Advice please - SAHM who wants to be Labour Councillor...

(17 Posts)
everett Tue 26-Feb-13 20:54:23

I'm very keen to stand as a Labour Councillor in 2014. I've just received my application pack and it's clear that union membership is something of a must. I am a full-time mother (children ages 1.5 and 3) and am very active in local voluntary organisations. However I am not technically employed - nor am I technically 'unemployed'. Is there a union that I could join? And does anyone know how sympathetic the Labour party is to women in my position (educated, career in corp comms and public affairs for over 15 years? Any advice gratefully received...

LineRunner Tue 26-Feb-13 21:00:14

All Parties are currently very keen to select women in theory.

Do you know many people on your local council Labour Group?

everett Tue 26-Feb-13 21:04:58

Hi, thanks for the reply. I am pretty new to this but have been canvassing, leafleting, attended CLP dinner etc. I applied to be a councillor a few months ago but was told I didn't have enough campaigning experience, despite being an impressive candidate in other respects (interviewers' feedback). I just don't want to be given the brush off on a technicality like not being a union member. I think there are twice the number of applicants for the number of seats in our borough.

LineRunner Tue 26-Feb-13 21:19:50

Have you been rejected as a candidate altogether, or as a candidate for a specific safe seat?

In terms of union membership, if you don't have a mentor to ask, then I'd ask your local Labour Group Leader and local Party chair, via email, so you have a nice pleasant chat - all recorded.

There are loads of unions you can join - ask your local Party which one they would suggest.

Are all your local Labour councillors paid up union members?

everett Tue 26-Feb-13 21:41:44

there was a by-election; I wasn't shortlisted for that specific seat. Since then I have been encouraged by a few ward councillors and influential party members to go for it again. Good idea re asking the Group Leader and local Party Chair regarding union membership. No idea if the others are paid up union members - your point is taken. I suppose I have a sense that both the branch secretary and CLP secretary operate something of a closed shop where 'outsiders' are not particularly welome. It's hard to get a straight answer re campaigning details; they don't seem to know anyone in the community other than Labour people. I suppose that's why I sought out the wisdom f mumsnet rather than people closer to home!

everett Tue 26-Feb-13 21:46:22

I've just seen another thread. My experience has been very like this poster's http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/politics/a1623500-One-for-Labour-Party-Members

LineRunner Tue 26-Feb-13 21:54:00

I think you should insist on becoming an 'approved candidate' in general.

Then you can apply for ward-based selection in any and all wards presumably when the next local elections come round - when is it in your Borough? Most are May 2014, some the year after, I think. So maybe 2015 is your target year?

LineRunner Tue 26-Feb-13 21:54:51

Sorry that doesn't make sense. I mean 2014 could be your target year.

everett Tue 26-Feb-13 22:04:10

No worries - it did make sense! Yes ours is May 2014 and in the application park we're asked to select our ward preferences. I asked the CLP sec about getting selected and said that I assumed I was on the list from last time and she said that no, a new list was being created. I will talk to someone more friendly about becoming an approved candidate. Thanks for you help - it's a confusing world to enter!

everett Tue 26-Feb-13 22:04:28

pack not park

MiniTheMinx Tue 26-Feb-13 23:14:54

Hi, I think you can join unite as a community/volunteer worker, so no need to be employed

Details here www.unitetheunion.org/growing-our-union/joinunite/contributionrates/

everett Wed 27-Feb-13 09:21:10

Hi Minitheminx - thanks for that, very helpful

unclefluffy Wed 27-Feb-13 09:33:50

I'm a Lib Dem, but my experience may be relevant... I think you're right about the closed shop. Political organisations do tend to close ranks - they spend their entire time fighting with the opposition, after all. I would hope that they would welcome you with open arms once they see you're on their side, though. If your local councillors have been encouraging you, they may be your best route in. Mine have asked me to stand, but I have said no (for now - two pre-schoolers, fulltime job, husband works away a minimum of one week in four). Your councillors may well have to be re-selected, so they would know about the timings/processes etc.

everett Wed 27-Feb-13 19:40:45

thanks unclefluffy - still waiting to be welcomed with open arms! Will hang on in there though

unclefluffy Thu 28-Feb-13 10:58:47

I can imagine that it's very frustrating. Can you go off campaigning somewhere where folk are nicer? Might make your lot realise what they're missing! Good luck with getting selected (although I won't wish you luck with the actual election, for obvious reasons grin)

lainiekazan Fri 01-Mar-13 13:17:41

What you need to do is show willing to try your hand at an "unsafe" seat. That way you will get campaigning and canvassing experience. I did this and was immediately offered a safe seat afterwards. You need to earn your stripes.

everett Fri 01-Mar-13 23:29:42

heh @unclefluffy and thanks again; and yes @Iainiekazan that's the sense I'm getting - no problem with doing that of course. thanks for all the advice

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