Labour Party campaigners for the Brentwood Borough Council Elections 2018

Meetings & Democracy

As a democratic, socialist party we welcome people to join the party from all walks of life, to have their say, elect candidates for election and debate and influence policy.

For newcomers, working out how everything fits together can seem a bit of a maze – but don’t let that put you off as there’s a common goal: ensuring the party remains open and democratic and helping maintain contact between the party, the people and the government. 

Our structure, and our open policy development process enables more people than ever before to have their say. The Labour party in Brentwood currently (December 2023) has around 400 members and many more affiliates and registered supporters. Locally we have more than all the other political parties put together.

Furthermore, in recent elections since 2015, Labour has consistently been ahead of the Liberal Democrats in general elections, even in the difficult-for-Labour election of 2019, which should give you pause for thought before voting tactically!

Where you fit in

New ideas are vital if the party is to grow and develop – and your views, experience and help are welcome. Members are very different in their outlook, some preferring to pay their subs to support the party, others taking an active role in local politics and yet more enjoying the chance to debate national policy issues at meetings with a view to influencing the national party.

It is vital to understand that in spite of our differences we actively maintain friendship and respect to create effective teams from all those who can campaign, form policy or raise funds.

The Constituency – Brentwood and Ongar

The Brentwood and Ongar Constituency Labour Party (CLP) is based on the electoral area for the election of its MP (outlined in pink below). Via your CLP, you can choose members to represent us at annual conference and you can help select the parliamentary candidate.

At the district council level, The Local Government Boundary Commission for England has recently (2023) finalised new ward boundaries for both Epping Forest District Council (outlined in purple below) and Brentwood Borough Council (outlined in red below).

Map of the Brentwood & Ongar Constituency, with district council ward boundaries indicated.

The constituency is now made up of eighteen district council wards, five wards to elect councillors to Epping Forest District Council and thirteen wards to elect to Brentwood Borough Council.

For Epping Forest there is some overlap between our CLP and Harlow and Epping Forest CLPs, so we collaborate on elections for these wards.

At the next level of local government, Ongar Town Council and the Parish Councils also have a significant role and a budget. These usually operate ‘apolitically’, but this is not the case for Ongar Town Council. Members are encouraged to take part in these as they often simply mean applying to join. Work done here can be of great value in supporting a campaign at district council level.

All Member and Supporter Meetings

Meetings play an important role in debating key issues and agreeing the direction of campaigning locally.  However, they can also become a matter of routine management, which can detract from the political interests members have.

For these reasons, locally we hold monthly meetings open to all members and supporters to debate issues and strategies, and we annually elect an Executive Committee to manage the party’s work and a Local Government Committee to organise active members to deal with local campaign issues.

Ongar Branch

The Constituency Labour Party has two branches – Brentwood and Ongar. Ongar branch meets and operates independently with respect to its parishes, Town Council and wards of Epping forest District council. Please get in touch if you live in Ongar or in the parishes to the north and would like to support the Ongar Branch.

CLP Executive Committee

This committee is responsible for managing the party’s activities locally, organising the agenda for our meetings, booking meeting halls, handling the finances and acting on behalf of the CLP members when appropriate. It is elected by the CLP membership at our Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in June/July each year.

These are the current office holders for Brentwood & Ongar Constituency Labour Party elected at the AGM on 13 July 2023.

Voting and non voting members are elected by the General Committee of all members present at the AGM. Coordinators are appointed by Executive Committee and may also be already elected to the Executive Committee.

