City of Durham Constituency Labour Party Rules
Formally agreed and adopted at the 35th AGM, 8 June 2018
1. The City of Durham Constituency Labour Party, hereinafter named ‘this CLP’
Aims and values
A. The aims and values of the Labour Party as outlined in Chapter 1 Clause IV above shall apply to this Constituency Labour Party (CLP).
A. To unite the forces of Labour within the constituency and to ensure the establishment of, and to keep in active operation an appropriate organisation and structure, which shall normally include branches, as approved by the National Executive Council (NEC).
B. To secure the return of Labour representatives to Parliament and local government bodies, by promoting the policies and principles of the Party throughout the constituency with a view to increasing the Party’s influence within the local community and securing support and membership from it.
C. To promote the policies of the Party within the constituency by formulating a development action plan for the Party in the area and to ensure its adoption and implementation by all Party units.
D. To provide the opportunity for all individual members of the Party within the constituency to contribute to the development of the aims and policies by ensuring that a full range of Party activities are available to them, including local policy forums, and that they may participate fully in discussion to broaden the political education of members of the Party and to increase their influence over the formulation of the Party programme.
E. To establish local policy forums, possibly in cooperation with neighbouring CLPs, as authorised by and with the support of the appropriate Regional Director (RD) or General Secretary (GS) operating to guidelines produced by the NEC. The constitution of the Party places an obligation on CLPs to work in pursuit of our aims with trade unions, co-operative societies and other affiliated organisations, and it must consult its members, elected representatives, affiliated organisations and, where practicable, the wider community in which it is based on policy making initiatives which are to be forwarded for consideration as part of the national policy making process
1. Organisations may affiliate to the Party at constituency level if they fall within the following categories:
A. trade unions or branches thereof affiliated to the Trades Union Congress or considered by the NEC to be bona fide trade unions affiliated to the Party nationally. Where provided by the structure of an affiliated organisation, subsections of branches may affiliate separately at the discretion of the RD(GS) of the Party in agreement with the appropriate authority of the affiliated trade union
B. co-operative societies, branches of the Co-operative Party and other co-operative Organisations
C. branches of those socialist societies affiliated to the Party nationally
D. other organisations or branches thereof, which in the opinion of the NEC are deemed eligible for affiliation.
2. Each affiliated organisation must: accept the programme, principles and policy of the Party; agree to conform to the constitution, rules and standing orders of the Party; have members who are registered as electors within the constituency.
1. Affiliation fees and contributions payable to this CLP shall be:
A. trade unions, branches of trade unions, branches of socialist societies and other organisations; 6p per annum per member resident or registered as an elector within the constituency, with a minimum payment of £6 per branch
B. co-operative societies and other cooperative organisations on the basis agreed between this CLP and the respective co-operative organisation, though as a minimum on the same basis as other affiliated organisations
C. the Co-operative Party in accordance with the agreement between the Labour Party and the Co-operative Union Limited currently in force
D. all affiliation fees shall be paid not later than 31 December of the relevant year.
1. The conditions of membership for, method of enrolment of, and level of subscription payable by individual members of the Party within this constituency shall be as laid down in the membership rules of the Party in Chapter 2.
2. The constitutional rights of individual members of the Party within this constituency shall operate only where they are registered as electors and reside or, exceptionally if they are not eligible to be registered to vote, in which they reside only.
3. Women members in this CLP shall, if they so desire, be organised into a women’s forum acting in accordance with regulations sanctioned by the NEC and on boundaries approved by the RD(GS).
4. Individual members of the Party between 14 years and 26 years of age inclusive shall, if they so desire, be organised in branches of Young Labour acting in accordance with regulations sanctioned by the NEC and on boundaries approved by the RD(GS).
Method of organisation
The CLP has adopted the following organisational framework, taking into account the flexibility permitted in chapter 7, clause IV of the party rule book and currently approved by the NEC
A. A delegate based annual general meeting (AGM) and when necessary special general meetings (SGM).
B. Bi monthly all member meetings (AMM).
C. Monthly business meetings of delegates and officers, styled ‘business committee’ (BC).
D. A branch (BLP) structure on such basis as decided by the AGM and approved by the NEC. Branch boundaries shall as far as possible utilise local government electoral divisions as ‘building blocks’.
