Labour’s Democracy Review

People in the Labour Party are beginning to wake up to the Democracy Review. A correspondent found the following documents on the Labour Party site and I have mirrored them here.

The review is being conducted in stages, and the next stage for which the call for evidence ends on the 23rd March is about local organisation and membership engagement. The third phase will be about National structures and the call for evidence closes on June 29th. I was invited to speak to one of our branches and used this slide set, which talks about its governance, its timetable and topics, and details the links to be used to submit evidence.

The Labour Party documents found for me are,

  1. Party Democracy Review, Terms of Reference v2
  2. Party Democracy Review Leaflet v3
  3. Running a consultation event in your local party

 

Submissions are best made by email, or via a web form hidden in the party site.

I have written previously about this here and also on my other blog, but this article is meant to be anchor for things that help others make their mind up as to what changes they want.

Labour’s Democracy Review

Secretaries

More bloody rules – Chapter 7.IX.6 states that notices to affiliates must be delivered to the Secretary.

Any notice required to be given under these rules shall be in writing which may include electronic communication. Notices to be sent to affiliated organisations and Party units shall be addressed to the secretary thereof.

Secretaries

Chairing of AGMs

Have I done this before? On chairing AGMs in the Labour Party

Chapter 15.I.F.iii At the annual meeting the chair shall preside until a successor is elected, except where the chair is not a duly appointed delegate to the meeting; in which case the election of chair shall be taken as the first item on the agenda. The new chair shall take over the conduct of the meeting forthwith and proceed to the election of other officers and further business.

Chairing of AGMs

Brass

A proposed rule change on the CLP capitation fee.

Fair capitations for CLPs

Chapter 2 Clause III Sub Clause 6

Insert between “member” and “and”, “a minimum payment of 50% of the standard rate for each standard rate paying member and 100% of the standard rate for each elected representative rate paying member”

Brass

Scope

Labour’s Rules, yes my life is a bit obsessive, has a section called Scope of Rules, Ch 1.X. This states that the Rules apply to all party units and limits the NEC’s powers to vary the rules. They may not vary the aims and objectives, conditions of membership (inc. affiliates), selection procedures, or change the relationship between CLPs and the Party.

It permits local rules, and defines the NEC’s power of interpretation. It does not require the rules to be published to all members. 😣

Scope

Mandate

This is becoming a rules compendium, I really should build a rules wiki.

Here’s a rule from Conference 2016

Chapter 13 Clause II 2. A Aims and Values

NEW CLAUSE v. Members of the Labour group in administration must comply with the provisions of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 and subsequent revisions and shall not vote against or abstain on a vote in full Council to set a legal budget proposed by the administration. Members of the Labour Group shall not support any proposal to set an illegal budget. Any councillor who votes against or abstains on a Labour group policy decision in this matter may face disciplinary action.

What’s the penalty? This is worse in a Mayor led cabinet, because of the Mayor’s relationship with the budget, which can only be overturned by a ⅔ majority. Much then depends on the Group’s rules and transparency.

Mandate

Quorum

We have finally got to the issue of Quora. The rule is in Chapter 15and so applies to meetings. Rule 15.I.D.i says,

The quorum for business meetings of (this body) shall be 25 per cent of those members entitled to vote in attendance {or a fixed number to be agreed with the regional office of the Party}.

I understand that the NEC have agreed that for all member meetings, a quorum of 25 members can be agreed but delegated the decision as to whether the latter quorum can be used to the Regional Directors, some of whose decisions may seem capricious at times.

Here is the document, allegedly, no logo, no imprint, and no chain of custody, NEC Quorums guidance 17 January 2017

 

Quorum

Term Limits

Appendix 7.IV.6 states that elected delegates to a General Committee only serve for a year.

The term of office of a delegate shall commence with the opening of the annual meeting of this CLP following their appointment or the date of their appointment if after the annual meeting. Unless terminated by their resignation, death or for any other reason by the affiliated organisation or Party unit which appointed them, the term of office of a delegate shall extend to the conclusion of the next following annual meeting of this CLP but they shall not be entitled to attend except as members of the Executive Committee of this CLP to tender reports to that meeting but not to vote unless reappointed as delegates for the appropriate year. All delegates who qualify under these conditions may be reappointed.It shall be the duty of the secretary of this CLP to invite affiliated organisations and Party units to elect their delegates prior to and in time to be called to the annual meeting and to assist this the Executive Committee may set a reasonable deadline for the appointment of delegates for that meeting.

Term Limits

Shenanigans

Three branches of the local Labour Party elected their GC delegation by placing gender quotas on classes of delegate, Secretary, Open Place & Youth and thus elected a valid delegation under the rules as stated in Chapter 8.

The  training on AGMs issued by the Party makes it clear that meeting the branch gender quotas is a matter for the branch.

There is a Chapter 15 rule that states that efforts should be made to ensure the delegation is gender balanced, but because it’s Chapter 15, this remains a matter for the branch. (These are rules for a meeting.)

The Secretary thus has no standing in determining if the delegation is valid. Nor any authority to order a recount. To attempt by decree to rule that last year’s delegation should be reinstated is arbitrary, capricious, perverse and irrational. It is these things even when backed by Region’s advice. It is also in complete contradiction to Rule Appendix 7.IV.6 which states that a delegates term lasts until the beginning of the next AGM.

Shenanigans