New policy documents

Dear colleagues,

At Annual Conference the final changes to the new party policy-making process were agreed. New policy documents are now available to be discussed, but these are a new type of document and the process is quite different, so here is some more information.

The new process means that instead of large documents trying to cover all aspects of each policy area (something members regularly complained about), each year the main policy debates will focus on a few priority areas agreed by Conference. So this year the priority list of issues is:

  • ·A British Investment Bank: making it a reality
  • ·Tax avoidance: tax havens
  • ·Protecting workers: including the role of agency workers, the living wage, and Gangmaster Licensing Authority
  • ·Vocational education, apprenticeships and the role of job guarantees in tackling youth unemployment.
  • ·Our buses and railways: giving communities more of a say
  • ·Childcare: what matters to parents and children?
  • ·The housing crisis: house building and a private rented sector that works for Britain’s families
  • ·21st Century NHS and social care: delivering integration
  • ·Young people and politics: making a fresh start
  • ·Britain’s role in a post-2015 development vision

There is a document for each one of these – a short document outlining some key questions. You will find them all here

The questions are open-ended and CLPs and individual members should send in submissions to them before the end of February. Then the Policy Commission for each subject will look at all submissions plus evidence it has taken from experts, to produce a longer and more detailed consultation document that will be issued at the end of March for further debate. Then a final report on each subject will be debated and voted on at Conference 2013 – at which time there will also be a vote on the next set of priorities.

Of course, the Commissions will also consider submissions on any other subject beyond the priority list, but the aim of the priority process is to debate in detail key areas agreed by members at Conference so that good policies emerge.

As well as this major change, at long last we will have a properly transparent process and use technology to widen the debate beyond meetings. A new website – is the new policy “hub” for debate. You will find copies of all the papers for the subjects above in the section “Current topics” but there are also online discussions on the site on the papers and other subjects too. You can post your own views and see what others have said too. We hope you will all use this website to make your points, individually or a branches or CLPs.

We believe that these changes are a positive step forward, and they should address many of the concerns that members (and we) have raised for years now. As always we want to know your views – as your reps we can see your comments on the website but if you have any other points you want to raise with us or send to us, please email And if you want any of us to come to a local meeting, you can also email us.


Simon Burgess, Helena Dollimore, Deborah Gardiner, Karen Landles and Martin Phillips

SE CLP reps on the NPF

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