BRIEFING NOTE: BECOMING A LABOUR COUNCILLOR IN HACKNEY IN MAY 2018

Why become a councillor?

Before making a decision about applying to be a candidate you need to reflect on your reasons for doing so and being sure, as far as you can, that you can make the commitment. Good reasons include:

  • Putting your socialist beliefs in to practice and taking decisions that will make a positive difference to your local community.

  • Working with the council to resist the austerity agenda of the Tories and protecting services.

  • Showing that Labour can deliver excellent public services and transform lives.

  • Providing advocacy and representation to individuals and groups who rely on council services.

  • Campaigning as an elected councillor for radical socialist policies to challenge the inequality and insecurity endemic in a capitalist economy.

If elected, you should expect to attend a number of meetings each week, read council policy papers, campaign, and undertake casework. Before you apply do speak to a few councillors about their experience so you grasp the pros and cons of elected office and the number of hours involved.

The Process of Becoming a Hackney Labour Councillor and the Support Available

The first stage, in January or February 2017, will be to submit an application form. Sometimes the deadline for these is very tight so it’s good to have a draft ready. The key questions cover:

  • Your contribution to the Labour Party

  • Your contribution to the community and voluntary sector

  • Your likely contribution as a Labour councillor

  • A personal statement in support of your application

You are advised to keep answers concise as ward members will have a large number of forms to read. The form also asks for your TU and you are advised to join one if you are not already a member.

At the Local Campaign Forum panel interview, you will be asked about: your motivations and what you will bring to being a councillor; diversity; handling conflicts of interest; and the role of the whip. You will need to commit to a full four year term and to not voting against Labour’s collective position.

Across a weekend, probably in May 2017, ward members will interview candidates interested in standing as a councillor. The same process applies for existing councillors who want to stand again as for new candidates. You can put yourself forward in all 21 wards or you can ask to be considered in 1 or more specific wards where you have an interest. Before this final selection stage, you will have an opportunity to make one contact with all members of each ward in which you wish to stand, via email, phone or post.

Key dates:

15 December 2016: 7-8:30pm: briefing with Labour’s newest councillor and a long-term councillor

31 December 2016: Deadline for submitting a draft application to heathermendick@yahoo.co.uk in order to get feedback

Before the panel interviews and ward selections we will organise interview and presentation practice.

Prepared by: Heather Mendick and Patrick Spence, November 2016