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Part one: The ve step community organising campaign 1

#realchange #realchange
a. The aim of this manual
b. Whats in this manual?
c. What do we mean by Community Organising?
Part one - The ve step Community Organising campaign
Step one - Build relationships
Step two - Identify campaign issues
Step three - Choose a campaign issue
Step four - Organise and build your campaign
Step ve - Close your campaign, evaluate and move on
Part two - Best practice
Part three - Ideas to help you get started
Further help and information
Introduction 5
Community Organising is critical to
Labours chances of winning the next
General Election and for our long term
prospects as a political party.
With falling participation in party politics
and growing disengagement we need real
change. For many, Community Organising are
the new buzz words in political campaigning
from America, however it is something that
many local Labour Parties have been doing
for many years alongside our partners across
the Labour movement.
At the 2010 General Election, a number
of Labour candidates, particularly although
not exclusively in marginal constituencies,
bucked the trend. Some even achieved
a swing to Labour from our opponents.
Following that election, Labour analysts
were able to demonstrate a direct correlation
between the number of voter ID contacts
these local parties made and their election
result. But what the gures werent able to
quantify and show so clearly is that in each
case there was much more to their campaign
than this very important voter ID work.
These successful local parties didnt just
hold one of conversations with voters in the
nal few weeks before the General Election.
Instead they had established a perpetual
cycle of meaningful engagement within
their local communities.
These were local Parties made up of local
people, reective of the local community,
campaigning for issues that matter to
local people.
In these communities, Labour is a
campaigning movement which has
secured the trust of local people; a
campaigning movement that involves
and empowers people to deliver change
for themselves.
These local parties also have larger
memberships and larger numbers of active
members. People become members and
supporters in these communities because
they are attracted to a local movement of
people like themselves, campaigning for
change that they care about.
Many of you are already leading the way
with this work and this guide should be
used in conjunction with the good things
that you do already to help stimulate action
and change where it is needed.
Community Organising and our election
campaigning activities are not mutually
exclusive and both are vital. Through this
manual we aim to bring together best
practice and provide you with the tools to
rebuild the Labour Party as a community
based, campaigning organisation.
The aim of this manual
Introduction 6
There are three parts to this manual
Part one
The ve step organising campaign
This section provides a step-by-step guide
to organising in your local area to help your
local Party:
Grow your members and supporter
activist base
Develop into a community based
campaigning organisation
Win elections
The ve steps in this section are:
1) Step one - Build relationships
2) Step two - Identify campaign issues
3) Step three - Choose a campaign issue
4) Step four - Organise and build your
5) Step ve - Close your campaign,
evaluate and move on
Part two
Best practice
This section provides examples from across
the country of local Parties and partner
organisations who have embarked on an
organising approach.
Part three
More top tips and ideas to get you started
The nal section contains some simple
ideas to help you organise in your
Digital campaigning
Digital campaigning can play a key role
in Community Organising, a new guide to
Digital Campaigning will be available from
autumn 2012.
Whats in this manual?
Introduction 7
Community Organising is not new.
Many local Labour Parties do it and
where they do they win elections
and have more active members
and supporters.
Labour Party analysts have looked in
detail at the campaigns of some of our
local parties who bucked the trend at the
2010 General Election.
In each case they possessed a number of
characteristics similar to those that are
dened as central to the organising models
adopted by some trade unions and in
Community Organising.
Four principles of local Labour Parties
who community organise
1) Personal relationships: These
local Parties put an emphasis on
personal contact and relationship
building. They speak to people in
local communities through cofee
mornings, visits to community groups,
and on the doorstep. They also put
an emphasis on personal contact with
their members. It means that their
members, their potential members
and supporters feel listened to, they
are able to have relationships and
friendships with like-minded people
and are much more likely to become
supportive, join and get involved.
2) Community campaigns: They are
engaged in and run campaigns in the
local community around issues that
matter to local people - it stands to
reason that local people are more
likely to support Labour and even join
and get involved if they see that the
Labour Party is campaigning on issues
that matter to them.
3) Empower members and supporters:
In order to organise as they do,
these local parties need to identify
and empower people to do it for
themselves. Because they place an
emphasis on personal contact and
relationship building, they better
understand what people have to
ofer and are able to use their talents.
4) Proactively grow the local Labour
Party: These local Parties recognise
that in order to be successful they
need to be proactive about growing
their local organisation - taking every
opportunity to involve people. They
also identify leaders to bring other
people into the campaign or the
Labour Party.
What do we mean by Community
Organising in the Labour Party?
Part one
The ve step
Organising campaign
Part one: The ve step Community Organising campaign
Part one: The ve step Community Organising campaign 11
Part one
There are many diferent ways to
organise in your community. You will
know what will work best for your local
Party and your local community. If you
are looking for a starting point, the ve
steps set out in this section will help
you to put the Community Organising
principles on page 7 into action.
The ve step Community
Organising campaign