E. A branch established in accordance with this rule shall consist only of those individual members of the Party within this CLP who reside and are registered as electors within the area covered by the branch or, exceptionally if they are not eligible to be registered to vote, in which they reside only.
F. Branches shall operate in accordance with the rules for Party branches and any other regulations approved by the NEC. In particular, a branch shall maintain the necessary machinery for elections within its area. A branch may undertake other activities to promote the Party in its area and the involvement of its individual members in line with the development action plan agreed for this CLP. The public activities of a branch shall be approved by the Business Committee of this CLP.
G. Where the BC considers it desirable there may be established a coordinating organisation covering more than one branch subject to the approval of the regional office.
2. There may be established workplace branches covering one or more CLPs, acting in accordance with rules sanctioned by the NEC.
3. There may be established a women’s forum to coordinate work among women members, acting in accordance with the rules for women’s forums and any other regulations approved by the NEC and on boundaries approved by the NEC.
4. There may be established an ethnic minorities forum to co-ordinate work among Black and minority ethnic (BAME) members, acting in accordance with the rules for ethnic minorities forums and any other regulations approved by the NEC and on boundaries approved by the NEC.
5. There may be established other such forums among common interests groups acting in accordance with the rules for these forums and any other regulations approved by the NEC and on boundaries approved by the NEC.
6. There shall be established a Campaign Committee to co-ordinate the public activity of this CLP.
A. The Campaign Committee comprises branch campaign organisers and other members as appropriate. The chair and treasurer of this CLP and the Member of Parliament and/or the parliamentary candidate and the parliamentary agent, shall be ex-officio members of the Campaign Committee.
B. A campaign co-ordinator elected at the AGM shall chair the Campaign Committee: co-ordinate constituency wide campaigns; liaise with Head Office and the regional office and with affiliated organisations, as the case may be, in the promotion of the Party’s campaigns; and liaise with other election agents as appropriate over the election campaign strategy for elections and referenda taking place wholly or partly within the area of this CLP.
C. Where the campaign co-ordinator is not the election agent, the Campaign Committee shall ensure that an election agent is appointed to be responsible for all local elections within the area of this CLP. Agents shall liaise with other agents within the local authority area in order to ensure a unified and co-ordinated campaign. For national elections, the committee should seek to appoint an election agent at the earliest opportunity in consultation with the prospective candidate and appropriate RD(GS) and this appointment shall be subject to the approval of the NEC. Any member not otherwise disbarred from being an election agent may be considered for appointment.
7. There shall be established a Finance Committee to oversee the finances of the CLP, prepare annual budget estimates, monitor income and expenditure and make recommendations to the BC
A. The Finance Committee comprises the chair, treasurer, secretary, campaign co-ordinator, fundraising co-ordinator and five members of the BC elected at the annual general meeting
8. There shall be established a Fundraising Committee (to oversee fundraising activities and make recommendations to the BC)
A. The Fundraising Committee comprises the chair, treasurer, secretary, fundraising co-ordinator, branch fundraising officers and other members as appropriate. The fundraising co-ordinator chairs meeting.
9. Conditions for appointment of delegates to this CLP (in accordance with appendix 7 clause IV of the Labour Party rule book)
A. Every delegate must be an individual member of the Party in this CLP as described in the membership rules.
B. Delegates from branches must reside within the branch appointing them. Delegates from affiliated organisations must be bona fide members or paid permanent officials of the organisation appointing them.
C. No person shall act as a delegate for more than one organisation/Party unit.
D. Delegates must either reside or be registered as electors in the constituency.
E. Members of Parliament may be appointed as delegates to the Annual General Meeting in the constituency they represent, provided they fulfil the criteria above. They may not be elected to or serve on the BC, or hold any office within such CLP. MPs shall have the right to receive notice of, and to attend BC and AMM meetings of the CLP they represent and report on their work.
1. The management of this CLP shall be in the hands of the BC, which shall be appointed by, and report to an AGM of this CLP and to other such meetings as required by the CLP rules and procedures.
