It’s hard to believe that almost 4 months have passed since Nesil and I became the Local Government representatives on Labour’s National Executive Committee.
It’s also hard to believe that it’s only this month since we attended our first full NEC meeting. We’ll report on that separately. People have been coming up to me, asking “what’s it like on the NEC then, hey?”, and leaving with a sense of disappointment when I say “I don’t know, yet”.
That’s not to say that we haven’t been busy on your behalf.
The AGM of the NEC was at Conference, where kind words were proffered to departing members, including our own Nick Forbes and Alice Perry, who was also stepping down as Chair. It took a few phone calls to find out where and when the meeting was, but once found, it was exciting to be in the company of some true Labour Party legends. Johanna Baxter is now Chair, and has been doing a great job so far.
In November there was a huge away day in Newcastle, held in the Labour Central. The day was spent receiving presentations on strategy, staffing, training, and constitutional issues. We received updates on selections, both local and parliamentary, and an overview of progress on disciplinary issues.
Morgan McSweeney gave a brilliant overview of our campaign strengths and weaknesses and in particular the need for a relentless focus on targeting.
David Evans told us on the changes in staffing and how they would better aid our election efforts.
Vidhya Alakeson gave an insightful report on the vital work of engagement with stakeholders and partners.
Hollie Ridley took us through the state of our readiness in the nations and regions, and the progress in the field.
And Tom Lilywhite told us of the current work on recruiting and training a new generation of digital organisers.
Nesil and I are now on a few committees – all NEC members can attend Organisation Sub, which reviews and reports to the NEC on weighty matters. We are also involved with the NPF process. We urge council groups to examine the 6 policy documents just issued – the consultation closes on 17th March.
We are also party to discussions on groups/campaigns that may need discretionary support. Will report on that in future.
I am now a member of the Audit and Governance sub Committee. Like Council ones, our A&G will look at RAGs and Risks, but most importantly, looks at the Party’s accounts before they are published at conference. I serve on my council’s A&G, so I know what I’m in for!
We’ve raised a few Local Government issues – Photo voter ID, Involvement of Labour Groups in Metro Mayor nominations – and been heard politely.
Its great to be involved with the Party facing the front, facing the future with confidence (but not complacency) and not seeking a face-off with voters!