13. Stand for Cornwall Council
Cornwall Council get paid an allowance and the minimum commitment is 8 meetings a year. However if you were to do the bare minimum you wouldn't be a great councillor and you wouldn't last very long.
St Austell & Newquay Labour contested 5 of the 22 seats that made up the constituency last May. The next election there will be less Cornwall Councillors due to changes by the electoral commission. I'd personally like to see Labour members stand in all of the seats. The earlier we get started, the better our chances. All the data we collect will feed into general election campaigning.
14. Stand for Parliament
Any Labour member can throw their hat into the ring. If you fill out a form and are approved by the NEC then you can stand at a hustings event to be selected by the CLP membership.
12. Run for Town/Parish Council
The Conservative Party pride themselves on having the most local councillors. Becoming a councillor isn't a huge commitment and like many volunteer roles it's what you make of it. I'd say a local council might take 10 hours a month; this can be a huge commitment if you're working full time.
Many local councils aren't contested by election instead lots of local councils co-opt members of the community. I get the impression that a lot of these councils are "clubs". (I must stress not through anyone I've met.)
11. Become an Officer/ Executive
Branches and Constituency are both run by executive officers. The executive officers make the decisions on the behalf of constituency between meetings and put into action decisions that the membership makes, The volunteer executives are chosen by the membership at the AGM or as and when the role becomes available.
St Austell & Newquay Consituency Labour Party have also elected other officers whi report to C:P. Officer roles can be shared.
The executive meet once a month for a couple of hours to plan the constituency meeting.
10. Join a sub committee.
It doesn't sound fun but this is where the work of the CLP gets done. St Austell & Newquay Labour currently has:
A fundraising committee
A membership committee
A campaign committee
A constitutional committee.
A NHS committee
9. Attend Constituency Labour Party Meetings
The constituency labour party (CLP) is where a lot of the decisions are made which affect all the members in Constituency (not just the branch).
The constituency officers report, motions are moved and often guest speakers are invited to speak.
Constituency meetings are 2 or 2,5 hours a month.
8. Attend Branch Meetings
Now you're a member of the Labour Party you can have your say in how it's run. As you can imagine with half a million or so members there needs to be a structure to ensure everyone has their say.
The Branch meeting is the local wing of the Party. Branch meetings are generally relaxed and will talk about politics at ground roots - be it local councils, Cornwall Council or the plethora of local organisations, agencies, projects, charities or community interest companies. I'll be honest until I joined the Labour Party and attended branch I had no idea about any of this, now I sit on two town councils. One of my favourite topics in branch is local history you really get a sense of the longevity of the socialist cause. Branch meeting is usually 1-2 hours a month.
Until recently St Austell & Newquay Constituency didn't have a branch structure but in the recent resurgence the party membership has gone from a hundred or so members to seven hundred.
The recent branch structure voted on by the constituency is
Newquay and St Columb
Mevagissey and Roseland
St. Blazey Tywardreath Fowey
Each of these branches consist 3 or 4 unitary (Cornwall Council) Wards and each branch has 150-200 members. Not all members attend all meetings, we appreciate members have lives to live. It's a branch level that Cornwall Council candidates can be selected.
7 .Join the Labour Party
If you're not a member yet please consider it. The Labour Party exists to win parliamentary seats, we're the biggest party in Europe and we're the only Democratic Socialist option. Democratic means we believe everybody ought to have a say in the running of our country and Socialist means we want to put society first. (but you probably knew that if you got this far. Next week 5 tips on how to teach your grandma to suck eggs.)
6. Attend Social Events and Fundraising
The Labour Social and Fundraising Events are relaxed evenings where Members and campaigners meet and have fun. Obviously the talk is generally Labour Party orientated but you're in a room with like minded people, the most challenging time of the night will be Jeff's mystery game. All the funds raised at the Social will go to Constituency.
5.Campaign For Labour
You don't need to be a Labour Member to campaign for Labour. If you're truly passionate then get involved. Leafleting, campaign stalls and canvassing are the bread and butter of campaigning.
4.Engage with Friends and Family
If you've read this far then you really want to help, - engaging with friends and family is easy. Converse with your friends and when politics comes up tell them how you feel. You don't need to chew their ear off or beg; just let them know why you're passionate to see a Labour government. I don't recommend you argue with anyone, people who want to be engaged will ask questions, those who don't will say so. Debating the facts will help you grow and force you to look up and check your knowledge. I like being g challenged and the opportunity to correct some of the untruths bandied around about the Party.
This blog will be created by members of the Exec committee on topics of interest to the St Austell & Newquay Labour Party