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Refounding Labour What it means for young members

Refounding Labour means an exciting set of changes to how our party works at every level. This booklet outlines what young members can expect to see as we implement the changes that members have decided upon. A strong and active youth movement is essential for the future of our Party, and so we hope everyone will play their part in building a Party that delivers for young people. For more information about making Refounding Labour a reality in your area you can contact the National Youth Officer by emailing younglabour@new.labour.org.uk

An accessible party for all young members


We will ensure that our party is accessible for young members at every level. In order to achieve this we will be making a number of changes: Regular and innovative communication Regular and innovative communication is essential if we are to mobilise the thousands of new young members that have joined our party since the last General Election. We are delighted to say that you will be hearing a lot more from Young Labour over the coming months and years! You can visit our new website younglabour.org.uk, follow us on Twitter (@YoungLabourUK) or visit out Facebook page: facebook.com/YoungLabourUK We will also be investing in a new online platform for young members. This will act as a hub for activity where young members can find out information, communicate with each other and access resources. It will also facilitate

communication between young members at all levels from CLP Youth Officers and Young Labour Groups to Young Labour nationally. Improved communication is particularly important in mobilising new members, who are often eager to get more involved but unsure how to do so. Therefore we will develop a welcome pack for new young members over the coming months. The pack will be a comprehensive guide for young members on the different ways they can get involved. This is something done very well by other organisations and is essential if we are to increase the number of active young members. Best practice: New members welcome packs Hastings and Rye CLP have produced a new young members welcome pack to provide information about how to get involved. The feedback from young members has been extremely positive and it has led to a significant increase in activity in the local party.

Affordable membership fees The Youth Rate for the first year of membership has proven extremely successful with thousands of new young members joining our party. However, throughout the Refounding Labour process many young members highlighted that the current system of higher fees after the first year of membership can be a barrier to continued involvement. In order to ensure that finance is never a barrier to being a member of our Party, a new system of youth rates will be introduced for all young members. For those aged 14-19: a minimum of 1 per year For those aged 19-27: a minimum of 1 per month While young members who can afford to do so will be able and encouraged to give more, this will ensure there are no financial barriers to membership for those young people on lower or no incomes. We will retain the rate of 1 per year of study for those in full-time education. Best practice:

New training and mentoring schemes Training the next generation of activists and leaders is essential for the future of our Party. Many Young Labour Groups currently put on training events and across the country the practice of informal training is well established but we will be doing a lot more over the coming years. Two particular areas identified as priorities for young members are assistance in getting more involved in the party and in getting more involved in public life. Working closely with the Training Academy and Future Candidates Programme, we will be looking at ways to help young members gain the necessary skills and experience to become the activists and leaders of the future.

London Young Labour New Members Events and Phonebanks London Young Labour have been holding incredibly successful meetings for new members. In the build up to events, currently active members arranged a phonebank of new members to welcome them to the party, give them essential information on ways they can get involved and invite them to the event. The most recent event in February was attended by over 100 new young members who met with senior politicians, including Ken Livingstone and Stella Creasy MP.

Full recognition of the work of young members It is vital that we recognise and reward the crucial work that young members do for our Party. We will be working on ways to recognise and reward good practice by both individual young members and Young Labour groups. Accessible events and conferences Attending events and conferences is an important way that many young people first get involved in our party and is often the first step for many young members in becoming more active. Events for young members will be a lot more frequent, varied and accessible in the coming years. Young Labours presence at Annual Conference has already greatly expanded and we hope to continue this should this years Youth Days prove successful. There will also be events held specifically for young members at every regional conference alongside at least one other youth event per year in every region. Recognising the importance of making sure all Labour Party events are accessible to young members, special youth rates for Annual Conference and regional conferences will be introduced. After the success of the most recent event, the currently bi-annual Youth Conference will become an annual event. Youth Conference will be the centrepiece of the Young Labour calendar and in addition to the normal format of speakers, workshops, caucuses and socials, it will also be the event where Young Labour policy is decided.

A simplified. streamlined and fairer process for Young Labour elections In order to ensure that every young member has the opportunity to fully participate in our youth wing, the complicated processes of nominations and elections previously used for Young Labour elections will be replaced by a simplified and streamlined process. All young members will be notified well in advance of any elections and the new process will include simplified nomination process of either self-nomination or nomination by a certain number of individual young members. Job descriptions will be drawn up for all positions in order that all potential candidates understand what will be expected of them if they are elected. The new process will also maintain our commitment to gender equality while also providing opportunities for every member to get involved in some way. In order to ensure the Young Labour National Committee is a fully representative body and to increase the amount of opportunities for young members to get involved, a number of new posts will be created and elected by young members at Youth Conference. This will include a representative for members under the age of 19 and an International Officer to lead on relations with our sister parties across the world and two ordinary representatives. Best practice: Kent Young Labour Launch Event

I attended the most recent Youth Conference in February this year. It was an amazing way for young members like myself to get more involved and get together to discuss policy. Thats why I believe its essential that Youth Conference becomes an annual event and a proper space for policy discussions Ben Dilks, York Central CLP

The newly formed Kent Young Labour held their launch day in July 2011. The event was a fantastic success with the young members attending getting hearing from the Shadow Justice Secretary, Sadiq Khan MP and National Chair of Young Labour, Susan Nash. They also participated in workshops on campaigning. This was only the first of many events they will be holding over the coming months.

A powerful voice for all young members


Young members must have a powerful voice within our Party. In order to achieve this we will be making a number of changes: The representation of young members at every level In order to ensure that our youth wing can truly represent the interests of young members within our party it is vital that it has rights similar to other sections of our movement. This will mean young members will now be able to do everything from submitting resolutions to conference to nominating in any leadership contest. Young Labour Groups that cover an entire region will also be extended these rights, which will ensure that the work and views of active groups of young members are recognised. An assertive youth wing with authority to represent all young members needs the same rights and privileges as other similar sections of our movement. In order to ensure our commitment to the representation of young members at every level of our Party from the very top, the position of Vice Chair Youth will be reinstated. This position, previously held by Dawn Butler, will be appointed by Young Labour National Committee and will crucially mean young members are represented within the Parliamentary Labour Party.

Policy and campaigns for young members Young members will be given the power to not just discuss issues but also to decide on their own policy positions and campaigns. The process will be simple, accessible with all young members given the opportunity to submit ideas. These ideas generated can then be turned into Young Labour campaigns and positions which can be taken to the National Policy Forum (NPF) by the NPF Youth Reps. Democratically decided policy will allow Young Labour not only to truly represent the views of its members but also to more fully assert itself within our Party and beyond. Best practice: Scottish Young Labour Policy Forum Scottish Young Labour held a very successful event in Edinburgh in May 2011 with an audience of over 100 in an event with various politicians in attendance including Sarah Boyack MSP. They debated areas of policy including the economy and foreign affairs and put forward ideas to the Labour Partys Policy Review.

Young Labour being given new rights will ensure that young members have a strengthened voice within our party. As well as having delegates to Annual and Regional Conferences, Young Labour will also have forums to debate our own policy and set our own campaigns as well as the ability to nominate in any leadership contest. This will play an important part in ensuring our youth wing becomes the powerful voice for young members it can be. Callum Munro, NEC Youth Representative

Refounding Labour for young members

Visit members.labour.org.uk/ refoundinglabourandyou to find out more.


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