2. This CLP adopts the rules and procedures for CLPs and branches set out in the appendix of the Labour Party rules and such amendments thereto as may be agreed by Party conference or made by the NEC in accordance with the powers conferred upon it under Chapter 1 Clause X of the constitutional rules. This CLP shall have power to make changes to these rules, subject to the specific prior approval in writing of the NEC and providing that such changes do not contravene the spirit and intention of the rules as adopted by Party conference or alter the Party objects, basis or conditions of affiliated and individual membership, or vary the procedure for the selection of parliamentary candidates (other than as provided for in the rules) or effect a change in the relationship of his CLP with the national Party.
3. The Annual General Meeting shall, but only with the specific prior approval in writing of the NEC, have the power to enter into property-related transactions on behalf of the CLP. Such power may also be exercised by the BC, or by officers of the General Meeting, if so authorised by the Annual General Meeting.
A. NEC approval will be conditional in all cases upon legal title to the property being vested in Labour Party Nominees Limited as Trustee for the relevant Constituency Labour Party or in such other Trustee for the relevant Constituency Labour Party as the NEC may appoint.
B. The AGM and the BC shall procure that all legal title to property leasehold and freehold presently held for this CLP shall forthwith be transferred to Labour Party Nominees Limited to be held by it as Trustee for the relevant Constituency Labour Party upon the standard terms of Trust from time to time approved by the NEC.
C. Every CLP and BLP of the Party and as a precondition to continued membership thereto shall with effect from forthwith do and execute such acts and deeds to transfer the beneficial ownership of their respective freehold and leasehold properties legal title to which is presently held either by individuals or by Labour Party Nominees Limited to and for the benefit of The Labour Party subject only to the CLPs’ and BLPs’ existing rights of occupation thereof and to their continued receipt of all rents and profits there from and the right to license and to lease the said properties from time to time subject to the prior written consent of The NEC but subject to the CLPs’ and BLPs’ continuing respective obligations in respect of any borrowings secured on such properties. (For clarity this rule is repeated in rules for branches)
4. The Annual General Meeting shall, but only with the specific prior approval in writing of the NEC and on such terms and conditions as shall be approved by the NEC, have the power to employ staff on behalf of the CLP. Such power may also be exercised by the Business Committee or by officers of the Annual General Meeting if so authorised by the Annual General Meeting. In all such circumstances, the primary responsibility for meeting financial and other obligations in respect of such employees shall be borne by this CLP.
1. The officers of this CLP, the BC, and two auditors shall be elected at the AGM of this CLP and shall continue in office until replaced or re-appointed.
2. The Executive Officers of this CLP shall be; chair, vice-chair / branch liaison, vice-chair / membership, secretary, treasurer, women’s officer, fundraising officer, campaign officer. At least four of these officers shall be women. This CLP may, with the approval of the NEC add other Executive Officer posts drawn from amongst its Coordinator roles subject to the gender quota being amended appropriately.
3. The Chair shall also be the deputy treasurer to be notified to the Electoral Commission. In exceptional circumstances, and with the prior approval of the General Secretary, a different person may be appointed.
4. In addition, this CLP may elect coordinators to lead on specific areas of responsibility as agreed by the AGM. Current areas (June 2018), each covered by individual co-ordinator are: assistant secretary; BAME; community groups; digital and social media; equalities; environment; Labour Group Observer; political education; trade union liaison; and youth & students. These coordinators will be encouraged to attend the Business Committee and report on their work and share expertise with colleagues but shall not be voting members unless elected to the Business Committee as individuals.
5. The team of officers and coordinators, together with the parliamentary candidate and/or Member of Parliament and the campaign coordinator, shall provide a strategic lead for the development of the Party in the constituency.
6. The BC shall consist of:
A. The Executive Officers
B. Eight representatives of affiliated organisations elected at the annual general meeting
C. Two members from each branch one of whom shall be a woman. The delegation must include the secretary, unless that person is an Executive Officer. Where a sub branch structure is in place the delegation should include the branch secretary plus one delegate from each sub branch. A minimum of 50% in the case of an even number delegation must be women. Where the delegation is an odd number the number of women must at least total the immediate even number below the median.
If any branch delegates are elected as Executive Officers then replacement delegates should be nominated.