Identify leaders
and build
& build your
Enable, empower,
recruit & involve
Make change
& move on
Part one: The ve step Community Organising campaign 12
Step one
Members and supporters
Community leaders
Trade unions and other
partner organisations
Members and supporters
We need to take a step back and reconnect
with our members and supporters, take the
time to listen to them, nd out what they
care about, what they believe in. We need
to nd out how we can make Labour work
for them not just how much work they can
do for Labour.
The rst step in any campaign is to start
with people, relationships and motivations.
Lets see what Battersea did to change
their relationship with members.
Build relationships
Part one: The ve step Community Organising campaign 13
Step one Build relationships
They then put people into groups according
to their ward or local area and they ask
people to talk about issues that afect their
local community. Members are asked to ll
out a survey through which they can
volunteer to help out with campaigning
activity but no pressure is put on them.
The only thing they are asked to do is
to take away the names of two other
members who they are asked to phone
and try to book a one to one meeting with,
to the end that at the next social event
there are many more members.
Thirty ve members attended the rst
social event, many of whom then started to
campaign with the local Party. At the
second social event more than sixty
attended, the vast majority of whom
agreed to help in the local campaign.
Battersea Labour Party Social Event
Battersea CLP
Andy Fearn, Batterseas part-time Local
Organiser, and Mark Rowney a newly
active member, realised that although
the local Labour Party did lots of
activity it always fell on the same
small handful of people.
They decided to start to change this.
We knew we had to reach out beyond
our ofce holders and loyal stalwarts
So, together Andy and Mark decided to
call through the members who had joined
Battersea Labour Party in the last year.
Everyone they spoke with was asked
to meet up for a brief chat as part of a
member engagement exercise.
We have met in peoples homes, cofee
shops, and the pub, anywhere really.
At the meetings they explain more about
the membership engagement exercise and
what they are trying to achieve. They then
chat and listen to the member. There is no
script. Generally people start talking about
themselves and Mark and Andy sit and
listen. The only thing they ask for at the
meeting is that the member comes along
to a social event.
At the event, local members say a few
words about Battersea and the local
Labour Party.
Step one Build relationships
Tip: One-to-one meetings
Arranging one-to-one meetings with a
group of members or supporters can be
time consuming, but as the Battersea
example shows, it can pay real dividends
and is worth putting other Party work on
hold for. Here are some top tips to help
you start a programme of one-to-ones:
1) Organise a time for two or three of
you to get together to start making
appointments by phone. It is better
for morale to work as a team.
2) Start by phoning a small group of
members or supporters to make
appointments - new members for
example. If you try to phone all your
members it will seem a daunting task
for those involved.
3) Reassure the people you call that you
are doing a member engagement
exercise - you are not asking for time or
money, the local Labour Party just want
to get to know their members.
4) Dont be put of by an answer-machine.
Many of our members are busy people
and you may need to try to contact
them several times before you speak to
someone. People will not think you are
being pushy. In the case of members,
they have paid to join the Labour Party
and they expect the Labour Party to
make an efort to get in touch.
5) When you attend the meeting, start
the conversation by explaining why
you have invited them - that the local
Labour Party is doing a membership
engagement exercise to get to
know members.
6) Once youve explained why you have
called the meeting, ask the person you
are talking with about themselves. Ask
them open and unchallenging questions
to encourage them to talk and to set
them at ease. For example, why did you
join the Labour Party?
7) If they ask you about yourself, the
Party or politics, tell them your views
but always remain open and inclusive.
Dont dismiss their ideas.
8) Handle objections and criticisms
positively. For example, if they have
been a member a while and no-one
has been in touch until now, then listen
and talk through their concerns, dont
dismiss them.
9) The purpose of the conversation is to
start to build a relationship with the
member or supporter. Its not an
opportunity to handover a bundle of
leaets to be delivered. However, you
should look for signs about how the
person you are talking with might be
interested in becoming more involved
and what they may have to ofer the
Labour Party at some point in the future.
For example, what are their connections
in the local community?
10) At the end of the meeting you should
invite the member or supporter to a social
event where they can meet other new
Over to you! How the conversation
develops depends on you and the
member you have been talking with.
At the end of the meeting it is good
practice to agree the next steps and
then to make sure they are followed
up quickly.
Part one: The ve step Community Organising campaign
Step one Build relationships
Your turn
Pick a group of members who have joined
recently or an inactive branch. Start
small and make your targets achievable,
remember its about personal contact.
Open questions
invite others to
Tell their story
Why did you join
the Labour Party?
Tell me about
What do
you think
needs to do
to win round
Tell me
living in
of area].
What do
you think are
the important
local issues for
people in your
What can we
do in the Labour
Party to make
new members
feel welcome?
Part one: The ve step Community Organising campaign
Step one Build relationships
Community leaders
Building relationships with our
members means people are more likely
to become active and involved and it
helps us to identify peoples talents
and potential to be leaders. As well as
building relationships with members,
we should also be identifying and building
relationships with local community leaders.
Why build relationships with
community leaders?
Local Labour Parties who are good at
Community Organising, work hard to
establish good relationships with leaders
in their communities. Establishing such
relationships helps us to:
Understand issues afecting these
leaders communities
Build relationships and communicate
with members of these communities
through their leaders
Identify and run campaigns around
issues of joint concern which in
turn can lead to members of these
communities joining campaigns
and even signing up as members
and supporters.
What do we mean by
community leaders?
Local communities have recognised and
informal leaders. Here are some examples:
Community leaders
Local religious leaders
People in positions of authority
People who run local sports teams
or clubs in the community
Local charity leaders
Local business leaders
Leaders of social enterprises
in the community
Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators
Local union activists
School governors
Resident Association chairs
Informal leaders / opinion formers
These people may not be formal leaders but
they meet with dozens of local people
every day and are often at the centre of the
local grapevine such as:
Shop keepers
Post ofce counter staf
Bar workers
Taxi drivers
Identifying community leaders
community mapping
Community mapping is a great tool to
nd out who the key leaders are in a
community and what the relationships
are between them.
Think about faith groups, sports clubs,
Safer Neighbourhood Teams, doctors,
nurses, volunteer groups, the list can be
quite long.
Labour Party members are members
of the community too
Some of your members are probably
community leaders themselves,
and no doubt many will also be
trade union activists.
Part one: The ve step Community Organising campaign
Step one Build relationships
Tip: Community
Champion Awards
Why not launch a Labour Community
Champion Awards ask local residents to
nominate people who they think make a
diference in their community. This is a
great community engagement exercise
in itself but it will also allow you to make
contact and build a relationship with vital
opinion formers in the community. Why
not put nomination forms and boxes in
local cafes, pubs, libraries, leisure centres
or churches.
Make contact with these people/groups
ask them to let you know what they think
is important in their area.
Anne Snelgrove and
South Swindons story
Anne Snelgrove was selected as
Labours parliamentary candidate for
South Swindon in 2011, just as Siobhan
started work in the constituency as a
Trainee Organiser. Together they have
sought to build relationships with community
leaders across the constituency.
They started by researching all businesses,
community and charity organisations in
the area and then approached them asking
if they could meet them and nd out more
about their organisation. By doing one or
two meetings a week, they were able to
meet with many local organisations and
community leaders in the rst couple of
months, including Wiltshire Law Centre,
First Great Western HQ, Great Western
Hospital, Nationwide HQ, Swindon Town
Football Club Community Trust, local
Church Ministers, Neighbourhood Police
Teams and local childrens centres.
The meetings have already been benecial
as Anne explains: We can use the meetings
to build a secure base for Labour in the
community and create links between the
private, public and voluntary sectors in
Swindon. I aim to demonstrate that even in
opposition we can make things happen and
get things done, contrasting with the Tory
MP who is responsible with his Government
for closing down valuable local resources.
Anne and Siobhan have followed a
similar approach to the one described on
page 13 - setting up one-to-ones with key
individuals and just nding out about them
and their organisation. This enabled Anne
and Siobhan to build relationships within
their community and helped them become
involved in issues that people care about.
Anne Snelgrove with Jon Trickett MP
Part one: The ve step Community Organising campaign
Step one Build relationships
Listening panels
Why not hold regular listening panels with
community leaders in your area. Explain to
community leaders that you would like to
get regular feedback and ideas on
community issues and would they mind
participating online, in a regular telephone
conversation or by attending a meeting.
Sociograms/Community mapping
As well as identifying who the key leaders
are in a community and meeting with them,
we should also seek to understand the
relationships and potential relationships
between them. This will be key to our
Community Organising campaigns:
We will understand which leaders may
be able to bring other groups of people
or organisations into a campaign
We will understand which leaders
may be able to inuence key decision
makers in the community to help
us achieve our campaign aims.
We will understand who the leaders
are in our local Party who may be able
to bring people into our campaigns and
activity or help us to secure change.
To help us do this work we can use
community mapping to draw up a
A sociogram is a graphic representation
of social links that a person has. It is a
graph drawing that plots the structure
of interpersonal relations in a group
How to draw up a sociogram
1) Put the key individuals in your
community on your map clearly naming
them. Remember to think about
members of your local Labour Party
and in particular the information
you may have gathered through
one-to-one meetings and their links
and relationships within the community
2) Link the individuals by their
relationship or potential
relationships to each other.
See opposite for an example sociogram.
Part one: The ve step Community Organising campaign





















































































Step one Build relationships
Working with trade unions and
our other afliated organisations
across the Labour movement
In every constituency there are thousands
of people who are members of trade unions
and other organisations who share our
values and are afliated to the Labour Party.
By building relationships and working with
these organisations at a local level we can
also build relationships with these people.
This section will give you some practical
tips to build strong, campaigning
relationships with trade unions and
union members in your community.
Many of the Community Organising
techniques that the Labour Party is putting
into practice are based on the industrial
organising methods that the unions have
been using for generations.
Unions work locally to identify specifc
problems afecting people in a particular
workplace or working for a particular
employer. Working with local workers,
they formulate campaigns to resolve
the issue.
This practical action not only helps to
improve working conditions (where disputes
are successfully resolved) but also shows
individual workers the benet of acting
collectively building union membership.
This local way of working also enables
unions to talent-spot potential local leaders,
who they train and support to lead the union
in their workplace, and be a strong voice for
their co-workers.
Thanks to the special bond that the Labour
Party has with the trade union movement,
our Party is still uniquely placed to speak up
for working people.
How are trade unions structured?
Trade unions are all diferent, but what
they all have in common is that their
structures reect the industries that
they work in. Some unions are small and
specialised, and represent workers in just
one industry at the other end of the
spectrum are unions with millions of
members in many kinds of workplaces.
Within the Party, TULO (the Trade Union
and Labour Party Liaison Organisation)
works with all the afliated unions to
strengthen the link between the two wings
of the labour movement. You can nd out
more at
Making contact
If you are just starting out in trying to build
and strengthen the relationship you have
with local trade unions, the best point of
contact is probably the unions Regional
Political Ofcer. Most of the larger unions
have someone responsible for political work
across the region, and they will be able
to help you get started on building those
important local relationships.
Go to
to nd regional contacts for the afliated
trade unions. Its worth bearing in mind that
unions regional boundaries sometimes
vary from the Partys check on a unions
website to see how your area ts in to their
regional structure.
Part one: The ve step Community Organising campaign
Step one Build relationships
Once you have made contact with the
Regional Political Ofcers, explain to them
that you are working on a project to bring
the Party and the unions together locally on
joint campaigns.
Ask them what the unions key campaigns
and priorities are, and how you might work
together to support them.
Ask them to help you organise a
meeting with key union people who
cover your area.
Ask them if they can provide key union
contacts for your area. Some unions might
give you the names and contact details of
the key Full Time Ofcers (FTOs) for your
area, others might give you the names
and contact details of branch secretaries.
If you explain that your aim is to build
links and campaign together then they
are more likely to help you.
Auditing existing relationships
Ask your CLP Secretary about what formal
links your CLP already has with local trade
unions. What trade union branches are
afliated? Do they send a delegate and
participate in meetings?
Ask around the CLP to fnd out if there are
any historic links with trade unions. Have
some trade union branches dropped out
of afliation? Do people have an informal
relationship with a trade union? Have you
run joint campaigns together in the past
if so, who was the contact?
Ask around the local Party to see who
has links with local trade union members,
activists or ofcials. Dont forget to ask
your elected representatives if they have
any links with local trade unions?
Mapping local unions
Use the TULO Directory at to
work out which region your CLP is in for
each of the trade unions (it may vary).
Contact each unions regional ofce to
ask for a list of key workplaces, ofcers
and branches in your constituency.
Mapping local workplaces
Get a group of your members together and
pool your knowledge to come up with a
list of all the workplaces you can think of
in your area, and which union represents
the workers there (in some workplaces
there will be more than one recognised
trade union, in some there might be no
recognised union).

