In general, the structure of the Labour party and the present functioning of the NPF have caused a collapse of confidence in the policy making process among our members.
We have no real sense of participation. There is no feedback to CLPs from the NPF, the NEC or the leadership. We feel disconnected.
We do not fully understand the Party structure and how it works.
There seems to be no compunction on the NPF to heed CLPs. The lack of feedback appears to be deliberate. We see there is no compunction to heed the grassroots.
It appears to work as top-down management, and this is not what we pay our subscriptions for. Leadership appears to suppress things.
The shadow cabinet appears to produce its own policy papers without any reference to the NPF, and which overlap the consultations and invalidate them.
We need feedback from NPF and NEC and more interaction.
We need backwards and forwards communication.
We need more dynamic exchanges.
Relationships should be regularised and regulated between MPs, the Shadow Cabinet, the NEC, the Leadership, and the members and CLPs.
The Shadow Cabinet ought to incorporate NPF policies. We want the Shadow Cabinet and the Leadership to be more accountable.
Conference has been undermined. NPF appears to be designed to move away from Conference policy not develop it.
The shadow cabinet appears to produce its own policy papers without any reference to the NPF, and which overlap the consultations.
We see that the Leadership suppresses things, even at Conference.
It appears the Leadership can keep an item off the agenda at conference.
Conference resolutions carried by a 2/3 majority cannot be contradicted even by a Clause V committee, and Conference resolutions should form the basis of policies.
All Conference resolutions should be filed and available to view on the website.
The NPF appears to be easily bypassed. It has too many commissions. There is no reporting back to CLPs.
The reports from the NPF do not make the process clear.
There are a limited number of CLP representatives, they are regional and their connexions to CLPs are weak.
There is no publicity or press so no-one knows what is going on.
There is a lack of feedback, and no sense of participation.
The 2019 NPF reports were released just before Conference so no-one had a chance to look at them properly. The method of refer-back is for specific clauses so it is impossible to comment on the document as a whole.
Last year no-one saw all the papers until just before Conference.
The NPF should send back discussions to the CLPs consistently and regularly.
The NPF should identify specialist knowledge and skills in our own members and use them. It should collect areas of expertise from members and not just use outside organisations.
For deeper policy development the NPF should embed these discussion into the policy process.
The NPF should use Zoom or Team to meet and communicate with CLPs.
- There is a need for feedback and more interaction.
- We need prompt feedback from NPF. We need backwards and forwards communication.
- We need to work on links between NPF and CLPs and also draw in the Shadow Cabinet.
- We need a continuous and iterative work process for NPF.
- We need better coordination between NPF and CLPs.
- The NPF gets ideas from think tanks etc, and these need to feed out to CLPs
- We need more CLP representatives with closer ties to the CLPs.
Policy consultations are held in a once-a-year cluster, with no direct notification to CLPs. Members are given a limited number of topics. We have no say in the topics chosen and no explanation of the choice. We have no information about how these policies are being developed or why. It feels like a paper exercise.
There are a limited number of topics. This is unsatisfactory as they do not reflect the concerns of members. There is only 1consultation per year & 8 topics. More would be better. It is not good for consultation to be stop-and-start. In addition, it is inefficient to rush 8 CLP discussions or meetings in a period of a few weeks.
Not enough topics are covered. There is no place for expert/professional input. There are a limited number of representatives. More are needed.
Consultation needs to be ongoing not once a year. Policy development should be ongoing. It is a long term process
More frequent consultations would be better. Consultation should be ongoing.
We want input into the questions asked and the topics covered.
We need to be able to feed specific professional experience and specialist knowledge into reports We want a specific avenue for this.
We need more connection between NPF and CLPs, and more ongoing discussion and consultations. We need more freedom to develop ideas.
CLPs have specific areas of interest ie a certain industry and would like to look at it and work on in detail, ie engineering, fishing, hospitality.
We need feedback to CLPs from the NPF, from the NEC and from the Shadow Cabinet.
The NPF website is not fit for purpose. There is no clear navigation. To find anything it is first necessary to find some of the links. Members use it on an occasional basis, and cannot memorise the multiple hidden links. It is difficult to use for any purpose and appears to discourage rather than encourage participation.
The submissions form is difficult to read because of the pale typeface, it is too small on the screen and it is halfway down the page and there are no directions telling us to scroll down.
We need clear and easy navigation on the website, for example there should be labelled buttons showing purpose, eg for posting submissions.
The submissions form should appear at the top of its page not halfway down. It should be full page with black type.
The input should be less complex, for example the “categories” should be sorted under each commission.
For research, submissions appear in chronological order and it is nearly impossible to find anything posted more that a week ago. To look at other submissions, we can only see 5 titles, then other 5. If we open one to read it we have to start searching from the beginning again.
There should be a search facility by commission, by category and by date; and also by sources ie CLPs and BLPs. We should be able to scroll easily and freely through past submissions.
It is not easy to find Conference policies, and we need to be able to do this. We do not know enough about the reasons and purposes of existing policies, or how they have evolved.
Conference policies passed by a 2/3 majority cannot be contradicted even by the Clause V committee, so we need to access them.
The NPF should educate and inform members about policy
Political Education is important to explain the reasons behind the policies. We want to know the context and history of policies, and the process.
Feedback from NPF has value as a Political Education exercise for learning and ‘ownership’. We need to know the Policy programme. (Policy is often ‘wiped clean’ after a general election.)
We want to understand how this and other political parties are structured, and how they function. We want to know about parties in other countries.