Norwich Labour Party is unusual in England, in as much as it is made up of two Parliamentary Constituencies, Norwich North and Norwich South; as well as the 13 city wards, the constituencies also include Sprowston , Old Catton, Hellesdon and Thorpe St Andrew (all Broadland) in Norwich North, and New Costessey (South Norfolk) in Norwich South. In total there are over 3000 members of the party in Norwich, with membership more than tripling in the last two years.
Our purpose is to further the ideals of socialism both locally and nationally, primarily by getting two MPs elected to Parliament and also as many Labour City, County and District councillors elected as possible. The last two years have seen gains on both City and County Councils within the city wards, plus a doubling of our MP Clive Lewis’s majority in Norwich South at the General Election in June 2017, and a close run result in Norwich North, where our candidate Dr Chris Jones lost by just 507 votes.
We have an Executive Committee, chaired by the President, which oversees all aspects of work in the local party and also liaises with the National and Regional Party. The Executive Committee organises monthly All Member Meetings where well-known local or national figures are invited to speak and lead very animated discussions. Each constituency is divided into wards, which have smaller Branch Committees; again, discussion is the main objective in these meetings.
For those of a more active disposition members are welcomed to assist in the production of local leaflets; composition, printing and distribution. In addition some of us knock on doors in an attempt to return lost sheep to the flock, to seek the opinions of residents and to discuss local problems which we pass to our councillors to try to solve.
We have jolly, social events, often with the objective of raising money for the above operations. These range from pub quizzes, BBQs, Jumble sales and Open Gardens to more formal functions with prominent people giving an after dinner speech, with just about anything in between. Times when we can relax together, spending time with people who share the same values.
At times it’s frustrating; at times it’s uplifting; and always there are Tories out there who wish that we would go away.
If you would like a more equal, socially just, aspirational world…