Our constituency Chair, Ruth Wilson, passed away from cancer on 17th January. Up until the very end, Ruth was still thinking and caring about the local party, and only a few weeks before her death, she wrote down her vision for SE Cornwall Labour.
Ruth was surrounded by love and kindness in her last moments as was her wish, she left us peacefully and pain free. Details about her funeral, to be held on 27th January, can be found on our facebook page.
At our Executive meeting on 15th January, we adopted Ruth’s vision as the guiding principles we want to try and follow in our leadership of the local party. We’re now circulating it among our members, and will be presenting it to the full Constituency Labour Party (CLP) meeting in March.
So my VISION is close to Jeremy Corbyn’s, I believe.
* we are a member-led constituency, with every member feeling they have something unique to offer, their skills recognised and effectively utilised;
* the branches are the building blocks of the party; branch members will be encouraged and supported to campaign on issues of importance in their community;
* a confident member-led CLP will support and strengthen branches, maintaining the agreed overall strategic direction of the constituency;
* the CLP will actively campaign on constituency-wide and national issues, thereby becoming an important resource for constituents;
In order to achieve that, I believe we need to:
* have a membership that reflects the community in which we’re based, including groups normally excluded from participation in public life;
* continually seek to draw out the skills and knowledge of our membership;
* be a visible and active resource in our communities;
* stand, support and campaign for candidates to represent Labour at all levels of government;
* ensure members are involved in decision making;
* work together as an Executive to make sure members’ decisions are acted upon;
* ensure members access training, conferences, personnel and IT resources that increase their skills and effectiveness.
For me as Chair that has meant:
* supporting the development of new branches;
* working with others to identify skills, knowledge and leadership abilities in branch members and encourage people to step forward into roles that suit their abilities;
* supporting and being accessible to branch and CLP officers;
* being a visible, enthusiastic and active campaigner;
* supporting others to build and lead campaigns;
* being organised and meeting deadlines for local and national events;
* ensuring our ‘public face’ gives appropriate messages to the public by reviewing press articles, leaflets, etc;
* ensuring CLP meetings are timely, inclusive and participative with members having good information at their disposal.
I think as a CLP we could:
* step up our inclusion/ equalities work, as we still have some way to go there;
* improve communication between branches. This can only get better if the Exec continues to meet regularly;
* initiate internal training on a range of issues;
* improving our Internet, social media and press presence;
* build our electioneering resources.