These are some ideas for workplaces that
might help you get started:
Hospital / care homes
Factories / plants
Supermarkets and other shops
Local council, job centre etc
Schools / colleges / universities
Sorting ofces and distribution depots
Construction sites
Bus station, train station, train depots
Call centres and many, many more!
As your list grows, and you make contact
with more people from the unions, aim to
get a key contact (it could be a workplace
rep, full time ofcer or a branch ofcial) for
each of the workplaces you have identied.
Keep in regular contact with all of them, and
ask them to keep in touch about issues
afecting their members.
Part one: The ve step Community Organising campaign
Step one Build relationships
Working with local trade unions
to identify issues
Thousands of people in your constituency
will be members of a trade union and there
are a range of simple activities you can
undertake to make sure you are keeping in
touch with issues that concern them.
To organise a workplace visit:
Work with the union. Speak to the
union rep who covers the workplace,
and ask them to set it up for you.
It will help if youve done your
workplace mapping in advance of this!
If the union is willing to help
organise the visit, ask them to
approach the employer to get
permission for the visit.
Make sure you ask the union rep for
a quick brieng in advance.
On the day, spend some time with the
union reps at the workplace, and ask
them to tell you about whats going on,
if there are any problems.
You might also want to ask permission
to take a survey with you to ask
people to ll it in.
Make sure you follow up on anything
raised, and add any new contacts to
your list or database.
Communicating with union members
Many of the unions will have regional or
local newletters or e-bulletins to members.
If you have a good relationship with a union,
why not ask them to help you communicate
with their members about one of your
Its also a good idea to theme meetings
on a particular issue, rather than just
inviting people in for a chat.
Recruitment: working together
As part of a working relationship with local
trade unions, some local Labour Parties will
organise a party recruitment drive- perhaps
by circulating union membership forms to
Labour Party members. In return the union
may encourage its members to join the
Labour Party.
If you do work with unions to plan a Party
recruitment drive, then remember there is a
special discounted rate for people who are
members of the afliated trade unions. You
can download a membership form specially
designed for recruiting union members here:
Other afliated organisations
and partners
In addition to many trade unions, there are
other organisations which are afliated or
work in partnership with the Labour Party.
These organisations also provide you with
a great opportunity to organise in your
community. In particular these organisations
can advise you and sometimes facilitate
relationship building with key community
groups. For example, the Christian Socialist
Movement will help local Labour Parties
establish relationships with church
communities. For contact details and a
full list of our afliated partners see the
Further help and information section at
the back of this manual.
Part one: The ve step Community Organising campaign
Step one Build relationships
Conclusion - Step one
You should now have
a sound understanding of:
1) The importance of building
relationships with our members
and supporters.
2) How to start a membership
engagement and relationship
building programme.
3) The importance of building
relationships with leaders
in the local community.
4) How to start a community leader
engagement and relationship
building programme.
5) How mapping can help
us to organise.
6) How to build relationships with
trade union members and other
afliated organisations.
Relationship building doesnt stop at the end of Step one.
It remains an integral part of our organising approach throughout.
Part one: The ve step Community Organising campaign
Step two
We have begun to establish relationships
with previously inactive local members,
with leaders in our local community,
local trade unions and other partner
We now need to identify an issue around
which to organise a campaign. After all,
whilst people do join the Labour Party to
meet with and spend time with like minded
people, they also join because they want to
change the world for the better.
There are a number of ways we can identify
potential campaign issues:
We will identify campaign issues
during our one-to-one discussions
with our members and with community
We can organise listening exercises in
the local community such as doorstep
resident surveys and roving surgeries.
We can visit community organisations
and talk with their members.
We can organise cofee mornings.
We can visit workplaces and talk
to working people.
As we will see in step three - not every
local issue that is raised is a good campaign
issue, so the best thing to do is to go out
into the community and into workplaces,
listen to what people have to say and
compile a list of possible campaign issues
which you can review and consider later.
Door-to-door resident surveys
Most Labour campaigners have spent many
hours on the doorstep. In the constituencies
which adopt a Community Organising
approach they dont only ask voter ID
questions. They also use doorstep work as
a way of capturing local issues and recruiting
members and supporters. You can print out
residents surveys which volunteers take
door-to-door to ll out there and then with
residents. Model direct mail and a survey
can be found on pages 26 and 27.
But this isnt about sticking to a script.
To really understand what people are
concerned about, your volunteers should be
trying to engage people in a conversation.
There is no reason why you cant identify
new campaigners or community leaders
through conversations you have on the
Identifying campaign issues




Part one: The ve step Community Organising campaign
Step two Identifying campaign issues
Model letter to accompany residents survey
Dear xxxxx
Across the country in every city, town, neighbourhood and street we know that
many people and families are sufering as the policies of this out of touch Tory-led
Government are starting to bite.
As a party we are not willing to stand by and do nothing as residents of xxxx Street/
Road are ignored and left without a voice in the community they care about.
The Labour Party has never taken your support for granted and it never will. We want
to renew our commitment to you and to every resident in xxxx Street/Road. We want
to prove to you that Labour is demanding fairness in these tough times. Many of your
neighbours have already let us know what they think, you can have your say too.
We want to hear from everyone. Regardless of which party you vote for or even if you
never vote, we want to know your views.
We want to work with residents such as yourself in xxxxx street/block to nd out
whats important to you and work with you to change your neighbourhood for the
Tell us about your area, tell us what you like, what you dont and what could be done
to improve it. By letting us know your views and priorities, we can prove to you that by
working together we can make a diference.
We will be speaking to residents in xxxx street/road on xxxx date and hope to speak to
you then. In case we miss you, why not ll out this survey and pop it in the post to us.
Many thanks for taking the time to read this letter, we hope to hear from you soon and
we look forward to working with you to make our community a better place to live.
Many thanks,

Anytown Labour CLP
Part one: The ve step Community Organising campaign
Step two Identifying campaign issues
Model residents survey
How long have you lived here?
Whats it like to live here?
What are two three things you really like about this neighbourhood?
What are two three things you would change if you could?
What, if anything, would you be willing to work with other local people
to change?
Do you belong to any local organisations, if so please list them?
Would you be willing to work with our Labour Community Action Team
to bring about some of the changes that you said you would like to
see around here?


Do you usually vote?


If yes who do you usually vote for?
If no why dont you usually vote?

Contact details:
telephone mobile
Anytown Labour CLP residents survey
Part one: The ve step Community Organising campaign
Step two Identifying campaign issues
Ideas and follow up questions for the doorstep
When you are door knocking you
may notice someone has a sticker
for a charity, faith group or any other
organisations in their window.
Try to engage them in conversation
about this.
Would you be willing to work with our Labour Community
Action Team to bring about some of the changes that you
are talking about?
We will work with you to send out iers and will make
door knocking visits to inform and update residents and to
ask them to get involved
Build relationships
If there is an opportunity, share a
little about why you do this kind of
work. Identify things that connect
you to the person.
Identify things that could connect the
person with others in the group.
How long have you lived here?

Whats it like to live here?

What are things you really like about this neighbourhood?

What are things you would change if you could?

How do your neighbours, friends or family feel?

