disputes Panel meetings a year
NEC standing Panel on Birmingham Local Government Selections (daytime visits to Birmingham)
Democracy & Diversity Fund Panel
Education & Skills Policy Commission  (6 meetings a year)
SEN Policy Working Group
Refounding Labour Implementation Working Group
Full National Policy Forum meetings

Given that I am a councillor (including chairing a committee), a very active officer of my own CLP (including being volunteer Agent for this May’s elections), have a very young family who I want to spend time with (a six year old and a two month old baby), a demanding day job, and a disability, this is pushing at the limits of what I can physically do.

I take my hat off to Johanna for the amazing number of visits she has achieved and the way in which this has promoted the NEC’s work round the country.

Between the six incumbents I think we are the most outward-facing and active set of NEC CLP reps there has been.

However, given that it is a volunteer role that people do in their spare time, and the Party cannot cover any expenses incurred in visits, we have to be very careful not to deter ordinary lay members from standing for the NEC by creating an unrealistic expectation about the amount of travel people will be able to do. We need an NEC where it is possible to be a member if you have a demanding job, or are not well-off, or have young kids or other caring responsibilities.

This isn’t a whinge. It’s a fantastic honour to be one of only six representatives of ordinary members on the NEC. I love the role, and particularly enjoy visiting CLPs to meet and campaign with members.

We are only 15 years from the creation of a real CLP section reserved for lay activists by the Partnership in Power changes.

Before this almost every member of the NEC was a full-time politician – either an MP or a union full-time official. We need to take a serious look at our expectations of lay NEC reps and the support given to them to fulfil what is an increasingly active role.


Anonymous Mediation Experts said...

Very prestigious and responsible role, Congrats!!

1:51 pm, February 25, 2012

Anonymous SIPP investment said...

I have a single six year old, and he's a handful. My ribs are sore from his punches sometimes. So if you are doing all of that with a two month old as well as a six year old, I think you are doing quite well and have nothing to explain or apologize for!

4:50 am, February 26, 2012


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