For Labour Party members (new and old), it can be hard to keep track of discussions if people use acronyms or phrases you are unfamiliar with. Below is a short list of key terms that will help you navigate your way through the Labour Party.
- Annual General Meeting (AGM): The AGM is the annual meeting where Labour Party members elect the officers of the Executive Committee (see below).
- All Members’ Meeting (AMM): The AMM is a monthly meeting where Labour Party members can attend to receive updates about the work of the CLP and Labour representatives, vote on motions (if any are proposed) and engage in discussions about a variety of issues.
- BAME Forum: The BAME Forum is a space for BAME members to come together to discuss issues affecting their communities and how the Labour Party can better engage BAME members and voters.
- Board-runner: When out canvassing (see below), the board-runner will have the information about who lives in the properties you are canvassing and will record the data you collect. They essentially lead the group of canvassers during the canvassing session.
- Branch: Where CLPs (see below) have very large memberships, they can be broken down into smaller branches. These branches send delegates to the General Committee (GC) to act on behalf of the branches. Watford CLP does not have branches.
- Canvassing: Canvassing involves going out and knocking on the doors of voters to find out what matters to them. There can be different reasons for canvassing – we might be wanting to find out if there are any problems in an area or we may want to find out how people are planning on voting in an election. We also canvas by phone, which is the same thing except we call people instead of knocking on their doors (this is sometimes called ‘phonebanking’).
- Constituency Labour Party (CLP): The CLP is the official organisational unit of the Labour Party in a particular constituency.
- Councillors: Watford elects Borough Councillors and County Councillors. Borough Councillors represent one ward and sit on Watford Borough Council, overseeing only the town of Watford. County Councillors represent a county division (usually made up of a couple of wards, e.g. Callowland ward and Leggatts ward make up North Watford county division) and this oversees the whole county of Hertfordshire.
- Executive Committee (EC): The Executive Committee is the administrative body of the CLP responsible for the efficient running of the CLP and for coordinating activities across the CLP. Officers of the CLP are elected annually at the AGM. Not every CLP’s EC will have the same positions/number of positions, but each EC will have six key officers: Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Vice Chair, Vice Chair (Membership) and Women’s Officer.
- General Committee (GC): Where a CLP has a branch system of organisation (which Watford does not), these branches will send delegates to the GC which functions like an AMM, except instead of having all members attend these meetings delegates will act on their behalf. This is typically the system for larger-membership constituencies, especially in London, where an AMM would be impractical due to the capacity of the venue required.
- Labour Group (sometimes just referred to as ‘Group): The Labour Group is the group of local Labour councillors. They meet each month to discuss council business, including which way to vote on motions, whether they are proposing motions or amendments and points they wish to raise in council meetings.
- Local Government Committee (formerly known as Local Campaign Forum (LCF)): The Local Government Committee is responsible for finding candidates to stand in elections, which members then have the chance to vote for in selections.
- National Executive Committee (NEC): The NEC is the governing body of the Labour Party. It is made up of elected representatives from every section of the Party – government, MPs, Councillors, trade unions and CLPs. It helps set the objectives of the Labour Party and manages its running.
- National Policy Forum (NPF): The NPF is the body that oversees policy development and helps ensure the direction of the Party reflects the broad consensus of the members. It features representatives from all sections of the Party.
- Regional Board: The Regional Board acts in a similar way to the Executive Committee of a CLP, but it covers the entire region (Watford is in Eastern Region) and is made up of people from CLPs, Unions and other groups and representatives.
- Voter Identification (VID): When we speak to voters whilst canvassing, the data we collect for the questions we ask is commonly referred to as “Voter ID”.
- Young Labour: Young Labour members are those aged between 14-26