Your constituency is disabled members. What systems will you use to ensure you understand the views of disabled members on agenda items prior to each NEC meeting?
I understand that disabled members need access to a range of alternative formats, such as large print, visual and audio formats. We must make these alternative formats available and accessible so that disabled members can state their views, queries and concerns.
Prior to NEC meetings I will canvas opinion on the relevant issues on the agenda. I will campaign for the setting up of disabled member branches in each constituency, the holding of a representative national disabled members’ conference every year to develop policy, then publicise the deliberations and outcomes widely through social media and by accessible newsletter. I will encourage local campaigns for disability rights in the local area and publicise these in local media.
I will ask for the views of every disabled member before each NEC member, via email and on the social media platforms. My email address will be available to all, so that if there is a concern and a member would like to contact me confidentially, they can.
Discussion and debate through various comms channels.
Mr George Lindars-Hammond
I think at the moment we don’t have enough transparency about agendas to effectively engage members to the fullest extent. If I can secure the transparency I believe that email engagement both to seek views and report feedback on meetings is both the most accessible and speedy. I would work hard to build a strong list.
John James Doherty
through the same communication channels as I would for able bodied members, I would make myself available at all times, to deal with any issues or queries they may have.
I would use all of the social media groups & email. The party sent out a survey asking members if they define as disabled. I believe that these same members should be asked to sign a declaration (also on joining the party) giving access to them by their elected representative, so that they can be asked
I am proposing setting up a network for all branch and CLP disability officers, this would be a communication tool where we could share ideas, develop motions and provide training and support. I would then use this network to communicate with our disabled officers. If successful I would then aim to make this a network for all disabled members.
I would contact all CLP’s so I can find out if there are any issues they want me to take to NEC
Make myself contactable by a number of methods such as phone, email, letter ,facebook and twitter so that disabled Labour members have a number of different ways to contact me depending on their preference.
Holding online meetings with the various disability groups
Engaging with facebook groups representing disabled people in the Labour Party
Understanding the intersectional struggles facing disabled members by engaging with groups such as young Labour,BAME Labour and Labour women’s network.
Attend disability meetings at conference and elsewhere.
As outlined in my 5 key pledges I will set up and chair a regular forum to allow an open debate on which side of a motion I should take on specific matters. In the week leading to a meeting I will run a full set of live forums to engage with every single member. I shall also give all members I represent contact details so we can speak 1- on1 at a time that fits their schedule.
If I’m elected Disabled Members’ Rep, I’ll regularly consult with disabled members and the wider disabled people’s movement. We mustn’t forget so many disabled members who have left our Party over years of frustration, feeling like they have been taken for granted.
I understand it’s current practice that papers and agenda items are not provided to NEC members in advance. This is not accessible and not good enough, and one of my first acts if I’m elected will be to ensure these are provided well in advance of meetings, for reasons of both accessibility and to ensure all disabled members are able to have a true say in how our Party is run.
I am proud to be running an open and participatory campaign now, using a number of tools to hear from fellow disabled Labour members – like a soon to be launched survey and a series of Zoom calls. I have also made efforts to engage with disabled members on social media platforms, trying my best to ensure my campaign messaging and content can be accessed by as many members as possible, for example by adding BSL interpretation and captions to my campaign video.
As your NEC Disabled Members rep, I would continue to consistently and openly engage with those that I represent – through social media, events, written updates and so on. I would also offer to regularly meet with DEAL members and other groups to make sure I am representing disabled members and that as disabled activists we coordinate our campaigns so they can be as effective as possible. This isn’t about me getting a seat on the NEC, this is about the disabled people’s movement getting a seat on the NEC – and I would never forget that.