What is one thing you would work with others to change?
Part one: The ve step Community Organising campaign
Step two Identifying campaign issues
Tip: Roving surgeries
Many local Labour Parties use roving
surgeries to identify key issues afecting a
local community. Heres how to organise a
roving surgery:
1) Prepare a simple leaet which explains:
The local Labour Party want to
hear your views and concerns.
They will be in the road on
Saturday afternoon.
If you want them to knock on
your door, please put this leaet
in your window.
2) The local Labour team which should
include local candidates and elected
representatives should then return to
the street at the time specied and call
at the houses where there is a leaet in
the window.
Visits to community groups, cofee
mornings and house meetings
By identifying key community leaders,
contacting them and starting to build
relationships with them, you have given
yourself the opportunity to start to engage
with their members and followers.
Many Labour representatives and local
Parties organise cofee mornings through
which they invite a community group or a
group of residents from a neighbourhood
for cofee. This is a great opportunity to
meet people and identify issues that are of
concern to them. Here are some top tips for
organising a good cofee morning:
Tip: Cofee mornings
or residents meetings
1) Approach the leader of the group you
wish to invite and explain youd like to
spend some time with their members
to learn about issues afecting them.
2) Alternatively leaet an estate or
neighbourhood and invite residents
to a cofee morning and ask community
leaders to bring people as well. Follow
up the leaet with a phone call or a knock
on the door.
3) Some community groups will invite
you to meet their members at their
own building. If not try to identify a
welcoming environment in which to
hold the meeting. A members house
is a great venue.
4) The local candidate or representative
should act as host of the event even if it
is in someone elses house. They should
say a few words of welcome at the
beginning and explain that the purpose
of the event is to listen to their views.
5) If the community organisation you are
working with have a particular concern
you know about you may wish to
invite along other relevant community
stakeholders. For example an MP might
invite a local community police ofcer
to a meeting with neighbourhood watch
6) Make sure there are enough of you at the
event to ensure everyone who attends is
spoken with and made to feel welcome
and listened to.
7) Even if the event doesnt raise issues
which you will use as a community
campaign, ensure that you follow up
where you are asked for help.
Part one: The ve step Community Organising campaign
Step two Identifying campaign issues
8) Your event host should thank everyone
at the end of the event and explain what
will happen with the concerns that have
been raised.
Dulwich and West Norwood -
Capturing issues through
local meetings
In Dulwich and West Norwood, local Labour
MP Tessa Jowell and local Party members
use residents meetings to capture issues.
Working with local community groups they
organise action days in a local community
which then coincides with a residents
meeting where they talk with people about
local issues of concern.
Find out how Tessa and her team identied
a campaign issue on a local housing estate
in our Best Practice section.
Getting to the heart of the issue
The types of questions we ask people will
help us get to the heart of the issues that
are important to them.
Rather than asking questions which only
require a yes or no answer, try and ask open
questions. For example, instead of saying:
Has this been going on a long time?,
ask How long has this been going on?.
That way, instead of closing the conversation
down into a yes or no response, you open
it out and encourage the other person to
keep talking.
Help me understand ___?
How would you like things to be diferent?
How can I help you with ___?
What are the good things about ___ and
what are the less good things about it?
When would you be most likely to___?
What have you tried before to make
a change?
What do you want to do next?
If the person youre speaking with
glosses over an important point, try saying
Tell me more about, or sounds a difcult
area for you will help them clarify the
points, not only for you, but for themselves.
Part one: The ve step Community Organising campaign
Step two Identifying campaign issues
Conclusion - Step two
You should now have
an understanding of:
1) Some techniques to help you
identify local campaign issues
Meetings with community groups.
Cofee mornings.
Doorstep surveys.
2) How to understand what issues
people care about.
Part one: The ve step Community Organising campaign
Step three
Not all issues that are raised with you
and your team are good campaigning
issues. When deciding on the right
issue it often helps asking yourself
the following three questions:
1) Is the campaign consistent with
Labour values?
As Labour Party members we want to
campaign on issues that speak to our
Labour values. Any campaign you run
will have an impact on the perception of
Labour across the local community so it
is important to consider this when you
choose a campaign issue.
2) What do you aim to achieve through
your campaign?
This is an important question. You need
to be able to set very clear and achievable
aims and objectives at the outset. That said,
you can be sophisticated in how you dene
your aims. For example, Siobhain McDonagh
MP ran a local campaign to help young
people into work with clear, measurable
and deliverable aims. Her campaign was
aimed at supporting young people to
put CVs together and set up a local work
experience scheme. Siobhain was clear
about what she was aiming to do at the
outset and she achieved this.
3) Can it mobilise a movement of local
The best campaign issues afect a
signicant number of people and are
powerful. Good campaigns get people
involved and help to grow your local Labour
Party. An issue that fails to motivate people
wont do that.
Casework or campaign issue?
You must distinguish between casework
or issues that only afect a small number
of people and those issues that have broad
appeal and could afect a wider range of
people- this is crucial.
Testing a campaign issue
Before embarking upon a campaign it
is a good idea to test the water with
local residents. You could go back on the
doorstep and talk to people asking them
to get involved. You should be looking to
test whether your campaign and specically
what you are campaigning towards (your
campaign aim) will motivate people to take
action. For example:
Hello Mrs Jones. When I called a couple of
weeks ago you told me about the lack of
street lights through the park. A number
of other people have made the same
point and were going to try and make the
council do something about it. Would you
be willing to come along to a meeting at
the community centre on Wednesday?
Well be discussing how we might persuade
the council to take action.
Choose a campaign issue
Part one: The ve step Community Organising campaign
Step three Choose a campaign issue
Conclusion - Step three
You should now understand:
1) What makes a good campaign issue:
A Labour issue.
An issue around which you can
set a clear and achievable aim.
An issue with broad based support.
A powerful issue i.e. an issue people
would take action about if you
provided them the opportunity
to do so.
2) How to test your campaign issue.
If your meeting is well attended, you know
you have an issue around which to organise
a campaign.
If your meeting is not well attended,
you have two choices:
1) Tell people that to win this
campaign we will need to get
more people behind it and ask
them to bring their friends and
neighbours next time.
2) If you dont think your campaign
issue is going to provide the
basis for a large scale Community
Organising campaign, agree a
more modest course of action to
help you achieve your campaign
aims - for example that everyone
should write to the local paper
and urge their friends and family
to do so.
You should look at who else you might bring
to this meeting as well- local councillors
with relevant responsibility for example.