7. The parliamentary election agent may also attend BC and is encouraged to do so.
8. Where a constituency plan agreement has been entered into by this CLP and an organisation affiliated to the Party nationally and approved by the NEC, the affiliated organisation concerned may appoint a member of this CLP to the Business Committee to represent their interest. This member shall be an ex-officio member with voting powers at both BC and AGM.
9. The BC shall meet as required and be responsible for reviewing the implementation of the development action plan and supervising the work of the branches and other Party units in the constituency. The BC shall also deal with as much of the routine business of this CLP as possible to ensure that the AMM can devote their time to the discussion of policy and Party objectives for the constituency.
10. The treasurer shall be responsible for ensuring this CLP meets its legal and financial responsibilities under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 in respect of donation reporting, the filing of accounts and, if applicable, the auditing of accounts, and shall be the registered treasurer of the accounting unit, as notified by Party Head Office to the Electoral Commission.
11. This CLP Secretary shall notify Party Head Office immediately in the event of the resignation or replacement of the treasurer or the deputy treasurer, so that the Party can meet its statutory responsibility to inform the Electoral Commission of any such changes.
12. It shall be a requirement of their office that the treasurer and the parliamentary election agent undertake such training as deemed desirable by the NEC.
The General Meeting
1. Annual Meetings
A. The AGM of this CLP shall be held on a Saturday in the month of June of each year or, in the event of such meeting not being held in that month for any reason, as soon thereafter as possible. The annual meeting should not normally be held before May in any year.
B. Affiliation fees due to this CLP for the previous year ended 31 December must have been paid to this CLP a clear 35 days before the date of the annual meeting.
C. Twenty-eight days’ notice of an annual meeting shall be given to all eligible affiliated organisations and Party units.
D. Seven days’ notice of an annual meeting shall be given to voting members entitled to attend.
E. The basis of representation at the Annual General Meeting shall be
i. Affiliated organisations. One delegate for each 100 members or part thereof up to a maximum of five delegates
ii. Branches. Three delegates for up to 30 members and one more delegate for each additional 15 members or part thereof. In addition branches where there are three or more members under the age of 27 may appoint one of them as an additional Young Labour delegate to the CLP’s General Meeting. A minimum of 50% in the case of an even number delegation must be women. Where the delegation is an odd number the number of women must at least total the immediate even number below the median. The branch secretary is an additional delegate ex officio
iii. The Member of Parliament or prospective parliamentary candidate and county councillors not themselves delegates are invited as observers
iv. Delegates from the Women’s Forum, Young Labour and workplace branches where established
F. Requests to eligible affiliated organisations and Party units for information, delegations and nominations will be provided 12 weeks prior to the annual meeting. Completed hard copy returns from eligible affiliated organisations and Party units, providing the required information, including assenting signatures of nominees for office shall be received by the secretary 14 days before the annual meeting
2. Special Meetings
A. Special General Meetings of AGM delegates may be called at the discretion of the Business Committee and shall be called on the written request of at least one third of the affiliated organisations and Party units which are or would be entitled to send delegates to this CLP under a delegate structure.
B. Seven days’ notice of a special meeting shall be given to voting members entitled to attend except in cases of emergency, when only business of immediate importance shall be transacted.
3. AMM shall be held at such intervals as laid down in the standing orders of this CLP or as may be determined by resolution of the AGM.
4. A schedule of AMM for each year shall be given to members entitled to attend by an all member mailing within 40 days of the AGM. Branch secretaries will also include the information in their notification of branch meetings.
5. A notice calling an annual, special or AMM shall state as far as possible the business to be transacted.
6. Any notice required to be given under these rules shall be in writing which may include electronic communication. Notices to be sent to affiliated organisations and Party units shall be addressed to the secretary thereof.
A. Following each annual general meeting of this CLP the secretary shall forward to the General Secretary a copy of this CLP’s constituency annual report, including the annual statement of accounts and such other information as may be requested by the NEC in the format required and in compliance with this CLP’s legal and financial responsibilities under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.
