In January, I announced that I would run in the Young Labour elections to become the Under-19s representative on its National Committee.
During the campaign, my priorities were:
- Form closer links between CLP Youth Officers. This should make it easier to organise large events/fundraisers/socials/leafletting sessions in your local area.
- Work to lower the voting age to 16
- Massively improve the campaign to get young people to register to vote. It is especially important for Young Labour members who move out to university accommodation and do not change their voter registration information. Not only does this make voting difficult come election time, but it can act as an inefficient drain on CLP resources.
- Give Under-19s a minimum allotted period of speaking time in main conference hall at the party’s annual conference.
- I am keen to represent the concerns and ideas of the WHOLE membership, and not just that of a particular group from within the Labour Party.
Over the past two months, I have received much help and support from fellow Labour Party members. Thank you for this.
Although I was unable to top the ballot, I will continue to push for the changes I believe will make the Labour movement more accessible and appealing to our youngest citizens – particularly issues surrounding Labour’s annual party conference. (see below)
The election was fought in good spirit and I would encourage every Young Labour member to seriously consider standing for election next time. I have certainly learnt a lot about our party, its membership and how to run a campaign.
Congratulations to the successful candidates on all ballots. We have a busy two years ahead!
“As a Young Labour member and CLP Youth Officer, I understand the challenges in widening Labour’s appeal. Last year, I was able to represent my CLP as a conference delegate in Brighton. This was the first time I had seen our Labour movement on a national level. The week was busy and interesting, especially for Young Labour delegates and CLP delegates. As a first-time conference attendee however, there were some areas that needed improving.
- Speaking time for Young Labour members on the conference floor – I would encourage for there to be a minimum number of Young Labour speakers to address conference in the main conference hall.
- Jargon – Conference is full of acronyms and rules which are complicated to understand if you are a first time delegate or attendee. It would be helpful for all delegates to receive a booklet/email that outlines what much of the conference terminology means.
- Access for delegates with disabilities – Although there are few places in the UK where Labour can hold a conference of its current size, I did have some concerns about access for delegates and attendees with disabilities.
- CLP support – At conference, it was interesting to note the variation in the number of delegates/attendees that CLPs were sending. Some could afford to send up to nine, whilst others could barely afford to cover the costs of two delegates. This issue must be addressed.
I was grateful for the twenty-four-hour phone line which all Young Labour delegates were given before they went to conference. Young Labour delegates could use this phone line throughout their week at conference for any issue they may have. This provided an extra layer of security for first time delegates who may have been travelling/living on their own.
The party’s annual conference is the most exciting part of the year for Labour members. It is therefore, important that all members – particularly our youngest – feel confident and are financially capable of going.”
– Posted: parkin4younglabour.wordpress.com – 03/03/18