Dave Anderson MP campaigning against the sale
of Chopwell Woods
Part one: The ve step Community Organising campaign
Step four
You now have a relationship with a
group of potential campaigners and
a powerful local issue around which
to organise your campaign. Its time
to get campaigning.
Three steps
1) Set clear campaign
aims and objectives.
2) Make change happen.
3) Involve people and
build your campaign.
1) Set clear campaign
aims and objectives
Earlier we set out the importance of
having a clear and achievable campaign
aim. This is what you are telling people you
are campaigning for. Clearly dened aims
and objectives:
Help you tell people what the campaign
is for. People wont be motivated to
join if you cant be clear about your
end goal. Think about how much
more powerful a campaign to save the
local police station is compared to a
campaign against crime.
Help you to ensure that you are being
realistic- you can decide at the outset
what you will tell people you are
aiming for and there is less danger
of over promising.
Help you to understand how you will
achieve change. Once you know what
you are trying to change, you can start
to work out how to change it.
Tip: SMART Objectives
An approach called SMART- helps us set
our aims and objectives. SMART stands for:
Consider the following campaign objective:
To secure new street lighting through
the park between the railway station
and the housing estate by Christmas.
This objective is:
Specic and Measurable
We aim to have new street lights in the
park- we will be able to measure denitively
whether this is achieved or not. If our
objective was to make the park safer
whether or not we had achieved our
objective would be open to interpretation.
It would be neither specic nor measurable
In this instance asking for improved street
lighting in the park is denitely achievable.
In seeking an achievable goal for a
campaign we can sometimes lose sight
of what people are angry or concerned
about and we begin to campaign around
an issue that isnt relevant. What if street
lighting wasnt achievable? What if the local
Labour councillors started thinking about
an alternative solution and came up with an
idea nobody wanted? This is why it is very
Organise and build
your campaign
Part one: The ve step Community Organising campaign
Step four Organise and build your campaign
important to test your specic campaign
aims with residents before going ahead-
see Step two - Testing a campaign issue.
It is really important to set deadlines.
This helps in your communications but
also in your campaign planning.
2) Making change happen
Once you are clear about what your
campaign aims and objectives are you
can plan how to make change happen.
We will explore three ways of making
change happen here:
1) Facilitating - bringing people together
to agree a better way forward
2) Persuading - organising a local
community to persuade decision
makers of the need for change
3) Community action - organising a
local community to improve the
local community themselves
Sometimes great anger can be caused
in a community because of a simple
misunderstanding. A local business
may be causing great disruption without
knowing it or a council may make a terrible
decision without appreciating the impact.
Often people can seethe with anger but
because of poor communications on one side
or the other, the person causing the problem
is completely unaware. Many of our elected
representatives will step in and resolve such
issues by providing a connection between
the two parties. We can use such situations
as a way of empowering local people to
achieve change themselves.
Its better that you co-ordinate a letter from
local residents than simply send that letter
from yourself and it will have even more
impact if you take local residents along
to a meeting with the person or people
causing the problem so that they can
explain their situation than if you just
attend the meeting yourself.
Persuading decision makers
Whilst some issues may be the result of
a misunderstanding between two parties,
others arent. In these situations we need
to persuade decision makers.
In some cases a decision maker may change
their mind because a campaign provides
them with an opportunity. Consider a group
of parents campaigning for healthier school
meals for their children. What might they
be able to do to persuade decision makers -
i.e. the company providing school meals?
A photograph of parents and dinner ladies
in an industry journal after a new healthier
menu has been introduced might be enough
of an incentive for them to make the
changes that are being asked for.
Other decision makers may welcome the
opportunity to build relationships with
members of the local community and if
your campaign can bring people together
with the decision maker they might be keen
to help.
Part one: The ve step Community Organising campaign
Step four Organise and build your campaign
Who else can inuence decision makers?
As well as local residents and members of
the local media, you should think about
other people or organisations who might
inuence your decision maker.
If the decision makers are elected
representatives you might inuence
them by identifying and talking with
colleagues who have inuence over
them - your community mapping might
help you understand who this is
Customers or clients
If an organisation sees that their
customers or clients are part of your
campaign they may change their
course of action
Community Action
Sometimes a decision doesnt need to
be taken by anyone for the lives of local
people to be improved. For example many
local Parties now organise clean up days in
local areas. This is less about campaigning
but it can be incredibly valuable work.
Community action helps the local Labour
Party build relationships and get people
involved in the party.
For an example see the Dulwich and West
Norwood story in the Best Practice section.
The Christian Socialist Movement also
work with local parties who want to
undertake this sort of work. For full
details about their Labour Neighbour
project email
3) Involve people and
build your campaign
So you know what you are trying to achieve
(your aims and objectives) and you know
how to achieve change but a Community
Other ways of persuading
decision makers
A decision maker sensing a ground swell of
opinion may be willing to listen or change
their mind.
1) Meetings
You can organise a meeting where
local people will present their views
and concerns to the decision maker.
2) Petitions
A petition is another way you can
demonstrate large scale support for
your campaign to a decision maker.
3) Letter writing
Similar to a petition is a letter writing
campaign through which you can ask
local people to write to a decision
maker and demand change.
4) Posters
Posters in windows across a
community will also demonstrate
a groundswell of opinion.
5) Events and rallies
Where you engage large numbers of
people in your campaign, you might be
able to demonstrate a large groundswell
of opinion by organising events,
marches or rallies.
6) Online
Increasingly all of the above methods
of persuasion can also be organised
online using social networking sites
and websites.
Engaging the local media in your campaign
For many decision makers, coverage in the
local media or concern about criticism in the
local media will motivate them to act. Some
campaigns will make an attractive story for
the local media in themselves. For others
you will also need to demonstrate a ground
swell of opinion or identify individual
stories of people afected by the issue.
Part one: The ve step Community Organising campaign
Step four Organise and build your campaign
Organising campaign is about more than
achieving change. It is about empowering
people to achieve change for themselves.
So your campaign needs to be planned so
it involves people at every step.
Take every opportunity to invite
people in and bring others with them
Invite everyone you meet to get involved.
Include it in every letter, leaet, press
release and communication. Not everyone
will join you, but many will. Use your
community, membership and workplace
mapping, as well as your union contacts
database, to identify the key people who
can bring others into the campaign.
What links and relationships do you
and your team have that you can
reach out to?
Think about who else, such as local
community groups may want to get
involved and invite them.
Be open with campaigners
Always be open about the aims of the
campaign and be open to further ideas and
advice. If you miss this stage and assume
everyone knows why you are doing things
then it may fall apart later or there may be
disagreements about the objectives or your
campaign methods.
Never forget that it is also personal
relationships that really motivate people,
so make sure you ask people to join you
face to face if possible. Then always work
to grow your relationships with anyone who
wants to get involved no matter how much
or little.
Margaret Hodge and Barking
Constituency Labour Party
As well as engaging with the longstanding
community, we reached out to the new
community too. We actively recruited
new members wherever we went in the
Borough and doubled our membership
during the period when Labour nationally
was losing members. We welcomed younger
people, many individuals from all BAME
communities and many more women.
They joined because they wanted to work
with us to defeat the BNP and because
we made sure that they were all valued
and included. We built up a fantastic Labour
action team of dedicated activists who
are still working and growing in numbers.
Some of the new members replaced
existing councillors, understanding that
they had to change what they did to win.
Membership is no longer about going to
endless, tedious Party meetings. It is all
about working together in the community
and growing support for Labour.
To read Margaret Hodges full story
see our Best Practice section
Part one: The ve step Community Organising campaign
Step four Organise and build your campaign
Sharing experiences
Jess Philips -
Birmingham Longbridge
Personal narrative and story telling is
an important part of your organising
campaign. For example, Jess Philips, a
Labour Council Candidate in the West
Midlands, ran a campaign against the
cuts to Working Tax credits in March 2012.
Jess is a mum of young children herself
and by telling her story and talking to other
mums she got them involved. Their stories
and experiences added even more to the
campaign than Jess experience on its
own ever could. It was a really powerful
message to local residents that Jess was
out with local mums who have been hit
hard by the Tory-led Government.
Asking about other peoples experiences is
a great way to really get to know them and
starts your relationship with them on a
clear footing; you know what has brought
them to the campaign and it helps you to
understand what they want to get from
their involvement.
easy. Up and down the country charities like mine are having to shut the doors because
local council cuts mean we can no longer afford to offer services which could save peoples

Women all over Longbridge are caring for disabled and frail relatives, friends and
neighbours. On every street a daughter will be caring for her elderly mother or father.
Without this free service provided day in day out, mainly by women, the government would
be completely crippled, and this is how they repay us.

I hope that you will consider voting Labour on Thursday 3

I wish all the mothers and daughters in the Longbridge ward a very Happy Mother's Day.

Jess Phillips
Labour candidate for Longbridge

Printed by WMLP, B70 6NT. Promoted by Peter Griffiths on behalf of Jess Phillips both at 62 Old Oak
Road, B38 9AJ
m. 07969264876 t. @jessphillips
Longbridge Labour Party, Freepost
BM5884, B29 4BR

Jean M Carroll
120 Wolverton Road
B45 8RN


Dear Jean Carroll,

On the weekend of Mother's Day I wanted to reach out to the women in the ward. One of
the reasons I decided to stand in the local elections is because I feel so angry about how
women and families are being treated by David Cameron's Tory-led government.

Currently those parents working 16 hours a week or more qualify for Working Tax Credit.
From April this year they will be required to work 24 hours a week or lose this benefit.

It is all too easy for David Cameron to say that we are all in this together. He doesn't
understand that for thousands of women losing their tax credits tax credits they use to
pay for their kids to go to nursery - means that they cannot afford to work any more.
Where does the Prime Minister think people can magically find the extra 8 hours of work
needed? These policies will see more people forced out of work.

When I had Harry, my son, in 2005 I was only able to go back to work and support my
family because I had tax credits to help me pay for childcare. If I were to have him now I
would be entitled to nothing and would certainly not have been able to afford to work and
provide for my family. I had my children under a Labour Government that gave us benefits
to help us work and free nursery places to our children.

In my day job I work in a women's refuge where I see some of the most vulnerable women
and children trying to rebuild their lives and improve things for their families. This is not
Jess Phillips
Labour candidate for
Longbridge ward
m. 07969264876 t. @jessphillips
Longbridge Labour Party, Freepost
BM5884, B29 4BR

Jean M Carroll
120 Wolverton Road
B45 8RN


Dear Jean Carroll,

On the weekend of Mother's Day I wanted to reach out to the women in the ward. One of
the reasons I decided to stand in the local elections is because I feel so angry about how
women and families are being treated by David Cameron's Tory-led government.