Contact Richard Millwood if you have any questions:
07790 558641

ChairRichard Millwood1. Maintain oversight that the CLP is compliant with its constitution
2. Chair meetings of the members
3. Chair meetings of the executive committee
4. Agree dates, venues and agenda items for meetings
5. Act as deputy treasurer
6. Produce a short annual report
Vice Chair (Campaigns & Political)Tim Barrett1. Step in for the chair when necessary
2. Oversees campaigns and policy formation
Vice Chair (Membership)Susan Kortlandt1. Step in for the chair when necessary
2. Oversee membership communication, recruitment and retention
SecretaryJane Winter1. Minute meetings of members and executive committee
2. Arrange meeting venues
3. Produce a short annual report
TreasurerDominic Maddock1. Maintain the CLP bank account(s)
2. Monitor expenditure and advise campaigns
3. Accept and make payments
4. Produce an annual statement and short report
Policy OfficerKevin Hind1. Support local meetings and working groups in preparing policy
2. Communicate local outcomes to policy formation bodies in the national party
Women’s OfficerLiz Jerrard1. Arrange and chair events to offer support and voice to women members
2. Arrange and chair events on their issues for all members
3.Produce a short annual report
BAME Officer1. Arrange and chair events to offer support and voice to BAME members
2. Arrange and chair events on their issues for all members
3.Produce a short annual report
Disability OfficerPhilip Holland1. Arrange and chair events to offer support and voice to disabled members
2. Arrange and chair events on their issues for all members
3.Produce a short annual report
LBGT+ Officer1. Arrange and chair events to offer support and voice to LBGT+ members
2. Arrange and chair events on their issues for all members
3.Produce a short annual report
Youth Officer1. Arrange and chair events to offer support and voice to youth members
2. Arrange and chair events on their issues for all members
3.Produce a short annual report
Trade Union Liaison Officer1. Nurture contact with unions
2. Arrange speakers from unions
3. Produce a short annual report
Political Education Officer
1. Seek speakers for our meetings to inform and educate local members on Labour issues
2. Facilitate a programme and arrange meetings for the Socialist book club and Socialist film club
Communications and Social Media Officer1. To inform the public of our activities and views
2. To encourage new members to join
3. To encourage existing members to become active
4. To campaign locally, regionally and nationally for issues that our members care about
5. To pursue the aims of campaigns for election both locally regionally and nationally
6. To provide forums online for members to meet and pursue the party’s aims
Ordinary memberAlison WingfieldTo attend and take part in executive meetings of the CLP representing all members
Ordinary memberPat WoodsTo attend and take part in executive meetings of the CLP representing all members
Non voting members
Auditor 1Joanna MoncrieffOn behalf of all members to audit the annual accounts produced by the treasurer
Auditor 2On behalf of all members to audit the process and conduct of meetings
Chair of Campaigns CommitteeTim BarrettTo oversee general election processes
CoordinatorsIn each case, to support the relevant officer in carrying out their functions
Youth & Student
Trade Union LiaisonTim Barrett
Membership recruitment & retentionRichard Millwood
Political educationRichard Millwood
Social MediaJonathan Saunders

Local Government Committee

The CLP has established a Brentwood Borough Council Local Government Committee responsible for overseeing local campaigning in the Brentwood Borough Council wards.  It is chaired by Liz Jerrard and has representation from the CLP, the Labour group of councillors, affiliated parties and trade unions.

A campaign group then manages leaflet writing, street stalls, leaflet delivery and canvassing throughout the year and reports back. The Local Government Committee will also manage the recruitment and selection of candidates for elections. Currently we have two councillors – Gareth Barrett and Tim Barrett representing Brentwood South ward.

A second Local Government Committee is a collaboration with Epping Forest CLP to cover the wards which elect to Epping Forest District Council.

Regional Forums

For Essex County Council elections there is an Essex Campaign Forum, which works to coordinate campaigning for county seats.

Policy Making

As a party member you may also be invited to attend local and regional policy discussions throughout the year.  Informal, friendly gatherings, members in each discussion can make submissions to policy development. There is also an annual Eastern Region conference to which our CLP sends delegates.

Submissions to the Labour Party do not have to stem from events, nor our own meetings alone.  Anybody can share their views and ideas throughout the year, and several members have nationally recognised expertise which may be consulted by the national party from time to time.

National Policy Forum (NPF)

The NPF meets several times a year to make sure that the direction of our national policy reflects the broad consensus in the party.  Between meetings, the representatives that make up the body liaise with the members, the representatives that make up the body liaise with the members, supporters and public who make submissions.  NPF representatives will respond to submissions, ask questions and engage in on-going debate about the issues that matter to you, feeding them back when the NPF meets to move our policy forward.

The NPF includes representatives of CLPs and regions, Labour Councillors, affiliated trade unions and socialist societies, the PLP, the EPLP and other stakeholder groups within the Party.

National Executive Committee (NEC)

Made up of representatives from each section of the party – government, MPs, MEPs, councillors, trade unions and CLPs.  Members vote for their CLP representatives in a ballot each year.  The NEC sets the party’s objectives and oversees the running of the party nationally.

Annual Conference

The annual conference is the ultimate authority in the Party deciding the policy framework from which the next manifesto will be drawn and setting party rules.  It considers the policy papers prepared by the policy commissions after consulting local parties.  Members choose delegates within the CLP to represent them at conference – and those delegates could include you.

For further details, please get in touch.