This page is provided to give a handy one-stop list of useful information to both new and long-standing members. If you are not yet a member of the Labour Party and want to join (you’ll be very welcome), please visit this link: join.labour.org.uk
YOUR LOCAL PARTY
We are the Westmorland and Lonsdale Constituency Labour Party, commonly known as South Lakes Labour. Our CLP’s website address is: www.southlakeslabour.org.uk
If you have a question about your membership, your first port of call should be the CLP Secretary whose contact details can be found on your Labour Party membership card. You can also check the status of your membership on My Labour (login required) or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are a friendly, welcoming, inclusive, campaigning party where views are respected. We encourage members to become active in a variety of ways, from on-the-street canvassing to online activism.
Knowing who is who, putting a face to a name, makes coming along to meetings or to help campaign so much easier. To see who the CLP office holders are, (and that we are not at all scary!) why not check out our Who’s Who page.
Decisions within the CLP are made by its members, along with an elected Executive Committee (EC) of the CLP which oversees day to day work in between members’ meetings. The EC is made up of the following elected officers: Chair, Vice Chair, Vice Chair/Membership, Secretary, Treasurer, and Women’s Officer, all of whom are elected annually at the CLP AGM. Coordinators for community campaigns and diversity, membership recruitment and retention, and publicity are also elected annually, along with a press officer and a fund-raiser, all of whom are encouraged to attend the monthly EC meetings.
NEWS & EVENTS
News: We post local campaign news and events onto our website and our social media accounts, and welcome feedback and input from members.
To keep up with the news from the constituency visit our website news page or follow us on our social media accounts…
Facebook: We have a public discussion page, a public page for our council candidates, and a members-only private group. Members are encouraged to get involved in all of them.
Twitter: We are active on Twitter too, so why not follow us if you have Twitter
Events: Public events organised by South Lakes Labour will show up on the website events page and on our social media feeds.
Local meetings: Regular members-only meetings are held in Kendal on the last Wednesday of each month except December. Details and the agenda are sent to members 10 days prior to the meeting date either by post or by email as appropriate. Constituency meetings are lively and interesting, and often feature either a guest speaker or a members’ discussion on a topical issue. We also discuss and agree motions to conferences, we can endorse candidates to the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) and in leadership and deputy leadership contests, and hold an Annual General Meeting of the CLP in May at which officers are elected.
The CLP membership falls into two branches, one centred in Kendal, the other covers the Lakes and a part of Furness. The latter holds separate meetings periodically. In addition to members’ meetings, we also arrange social and fund-raising events. At members’ meetings, delegates are selected to represent the CLP at Annual and Regional Conferences, and on the Local Campaign Forum. Before a Parliamentary Election members can participate in the selection of our prospective parliamentary candidate.
Take part in generating Labour policy: Whether you’re a member or not, the Labour Party wants to hear your ideas on how the next Labour government should tackle the challenges facing our country, and how to build a more equal and prosperous Britain. Members’ meetings also have discussions about policies and current issues and feed back ideas into the party’s policy making forum.
The planning for our campaigning across the constituency falls under the remit of our Campaign Committee, which consists of members of the EC, along with candidates and the constituency agent. The CC organises door-to-door canvassing sessions for both local council and parliamentary candidates. We also campaign on key issues in and affecting Westmorland and Lonsdale.
This takes place both in the run up to elections and in between times so we can discover voters’ concerns and lets us to know where our supporters are.
TRAINING FOR CANVASSERS
Our “Up the Garden Path” training sessions, to help members understand why and how we canvass, are held periodically.
Phone canvassing will be taking place from 2021 and members are encouraged to volunteer for this. Training and support will be given.
For those who are relatively new to the Labour Party, here is a quick overview of how we are organised locally…
The Westmorland and Lonsdale Constituency Labour Party (CLP) covers a wide geographical area from Ulverston in the west to Garsdale Head in the east, and from Dunmail Raise in the north to the county border with Lancashire in the south. See map
District Wards and County Divisions:
Since May 2018 there are 18 district wards in the South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) area, represented by 51 councillors. Most wards are 3-councillor wards, the remaining ones 2-councillor. Currently there are 3 Labour councillors on SLDC. The next election date for SLDC seats will be May 2021.
Across the whole county, Cumbria County Council (CCC) has 84 councillors, of whom 26 are Labour members. In the SLDC area Cumbria County Council have 18 councillors representing 18 county electoral divisions in South Lakeland, one of whom is a Labour councillor. The next election date for CCC seats will be in 2021. Despite not having a majority of councillors Labour, in coalition with the Liberal Democrat councillors, have control of the county council.
Local Campaign Forums (LCFs):
Local Campaign Forums are based on council boundaries, enabling several CLPs that are part of the same local authority area to meet together to share ideas and resources and plan county wide strategies. This means that, along with the other 5 parliamentary constituencies in Cumbria, Westmorland and Lonsdale CLP elects representatives to Cumbria LCF.
Membership of the LCF comprises the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Labour Group of Councillors along with representatives from CLPs and trade unions. LCFs recruit and shortlist potential candidates for council elections, co-ordinate campaign activities and develop the election strategy. They also liaise with the Labour Group about local government issues and input into the manifesto for local elections.
We hope that this page covers things you want to know about South Lakes Labour, but if there is anything you want to know that isn’t covered please just ask!