Christmas & New Year message from Co-Chairs Val Stevens and Dalvir Singh
What a year!
With 2015 coming to a close we can look back at an eventful year for both the Party and our CLP. After a disappointing results and heavy election defeat the Party had to find a way out of its current position and decide on the future direction. Over the summer leadership and deputy leadership candidates embarked on a lengthy campaign and discussed their visions and ideas for the Party. After some considerable chasing they also provided answers to our CLP.
The whole leadership/deputy leadership contest lead to a vibrant debate and massive increase in Party membership. This also resulted in our CLP’s membership quadrupling and we have also seen a rise in debate amongst members.
Since the leadership vote the Party has experienced some difficult times and frictions cumulating in the Syria vote. We all must remember our Party is much bigger than any individual and regardless whoever our members voted for it is the Party’s values that unite us all. The leadership has been decided and now we must come together to focus on winning in 2020.
Since taking office in March 2015 the Executive (LICC) has actively implemented a range of measures and activities with the aim of targetting our campaigns more effectively and raising the profile of our CLP within the UK Labour Party. This year we staged two successful events for the very first time by our CLP at Conference (EU Referendum fringe event and Harry Shindler Lecture) as well as our CLP’s first ever members meeting in Alicante in Oct/November.
We also plan to increase diversity involvement and awareness with links made with BAME members at Conference and a women’s officer designation. Any input from members is welcomed.
It is our intention to keep up this level of activity in 2016 and will announce more details in due course.We are constrained by our income and the surplus this year was only achieved by some non claims and donations by LICC members totalling 2,300 € . This has ensured the CLP has not made a loss this year . This situation though is not sustainable in the long-term. We are engaged in discussions with the Party on changing the financial arrangements for our CLP which differ from UK CLPs.
There are also discussions ongoing with the Party on how our members can contribute when living abroad whether that be online, via phone banks, contributing to formulation of policies or canvassing back home. This is taking up a considerable amount of time but we are determined to make a breakthrough with positive signs on the horizon.
This year we moved to a new website which brought us in line with Labour Party formats and should enable us in future to link up better with campaigns. Our social media platforms have very much taken off this year and become places where member interact on occasions controversially. Over the last weeks some of the debates have been quite heated. We would like to remind all members to respect fellow members and adhere to guidelines for discussion. Next year we will be looking to further intensify the use of social media as well as opening up policy discussions via other platforms. Our policy group will be taking a lead here and in 2016 they will be bringing forward their ideas.
The increased membership has also opened up the opportunity of expanding our network around the world with new country contacts as well as setting up more formal groups and branches. All this is vital for enabling our CLP to build up an infrastructure throughout the world to effectively campaign for our Party on issues such as the EU Referendum as well as carrying out voter registration campaigns. For the latter the CLP will be launching an Overseas Voter Registration campaign in March. Information will follow soon.
A new member’s page has been set up on the website where we would like to hear from you on political issues arising where you are living, experiences you have made during your time abroad with systems in other countries (e.g. health, education) or anything else you might want to share. This page helps us demonstrate the diverse experience our CLP can offer our Party back home.
Now like you we are looking forward to spending some quality time with our family and friends over Christmas and New Year period.
Thanks to existing members for your continued support and to new members for joining the Labour Party to fight together for a brighter and more prosperous future for all back in the UK.
Any comments send to firstname.lastname@example.org
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
Val & Dalvir