The Labour Party’s financial structure is opposed by 80% of members, according to a survey of 800 people conducted by Stand up for Labour.
The present allocation of funds sees only £2.50 a year per member go to the party’s grassroots, while the central party deposits over £47.
Under 50% of Labour members across England, Scotland and Wales reported that their local party (CLP) had office space and 70% said that their CLP had no permanent meeting place.
Some 20% of respondents reported that their CLP could also not afford to send two delegates to party conference.
With this lack of resources on the ground, it is very difficult for Labour to make an impression in boroughs, towns and villages and 93% of those surveyed said Labour should do more campaigning outside election time.
The results of this survey show that there is a definite need to ensure Labour’s grassroots are properly funded. See all the results here.
50/50 now campaign starts here
Over the coming months, I will be campaigning for a constitutional amendment to be passed at this year’s party conference that would give CLPs a fair share of their members’ subsciptions. I have been invited to speak at several CLPs and I am receiving positive feedback from members who are submitting the motion to their CLP to put forward to conference.
To read about the motion, see More important that the party leadership.
I have been contacted by a few people who have questioned the reallocation of party funds and I will address their concerns here:
- CLPs won’t know what to do with more money
From my experience, most CLPs have a great collection of local members, many of whom are already working on community projects. The decision to allocate money more fairly is just the start of the transition. Along with it will come advice and support as well as a best practice guide. The new funds would not kick in straightaway so there’d be plenty of time for CLPs to get ready for the change to their circumstances. Most CLPs also already have strict accounting procedures in place.
- Volunteers can’t be relied on
CLPs are full of people who are already volunteering. And, with more funds, would be able to hire a paid Community Organiser who could project manage the whole operation. Ideally these Organisers would be appointed by two or more neighbouring CLPs to share the cost. These Community Organisers would almost certainly be local people who know their area and would be appointed by CLPs themselves.
- Changes to the financial structure would lead to super-rich CLPs and poor CLPs and would be unfair
This is totally untrue. Every CLP would be better off. At the moment, the central party does not donate any cash to CLPs to rebalance resources. The only funding given to CLPs is through paying half the wages of an organiser, or giving free literature (which is often so generic that it would have been better for local parties to design it themselves).
- The present system targets resources more effectively
Evidence from the 2017 General Election shows that several CLPs that Labour could have won were left with meagre resources and manpower (Hastings, Broxtowe, Southampton Itchen are just three examples). If all CLPs are self-sufficient this will avoid this.
- Why should seats with big Labour majorities or Tory majorities get funds?
Labour cannot rebuild if it takes seats for granted or if it retreats in the belief that any seat is ‘unwinnable’. Scotland and many of the ‘Red Wall’ were lost because of this thinking. And Labour won Kensington in 2017 so anything is possible – but it’s far more possible if CLPs have resources.
If you have any queries about how redistributing Labour funds would work, or any concerns, please write to through the contact me page on this site. I welcome any feedback.
As this campaign is going to take up a lot of my time as well as costing a lot in fuel, I have set up a Patreon page and am looking for donations.
If you are able to contribute anything from £5 per month, I will be offering exclusive access to updates on the campaign as I work towards the Party Conference and the book publication. The Patreon page is here.