Local Campaign Forum - an Introduction

by Paul McNally, CfS Treasurer

The Local Campaign Forum (LCF) is constituted Labour Party Committee which exists in your local Council area with the purpose of co-ordinating the activities of CLPs within the area and to secure the return of Labour Councillors. The specific rules of the formation of the LCF are written in Chapter 12 of the Labour Party Rule Book 2018. Chapter 12 Rules for Labour Party Local Campaign Forums 52. Clause I. Name 52 Clause II. Objects 52 Clause III. General Principles 52. membership recruitment and retentions. 

The LCF in Scotland meets with three representatives per CLP, that is two elected representatives and the CLP’s Campaign officer. The Labour Group’s Leader and Business Manager usually attend to update the LCF about ongoing issues. The LCF’s stated aim is defined as:

“To work with the Labour Group to organise opportunities for individual members, branches, trade unions, affiliated organisations and community organisations to enter into dialogue with the Labour Group on current local government policy issues and ideas for the Party’s future programme and manifesto.”

The LCF has great power on paper to organise campaigns in the area, however there is generally little feedback form CLPs and the attendance of representatives is erratic. CLP members are generally unaware of the existence of the LCF or it’s actions as larger campaigns are generally conducted on a National level.

Clause 3 of the rules states a role of the LCF :

“To compile a panel of candidates in accordance with the provisions of chapter 5 of the national rules of the Party.”

This inoccuous sentence is the real power of the LCF whose main job is the direct appointment of Councillors in every local election, councillors are not automatically reselected in the way that Westminster MPs are. The LCF has a visiting role at each Labour group usually restricted to four people and speaking rights at the meeting of the Labour group. (Clause 10 of rules).

CLP Members should ask at their CLP All members meetings for a report from the representatives and may ask for issues to be raised. Enquiries and scrutiny will help the LCF focus on current political issues within the region. The elections are generally held in May each year to appoint a Secretary, Treasurer and Chair as with each year we grow closer to an local election cycle interest will grow, it’s worth getting involved as - as is the case with all Labour Party units - the functionality can be quite complex and those unfamiliar with the rules will rarely understand why things are happening.