Currently those parents working 16 hours a week or more qualify for Working Tax Credit.
From April this year they will be required to work 24 hours a week or lose this benefit.

It is all too easy for David Cameron to say that we are all in this together. He doesn't
understand that for thousands of women losing their tax credits tax credits they use to
pay for their kids to go to nursery - means that they cannot afford to work any more.
Where does the Prime Minister think people can magically find the extra 8 hours of work
needed? These policies will see more people forced out of work.

When I had Harry, my son, in 2005 I was only able to go back to work and support my
family because I had tax credits to help me pay for childcare. If I were to have him now I
would be entitled to nothing and would certainly not have been able to afford to work and
provide for my family. I had my children under a Labour Government that gave us benefits
to help us work and free nursery places to our children.

In my day job I work in a women's refuge where I see some of the most vulnerable women
and children trying to rebuild their lives and improve things for their families. This is not
Jess Phillips
Labour candidate for
Longbridge ward
Part one: The ve step Community Organising campaign
Step four Organise and build your campaign
Enable and empower
To get the best out of people we need to
enable and empower them to make their
own decisions and bring their talent,
creativity and energy to the campaign.
The key to ensure that a campaign
stays focused but harnesses the very
best from those involved is good planning,
communications and training.
Make sure you regularly communicate
with everyone whos involved about
what you are trying to achieve, how
you are trying to achieve it and the
progress so far- plan these regular
updates and make them someones
When allocating responsibility to
people make sure that they are
properly trained and understand how
to undertake their responsibility and
why it is so important as part of the
Put people in small teams with a
well trained team leader who clearly
understands their role and what
they are expected to achieve. Team
members will then have more of a
stake in terms of deciding how to
achieve the team aims. People will feel
more motivated and empowered to
play their part than if they arrive at a
large central campaign ofce and are
given a list of doors to knock on in an
area which they know very little about.
Top down versus Empowerment
The diagrams (below) show a top
down model (top) and an empowerment
model (bottom).
Diagrams from Movement for Change
Part one: The ve step Community Organising campaign
Step four Organise and build your campaign
In the top down model, the leader at the
top passes instructions and directions
down the chain.
In the empowerment model, the leader at
the centre provides overall direction but
empowers other leaders to make decisions
and organise. These leaders then identify
others who may bring people into the
campaign and they empower them.
The advantages of the empowerment
model are:
1) If a leader drops out other leaders will ll
in the gaps
2) There is an emphasis on recruiting new
leaders and growing the campaigns
3) People are empowered and enabled to
give their very best
Conclusion - Step four
You should now understand:
1) The importance of clear aims and
2) How to set campaign aims and
3) How to achieve change through your
a. How to identify a decision maker
b. How to inuence a decision
4) How to build your campaign and bring
people in
5) How to organise your campaign so
that it enables and empowers people
Part one: The ve step Community Organising campaign
Step ve
Getting an outcome
The nal step in our Community Organising
guide looks at how we close the campaign,
feedback to supporters and move onto the
next campaign. Ideally you want to achieve
your objectives and have all sides feel that
they have got what they needed from the
situation. The dynamic will irrevocably
change if one side feels they have lost
where another has won. If this is the type of
objective you are aiming for, make sure you
have thought through the consequences
and the impact this will have on your future
relationship with the other side.
Going back to your campaigners
and residents with the outcome
Achieving your objectives isnt the end,
you need to go back and communicate
the outcome to your campaign team,
your supporters, local residents and to
the local press. Ensure that press releases
are prepared and sent to local blogs and
newspapers, photos taken, leaets and
direct mail written and delivered remember
that every piece of material should thank
the community for getting involved. Make
sure that you are asking your union contacts
to get the message out to their network, or
putting leaets in the work canteen or on
the notice board. This is the communities
victory not your own, although you will reap
the benet for your leadership, involvement
and the relationships you have built along
the way.
Very often the outcomes will take time to
take efect and if this is the case in your
campaign you need to get this message
across. The challenge is to keep support
and momentum going even if the results
wont be seen for a while.
Our aim should be to run a number of
campaigns at the same time - some with
long term and others with short term
objectives. Dont wait for one campaign to
nish before starting another. That said if
you are just starting out as a Community
Organiser, dont stretch yourself too thinly
at the outset.
As one campaign
closes another begins
Part one: The ve step Community Organising campaign
Step ve As one campaign closes another begins
Leaving a legacy of greater capacity,
more members and more supporters.
As campaigns close make sure you have
followed up with people who you have
identied as potential new members.
If people are not ready to be fully paid
up members then ask them if you can keep
in touch with them about local issues and
future campaigns as part of your local
supporters network. Supporters can be
agged on Contact Creator.
As activity levels rise and supporter
numbers grow you will want to manage
this data well, agging the kinds of
activities individuals have engaged in,
the skills they have, and the things they
have expressed an interest in.
Feedback and evaluation
At the end of every campaign we should
take the opportunity to evaluate what
worked well and what we can do better
next time. You should involve everyone
who played a part in the campaign in
this evaluation.
Tip: Follow up
Go back to your community
campaigners, thank them and
see what other local issues have
been identied locally keep up
the momentum.
Think about sending out regular
progress reports to supporters of
the campaign and their neighbours.
Ensure that you maintain relationships
with the new people and leaders you
have recruited during the campaign -
invite them to join the Labour Party
and work to keep them involved.
Conclusion - Step ve
You should now understand:
1) The importance of evaluating
relationships once your objective
has been achieved.
2) The importance of communicating
results to the local community.
3) How to nish one campaign
and move on to the next.
4) The importance of evaluating
Part one: The ve step Community Organising campaign
Part two
Best practice
Part two: Best practice
Part two: Best practice 47
Best practice
Community Organising is not new for
the Labour Party. Up and down the
country local Labour Parties, Labour
candidates and elected representatives
have organised in their communities
for many years. As a result these are
communities in which:
More local people are active and
participate in the political process
More people join and support Labour
Labour achieves better results at
This section contains some great examples
both from the Labour Party and partner
organisations including Trade Unions.
If you have an example of your own, share
it with us at or
#realchange on Twitter
Community Organising in action
There were constituencies up and
down the country which bucked the
trend and performed fantastically
well for Labour at the 2010 General
In Barking Labour candidate and MP,
Margaret Hodge beat BNP leader Nick
Grifn increasing her share of the vote
from 48% to 54%. At the same time
Labour defeated all the BNP councillors
on the borough council.
Margaret Hodge MP takes up the story:
There are lessons everyone can learn
from our experience in Barking which
Barking Labour Party
Best practice
could help Labour elsewhere rebuild for
future elections.
Barking had always been a traditional
Labour stronghold. We were used to
weighing in, not counting the Labour vote
and we didnt have to campaign very hard
to win well.
That began to change in 2001 when the
turnout at the General Election dropped to
45.5% - the lowest turnout since 1918. At
Our street meetings bring people together to
nd solutions to local problems. We still hold
one every fortnight
Part two: Best practice
Best practice Barking Labour Party
Part two: Best practice
that time I did some focus group work to
better understand what was happening.
Talking to women on the estates I found
that it was anger, not apathy that kept
them away from the polling booths. Our
voters felt we had become out of touch
with them and their concerns.
Then in 2006 the BNP stood 13
candidates in the borough elections
and gained 12 seats. Had they stood
more candidates, the BNP would almost
certainly have gained control of Barking
and Dagenham Council. After the
boundaries were redrawn all but one
of the BNP councillors were in my
I decided we had to radically change
what we did and how we did it. So my
rst message to Labour Party members is,
if you want to win for Labour, you need to
start working now in a long and consistent
campaign. By the time of the short election
campaign it is too late.
Our strategy involved a fundamental
regeneration of the local Party and the
injection of new candidates for council
seats; strong hands-on leadership from
me as the MP; relentless activity entirely
focussed on reconnecting with our voters;
and a tight and well-organised short

As well as engaging with the longstanding
community, we reached out to the new
community too. We actively recruited
new members wherever we went in the
Borough and doubled our membership
during the period when Labour nationally
was losing members. We welcomed
younger people, many individuals from
Top: We collected 1,000s of signatures for petitions
supporting local campaigns

