Democracy Review – Towards a Cornwall Labour Party

Democracy Review – Towards a Cornwall Labour Party

Passed 6th February
16:0; 1 abstention.

For submission to the Democracy Review before March deadline, as well as other Cornish CLPs, LCF and SW Region, seeking support:

Preamble:

To help build a mass party it is desirable to connect party leaders, at all levels, with grassroots members. Yet too many Labour Party members and supporters do not even know the names of their Labour councillors. This is a particular problem in Cornwall, where large geographical areas are without Labour representation. To address this, we propose the creation of new, formal Labour Party structures, for those geographical areas which have an appropriate sense of identity – Scotland and Wales already have such self-identities and the Labour Party in Scotland and Wales already has appropriate structures.

In Cornwall, this would mean the creation or recognition of a formal Cornwall Labour Party. Such a structure already exists, in embryonic form, as the Local Co-ordinating Forum (previously known as the local government committee.)

Proposal:
1. The existing Local Co-ordinating Forum shall be known, formally, as the Cornwall Labour Party.
2. The Cornwall Labour Party shall continue its co-ordinating role across constituency parties and local government and shall establish its own internal democratic structures as appropriate.
3. The Cornwall Labour Party shall hold an annual conference, open to all Labour Party members, to debate such matters as have been submitted formally from constituency parties.
4. The Cornwall Labour Party shall be entitled to receive from the National Executive Committee not less than 5% of Labour Party membership subscriptions paid in Cornwall, for the appointment of professional organising staff. Those staff shall be appointed by and answerable to the Cornwall Labour Party.
5. In addition to its elected chair, who should preside at meetings, the Cornwall Labour Party shall have a leader, who should provide a focus for campaigning and present a “public face” for the Labour Party in Cornwall. The leader should hold public office – either as a Member of Parliament or as a Cornwall councillor.
6. Where the leader is a Cornwall councillor, that person shall be the leader of the Labour group within that council. So for the avoidance of doubt, at the moment, were this proposal to be enacted immediately, the leader of the Cornwall Labour Party would be councillor Tim Dwelly.
Any Labour Party member in Cornwall who holds public office as a Member of Parliament or a Cornwall councillor can self-nominate for election as leader.
7. The leader of the Cornwall Labour Party shall be elected by a secret ballot of the entire Labour Party membership in Cornwall, following similar rules and procedures for those already in place to elect the leader of the national party. Elections to be held within two months of any general election, Parliamentary by-election or full council elections.