B. Where required by PPERA 2000, the annual statement of accounts must be presented to and approved by a BC in the first quarter of the year following the year in question and subsequently presented to the AGM. The annual statement of accounts must be forwarded to the Electoral Commission by 30 April of the year following the year in question
C. Party units shall provide the treasurer with audited statements of accounts by the 28th February for the year preceding.
The Party Conference
1. Subject to the conditions laid down in the rules of Party conference and the constitutional rules of the Party, this CLP may appoint to any Party conference convened under Clause VI of the constitutional rules of the Party, one delegate for the first 749 eligible members, or part thereof, and a further delegate for each additional 250 eligible members, or part thereof. Eligible members shall be defined as those listed by the Party as members of this CLP at 31 December in the previous year.
2. When appointing their delegate(s) this CLP shall seek to increase the representation of women at conference, by ensuring that at least every second delegate shall be a woman. Where only one delegate is appointed this must be a woman at least in every other year.
3. Where the individual women’s membership within this CLP is 100 or more, an additional woman delegate may be appointed.
4. Where the individual Young Labour membership within this CLP is 30 or more, an additional delegate under the age of 27 may be appointed.
5. This CLP may appoint a delegate in addition to its above entitlement if one of its duly appointed delegates is the national treasurer, a member of the NEC, member of the Conference Arrangements Committee, or a member of the NCC due for re-election that year.
Duties of the Annual General Meeting
1. The general provisions of the constitution, rules and standing orders of the Party shall apply to this CLP and the AGM has a duty to act within and uphold such provisions.
2. The AGM shall be responsible for establishing objectives for this CLP in the constituency through political debate and policy discussion, setting targets for development of CLP organisation and campaigning in the area and promoting links with the wider community.
3. In particular, this CLP is required to submit in the fourth quarter of each year a development plan in a format approved by the NEC for the constituency for the coming year. The plan shall be submitted to the appropriate regional office (or Scottish or Welsh national office).
4. It shall be the duty of the AGM of this CLP to ensure that at least 50 per cent of their delegates to other Party bodies (where delegate entitlement is more than one) shall be women.
5. This CLP and units of this CLP shall not enter into affiliation with or give support, financially or otherwise, to any political party or organisation (or ancillary or subsidiary body thereto) declared by Party conference or by the NEC in pursuance of conference decisions to be ineligible for affiliation to the Party. Nor shall they give any such support to individuals ineligible for membership of the Party.
6. This CLP shall co-operate with the NEC of the Party in conducting a ballot of all eligible individual members for the selection of parliamentary candidates, the election of the leader and deputy leader of the Party, the national treasurer and auditors, and the appropriate sections of the NEC, and NCC. Such ballots are to be conducted in accordance with guidelines laid down by the NEC and subject to the provisions of Chapter 4.
7. In the event of this CLP being dissolved or ceasing to exist for any reason, its assets (after payment of outstanding liabilities) shall be transferred to the NEC of the Party.
8. This CLP shall co-operate fully with the NEC in respect of its legal and financial obligations under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000. Should this CLP fail to co-operate with the Party with regard to its obligations under the Act, the NEC will not hesitate to take appropriate disciplinary action against individual members and/or suspend this CLP
1. It shall be the duty of the AGM of this CLP to take all necessary steps to enforce the constitution, standing orders and rules of the Party within this constituency and to safeguard the programme, policy and principles of the Party within this constituency. This CLP shall take such action as it deems necessary for such purposes in accordance with the provisions laid out in the disciplinary rules, contained in Chapter 6 above.
1. The Party’s parliamentary candidate for this constituency shall be selected in accordance with the rules for selection of parliamentary candidates laid down in Chapter 5 and in the selection guidelines appended thereto, along with any other regulations approved by the NEC.
Local government candidates
1. Local government candidates shall be selected in accordance with the rules for selection of local government candidates laid down in Chapter 5 and in the selection guidelines appended thereto along with any other regulations approved by the NEC.
Amendment to rules
1. These rules, or any part thereof, may be amended, altered or additions made thereto by resolution carried at an Annual General Meeting by a vote of two thirds of delegates present, subject to the approval of the NEC under Clause VII.2 above. The provisions of the model procedural rules for Party meetings shall apply to this CLP with such local additions and modifications as may be approved by the RD(GS) of the Party on behalf of the NEC.