Middle: We held regular door knocking sessions
every Saturday. We continue these. In 2011 we
obtained more than 16,000 contacts
Bottom: We invite up to 2,000 people for a cuppa
and a chat at our cofee afternoons. We still hold
one every month
Best practice Barking Labour Party
from Westminster, the Town Hall or the
Labour Party.
So, for instance, we write to 2000 voters
asking them to come and have a cup of
tea with me. Fifty or so turn up and we
sit them at small tables with one Labour
activist at each table. We encourage
them to talk about the issues that
matter to them and I go from table
to table, listening.
Most concerns are very local, afecting
the immediate places where people live.
It may be a bus stop that needs moving,
some anti-social behaviour in the
neighbourhood or a parking issue. Politics
starts with the local. And the national
issues people care about are the ones
that afect them locally, like housing and
After Ive gone round all the tables I draw
together two or three local issues and we
discuss how we can address the problems.
In a similar vein, if I get a constituency
case on a local issue anything from dirty
streets to the presence of prostitutes in
the area, we write to everybody in the
area inviting them to a street meeting.
Again, anything from 20-50 people will
turn up, but we assemble all relevant
ofcials from the Council, the police and
other agencies and we all try to identify
a practical solution to the problem. We
write to everybody a second time telling
them what happened. This local community
action again helps restore and build trust.
I often hold two street meetings a week
and the people who deliver my letters
may not be Party members, but residents
who support our eforts to improve
their local area.
all BAME communities and many more
They joined because they wanted to work
with us to defeat the BNP and because we
made sure that they were all valued and
included. We built up a fantastic Labour
action team of dedicated activists who
are still working and growing in numbers.
Some of the new members replaced
existing councillors, understanding that
they had to change what they did to win.
Membership is no longer about going to
endless, tedious Party meetings. It is all
about working together in the community
and growing support for Labour.
We were well-supported by Unite and
Unison, especially after Nick Grifn
announced that he was going to stand
in Barking. Unite Against Fascism also
buried some ideological diferences to
work with us to beat the BNP.
I completely changed what I did as the
leader of our local eforts. I stopped cutting
ribbons, addressing traditional Labour Party
or trade union meetings and gossiping at
Town Hall shindigs. Everything I did and
everything we did from the constituency
ofce had to support our objective of
reconnecting Labour with those whose
support we seek.
And once we had reconnected with
individuals, we kept in regular touch
with them, making sure they heard
from us at least seven times every year.
What does reconnection mean to us in
Barking? First its about engaging with
as many people as possible face-to-face.
Second its about enabling the people we
meet to set their own agenda for what
we talk about, not dictating the agenda
Part two: Best practice
Our canvassing strategy is also diferent.
When people answer the door we identify
ourselves as being out with the Labour
Action team and we talk about some
change I have achieved in the area, like
getting yellow lines painted on the road.
We then ask people what else they would
like me to tackle to improve their area
and where we can, we promise to try to
do something, so the conversation can
take time.
Only at the end do we undertake the voter
ID. When we nd Labour voters we make
sure we keep in regular touch with them,
with newsletters, local campaigns and
updates on local issues. Keeping in
regular touch with Labour supporters
is hugely important to getting the vote
out on the day.
At one new members event I asked
one woman why she had joined the
Party and she replied that she had been
so impressed that I had got her a new
dustbin within days of a Saturday canvass,
she wanted to help!
We also run big campaigns on constituency
issues getting a new maternity unit in
the borough, stopping post ofce closures
or opposing the closure of a local A&E
department. For these campaigns we
also recruit volunteers who are not Party
members but who support the campaign
and are willing to help with leaet
deliveries and petition signatures.
None of this is rocket science. But it
does require consistent, hard work
by a team of Labour activists.
And nally, we were well-organised.
People who came to help never spent
time in the campaign HQ. Those who
trudged the streets in the snow were
rewarded with soup and Mars bars! We
always dealt efciently with casework.

Our literature was of a high quality and
focused on local, not national issues. We
were rigorous in our voter ID because we
wanted to ensure we knocked up only the
Labour vote. We really mobilised the BAME
vote, but we also regained much of the
white working class support we had lost.
And in the end we triumphed. We
triumphed because of the support of
countless people who came to help and to
all of whom we are indebted. But the thing
of which I am most proud is Barking Labour
Party. We turned a small group into a
brilliant team of community activists. We
built a party properly representative in age,
We opened up the party to new people who
became our new activists
Best practice Barking Labour Party
Part two: Best practice
Best practice Barking Labour Party
We ran big campaigns on local issues like saving
the A&E
ethnicity and gender of the community we
represent, and dedicated to the values of
solidarity and equality which underpin the
Labour Party. We are still out on Saturdays,
we still hold regular cofee afternoons and
street meetings, we still listen and respond
and we still make reconnection the test of
everything we do. Thank you to all who
helped us in Barking to win such
an important national struggle.
Part two: Best practice
Part two: Best practice
Edinburgh Labour decided that in order to
re-engage with the electorate in Edinburgh,
their local government manifesto had to
directly involve those that they sought to
represent - the local community. Because
we had all our candidates in place by
September 2011 we were able to make
an early start.
Next steps
Working together, the Local Government
Committee and Labour Group produced an
outline manifesto of ideas that it hoped to
take forward, and released this document in
November 2011. The manifesto was broken
Edinburgh Labour Manifesto
Consultation Process
Best practice
down into sections, but was kept broad,
so that details could be lled in based
on consultations with local people and
community organisations such as trade
unions, small businesses and voluntary
organisations. We consulted people through
residents surveys and a newspaper.
Press Involvement/Social media usage
We invited the local media to the
launch of the consultation document
in November, which Labour group leader
Street stalls proved to be very successful.
We sold books and gave out surveys that asked
people to respond to the manifesto consultation.
Labour group leader (now leader of council,
Andrew Burns) launches consultation
Best practice Edinburgh Labour Manifesto Consultation Process

