Meetings and Democracy

MLS GroupHow the local party works

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 & 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 (July 2020) has over 540 members and many more affiliates and registered supporters, locally more than all the other political parties put together.

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 & Ongar

The Brentwood and Ongar Constituency Labour Party (CLP) is based on the electoral area for the election of MPs.  Via your CLP, you can choose the members from your area to represent our local party at annual conference and you can help select the parliamentary candidate.

Brentwood and Ongar Consituencey and its local council wards
Brentwood and Ongar Constituency and its local council wards

The constituency is made up of twenty two local council wards, seven wards in Ongar elect councillors to Epping District Council and fifteen wards in Brentwood which elect to Brentwood Borough Council. Ongar Town Council and the Parish Councils also have representation.

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 elect an Executive Committee to manage the party’s work and a Campaign Forum 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 wards, parishes and its Town Council. Please contact us 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 May each year.

Officers of the Executive Committee

These are the current office holders for Brentwood & Ongar Constituency Labour Party elected at the AGM on 9 February 2021.

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:
chair@brentwoodandongarlabour.org.uk
07790 558641

PositionNameTasks
ChairRichard Millwood 1. 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)Cameron Ball 1. Step in for the chair when necessary
2. Oversees campaigns and policy formation
Vice Chair (MembershipSue Kortlandt 1. Step in for the chair when necessary
2. Oversee membership communication, recruitment and retention
SecretaryJane Winter 1. Minute meetings of members and executive committee
2. Arrange meeting venues
3. Produce a short annual report
TreasurerPat Woods 1. 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 OfficerAndrew Briggs 1. Support local meetings and working groups in preparing policy
2. Communicate local outcomes to policy formation bodies in the national party
Women’s OfficerJune Simmons 1. Arrange and chair events to offer support and voice to women / BAME / disabled /LBGT+ / youth members
2. Arrange and chair events on their issues for all members
3.Produce a short annual report
BAME OfficerNaa-Anyima Boateng
Disability OfficerPhilip Holland
LBGT+ Officervacant
Youth Officervacant
Trade Union Liaison OfficerTim Barrett 1. Nurture contact with unions
2. Arrange speakers from unions
3. Produce a short annual report
Political Education OfficerTim White 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 OfficerLiam Preston 1. 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 fora online for members to meet and pursue the party’s aims
Ordinary memberAnn Huish 1. To attend and take part in executive meetings of the CLP representing all members
Ordinary memberGareth Barrett
Non voting members
Auditor 1Joanna Moncrieff 1. On behalf of all members to audit the annual accounts produced by the treasurer
Auditor 2vacant1. On behalf of all members to audit the process and conduct of meetings
Chair of campaigns committeeTim Barrett 1. To oversee general election processes
Coordinators
Youth & StudentCameron Ball 1. To support the relevant officer in carrying out their functions
Women’svacant
BAMEvacant
Trade Union LiaisonCameron Ball
Membership recruitment & retentionRichard Millwood
Fundraisingvacant
Political educationvacant

Local Government Committee

The CLP has established a Local Government Committee responsible for organising local campaigning throughout the year.  It will also oversee the recruitment and selection of candidates for borough elections and manage street stalls, leafletting and canvassing. Its primary duty is to maintain our presence in Epping Forest District Council,  Brentwood Borough Council and Essex County Council. Currently we have three councillors – Gareth Barrett, Julie Morrisey and Tim Barrett representing Brentwood South Ward. At times of general election it will select a parliamentary candidate and organise a campaign.

Regional Forums

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

As a party member you may also be invited to attend local and regional policy discussions throughout the year.  Informal, friendly gatherings, each discussion makes submissions to the policy commissions. 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 contact us.