Guidance for Local Groups
Why should I set up a local Labour to Win group?
There are lots of reasons you might want to set up a local group.
You might want the opportunity to meet Labour Party members who share your politics locally to organise with, you might want a local space to discuss the ideas Labour needs to be a party of government in the 2020s, or maybe you just need a safe space to talk about Labour politics after what has been an incredibly bruising five years for the culture of many local Labour branches.
We and our partner organisations are on hand to provide advice and support to guide you through any challenges you might face in setting up a group, or point you in the direction of any existing structures that might be in place.
How to set up a local group
If you already have a pre-existing group, make sure they’re all signed up to receive emails on https://www.labourtowin.org.
Contact us and check that there isn’t already an existing group in the area for you to work with.
Work out what the geographic boundaries of your group will be - will it cover a ward? A CLP? A whole borough or county?
Begin contacting members in your local area that you know share your support for transforming Labour for government under the new leadership and encourage them to get involved. Particularly reach out to local office holders like councillors and MPs.
How to grow a local group
Attend your CLP and branch meetings
The best way to find members who share your politics and might want to take part in a local group is through attending Labour Party meetings and looking out for members who might fit that criteria. Pay attention to contributions from the floor, particularly from new or even better rejoining members, as we know over 80% of them joined to support the new direction the party has taken since the 2019 general election.
Remember to keep exchanges in meetings comradely, even if you disagree with other speakers. Try to join other members in the pub after the meeting and get chatting about their politics and how they see the current trajectory of the Labour Party.
Campaign for Labour
With an exciting new leadership team and a bumper set of local elections in 2021, there’s never been a better time to campaign for Labour candidates across the country. As well as being an excellent opportunity to meet other activists, campaigning is vital for making sure you stay in touch with the views of the public, and not just those who attend Labour Party meetings!
Ask for help from your local MP or Councillor
It’s possible that they’ll already have a list of contacts from their previous campaigns who might be interested in getting involved, or may be running a similar structure already.
Generally, you should avoid getting too hung-up on things like deciding on roles or putting together some kind of steering committee. At most, you should need a convenor to keep track of all the local contacts and a chair to chair events. Any additional jobs can be handed out on an ad-hoc basis as required.
Running a local group should not take up too much time, and you absolutely should not prioritise it over any existing roles you hold at a branch or CLP level. Building a successful and effective local party should come before setting up any other additional groups!
Putting on events
There are a number of different formats your event could follow.
Depending on numbers, it could be informal discussion between interested members, a formal lecture/speech with an external speaker, or a Q+A type panel event with multiple external speakers. Topics of discussion could range from Labour’s radical new post-Covid policy agenda, discussing what Labour needs to do to win elections in your area, to organising to transform the Labour Party to be ready for government through your local party structures.
When you’ve decided on a format, topic and date (try and agree on a date that as many of your existing contacts can attend as possible!) make sure you have a venue. Depending on the number existing contacts you have, this might be as small as someone’s house, or it might have to be the backroom of a pub, or meeting room provided by a sympathetic MP, Councillor or local Trade Union branch.
We can help with finding speakers and promoting your event, although exactly who can come and speak may depend on the number of people you can get to come to the event. Please contact us for more information.
Generally, you should avoid holding local events like this more than four times a year, there are already more than enough Labour Party meetings to attend over the course of a year, there’s no need to demand even more of people unnecessarily. It’s important that members with limited spare time and caring/employment responsibilities don’t feel they have to choose between Labour to Win events and general Labour Party meetings.