Our constituency Labour Party is divided into branches, each made up of one or more electoral ward, or parts thereof. Branches are the most fundamental unit of organisation. They elect delegates who make up the General Committee (GC), the main decision-making body of the constituency, and from this an Executive Committee (EC) is elected, which manages the constituency.
Every branch is run by a committee, including a chair, secretary, treasurer, membership officer and campaign organiser, elected every year at the annual general meeting (AGM). There will be at least one vice-chair, sometimes configured through one of these roles.
Similarly the constituency has executive officers, nominated by branches and elected by the GC. Every branch also has one member on the EC, by default the secretary, but sometimes other members are elected instead.
The constituency also has four forums: Women’s, BAME, Youth and Student, and LGBTQ+. These are self-organising groups open to all members, who also elect GC members.
As well as the constituency organisation we -also participate in the Local Government Committee. This is a borough-wide group with delegates from all three constituencies, along with the Council Leader and Deputy, and representatives of the councillors’ group, local trade unions and the Coop Party. It is responsible for organising the selection of local council candidates, and liaison between the council and on the CLPs on any issues of borough wide interest.
Any party member can stand for election as a branch or constituency officer, a conference delegate, or to be a council candidate, although sometimes eligibility can depend on length of membership.
Whilst campaigning and electioneering is serious stuff, it provides a great sense of purpose, or acting to bring about change, as well as being very sociable, and even enjoyable.