Edinburgh Labour employed a local
member to compile the responses and
councillors then drew them together into
a full manifesto document.
The nal manifesto was composed and
launched in February 2012 by Labour
group leader Andrew Burns and Scottish
Labour leader Johann Lamont. The nal
copy was published online and distributed
in the community through street stalls.
The manifesto included a thank you to
all those who had been involved.
The response we received on the doorstep
was overwhelmingly supportive and the
public were receptive to being involved
in the manifesto process. The ideas in the
manifesto were broken down and given to
candidates in bullet point format to promote
(now Edinburghs council leader!) Andrew
Burns spoke at, and it received local
press coverage.
Whilst hard copies of the document were
made available and were given out at
street stalls etc, the main source for
feeding back information was through
our website, where members of the
public could read the consultation
document online and then feedback ideas
they wanted to see. The website was
promoted by Twitter and supplemented
by a Facebook page, and all candidates
were asked to promote the social media
aspect of the campaign so that the
consultation reached as many outlets as
possible. At its peak, the Facebook page
was reaching over 3,000 people a week
directly and many more indirectly through
Twitter. Existing portfolio holders were
given a week in which it was their turn to
talk about what they wanted to see for a
co-operative city within their portfolio brief.
Forums and responsibility
Labour group leader Andrew Burns
delegated responsibility to the relevant
spokespersons within the Labour Group
to hold local forum meetings, and to invite
along local community groups, unions,
businesses etc. These meetings were
well attended.
From consultation to manifesto
The consultation with the public ended
in January 2012, by which time over 200
pieces of individual feedback had been
submitted by local organisations and more
than 2,500 surveys had been returned by
members of the public. We responded to
all the surveys when they were submitted,
explaining how their response would be fed
into the consultation process.
Part two: Best practice
Part two: Best practice
on the doorstep. The consistent theme
throughout was that Edinburgh Labour
was listening to peoples views and was
going to continue to do so if successful
in being elected as the largest party (which
we were!)
Link to manifesto
Best practice Edinburgh Labour Manifesto Consultation Process
Edinburgh Young Labour team out talking to voters
about what THEY wanted to see.
Edinburgh Labour event for women within the
party and the wider community to contribute to
the manifesto consultation process. We held break
out groups on transport, employment and childcare.
The event was attended by Scottish Labour leader
Johann Lamont.
More and more people were coming to
MP Siobhain McDonaghs weekly surgery
worried about the cost of heating and
lighting their homes. Not only are bills
getting bigger, theyre complicated and
its hard to know how to make savings.
So in February we arranged a Utilities
Advice Day, a big community event open to
all local residents with professional consumer
advisers there to help, and utility companies
on hand to help people understand their
bills. We wanted constituents to get
information about how to reduce their bills,
how to switch providers, how to cut heating
and lighting costs through insulation and
energy efciency, and so on.
Our local volunteers, lled envelopes
inviting every local household to come
along and other volunteers kindly delivered
the invitations. More than 500 people
came to what felt at times like a busy day
at Labour Party Conference, with people
wandering from stall to stall picking up
advice and freebies.
We persuaded each of the big six energy
companies to come, along with Cooperative
Energy. Audrey Gallacher, the director of
energy at Consumer Focus, whose job it
is to ensure consumers get a good deal,
agreed to hold a series of question and
answer seminars throughout the day
designed to advise people how to keep
bills to the minimum.
A number of independent switching
advisors came too, including uSwitch and
energyhelpline. And to ensure people also
had advice about benets, rents and how
to manage debts, several charities and
voluntary groups such as Age UK, Mind,
the British Legion and our local Credit
Union came to ofer their help, alongside
representatives from Merton Council,
JobCentre Plus, and all our local housing
Many of them handed out money-saving
freebies like electricity usage monitors,
and providers of insulation schemes, such
as Warm Front, also signed people up. For
example, the Climate Energy scheme who
visit homes and install new energy saving
gadgets had an astonishing 150 referrals
as a result of the advice day.
Best practice
Mitcham and Morden
Utilities Advice Day
Part two: Best practice
Part two: Best practice
Through regular doorstep campaigning,
Luciana Berger MP and her campaign
team identied growing concern
amongst residents about the lack
of police presence on local streets.
Lucianas team circulated a police survey
across the constituency. There was a huge
response and Luciana then organised a
public meeting where residents were
able to raise their concerns about crime
and anti-social behaviour with Luciana,
Vernon Coaker, who was Shadow Police
Minister at the time, and representatives
from the local police. More than 130 people
came along.
Luciana said, As a consequence of the
residents survey and meeting, police in
Wavertree have responded to a number
of local anti-social behaviour issues, and
new neighbourhood watch schemes have
been set up. And I have been able to build
up a relationship with hundreds of local
residents on local crime and policing.
Liverpool Wavertree
Best practice
Top: Lucianas team delivered her policing survey to
24,000 households and received a huge response.
Above: Luciana organised a public meeting on local
policing - it was standing room only!
Over the past couple of years
payday lenders, and other providers
of high cost credit, have come to
dominate Walthamstows high street.
Residents faced with the rising costs
of living and unemployment or wage
freezes hitting their family incomes,
are increasingly turning to these legal
loan sharks to make ends meet.
Many have come to see their local MP to
ask for advice on how to deal with the
debts they incurred or losing their homes,
families and jobs as a result. With one in
three payday loans taken out to pay of
Best practice
other payday loans, the spiral of debt
these companies cause requires urgent
Having seen the impact of these
companies, MP Stella Creasy has been
campaigning in Parliament for caps on what
can be charged for credit to give British
consumers the same protection from these
companies that others around the world
enjoy. She has also been working with
Movement for Change to organise action to
try to limit the damage these companies
can cause in Walthamstow.
Part two: Best practice
Part two: Best practice
Best practice Walthamstow
Along with local volunteers, Stella began
working to raise the prole of alternative
forms of afordable credit in the area.

For example, leaets warning people
about these local companies and
highlighting the credit union were
distributed outside the premises of these
companies. Volunteers also held posters
up identifying the companies as legal
loan sharks to raise awareness about
the campaign. These sessions have now
become a regular event at the end of each
month, with volunteers from across the
community as well as labour supporters
signing up to help out.
Alongside these sessions, Stella also
organised debt advice training for
people who work with the most vulnerable
residents in Walthamstow. Stella arranged
for expert speakers from the Citizens
Advice Bureau, insolvency experts R3,
Christians Against Poverty and the
local credit union to meet with residents,
community and voluntary group
representatives and council staf to learn
more about the law around debt as well as
to ensure they knew how to appropriately
refer people to debt advice services.
Stella has also worked with many Labour
councillors to promote the campaign.
Several have passed motions at council
meetings, often with the support of
Conservative and Liberal Democrat
councillors, committing the council to
supporting the campaign against high
cost credit and to work locally to discourage
residents from using the companies. Labour
councillors in Medway have set up an
investigation into the issue, whilst Islington
Council has launched a public campaign to
persuade residents not to use loan sharks,
and has used council powers to support
credit unions and discourage high cost
credit shops.
Campaigning activities have taken many
creative forms. For example, Stella
is also working with football fans to lobby
their clubs to remove advertising for these
companies from football websites, grounds
and programmes through the Red Card
for Wonga campaign. In student unions,
NUS have been challenging how these
companies target students. Using a
mailing list of campaigners across the
country, Stella has been able to mobilise
campaigners to support all these diferent
activities as well as to lobby journalists and
MPs to support her legislative proposals.
Twitter users have been asked to Tweet
their MPs and to help recruit people to the
campaign and hold the companies to
If you would like to know more about any
of the above or how to help please email
Stella at stella@workingforwalthamstow. She is also producing a guide for
campaigners which can be requested by
email and contains ideas on how to support
the campaign both through parliamentary
lobbying and local activism. You can also
follow Stella on @stellacreasy on Twitter
for updates.
When Tory-controlled Sufolk County
Council announced plans to shut
libraries and scrap school crossing
patrols it sparked outrage across
the county. In response Labour
councillors in Ipswich launched
a massive community campaign.
Their team targeted areas of Ipswich
that would be hit by the cuts with a leaet
calling on residents to back their campaign
by signing a petition and putting up a
poster in their window. The team secured
hundreds of signatures but many residents
were willing to go further and ofered to
help the local Party deliver leaets and
gather more petition signatures.
Lollipops and libraries became the
central issue in the campaign for the
Ipswich Borough Council elections in
2011 thanks to the Labour campaign.
As well as the increased capacity the
CLP had from new members following
the General Election they were able to
call on new supporters they had recruited
through the library campaign to help them
deliver election leaets.
On election day, Labour won 12 of
16 council seats being contested and
comfortably took control of the council -
showing that campaigning in the heart
of the community is crucial to securing
Labour success at the polls.
Ipswich CLP Secretary John Cook said,
Through our campaign we were able
to show were in touch with the issues
local people are concerned about, and
we recruited local residents to help the
campaign. Our election results showed the
impact this has and now the Tory County
Council is under real pressure to ditch the
cuts to libraries and crossing patrols.
Best practice
Top: Ed Balls joins the campaign. Bottom: Labour
candidate David Ellesmere with local lollypop lady.
Part two: Best practice
Part two: Best practice
Working with the residents of the
Lilford Estate in Camberwell London
How we started of - helping
out and listening to concerns
The Lilford estate built in the 1930s
consists of 250 ats and is owned by
Lambeth Living Housing Association.
The estate has a high level of support
for Labour but the turnout has been low
at elections.
The local Residents Association were
organising a community clean up day and
it seemed a good opportunity for the local
Labour Party to work with them and help
them out.
We built a team of Labour Party helpers for
the day by asking our new members to sign
up when they attended a social event with
our MP Tessa Jowell.
We also took the opportunity to organise
a community meeting for the day of the
big clean up so that we could meet, listen
to and get to know local residents.
Eight days prior to the event we delivered
letters to the estate and surrounding area
asking people to come to the clean up as
well as the residents meeting
On the day over 30 people of all ages and
backgrounds participated at the event of
which about half were local residents
The residents meeting
At the meeting local residents explained that
they were encouraged by the days activities
but wanted further action taken about their
poor living conditions, such as rotten window
frames, doors and leaking roofs.
Many residents talked about how the
damp and condensation was efecting
their health.
So listening to residents concerns, Tessa
and the Labour councillor agreed to work
with the Residents Association to improve
their poor living conditions.
But both Tessa and the councillors
emphasised that rather than simply
trying to resolve the situation for
residents, they would work with
residents to get Lambeth Council
to recognise their plight.
Empowering residents to get the
council to listen to them
With the support of Movement for Change,
Best practice
Dulwich and West Norwood
we worked up a plan with the Residents
Association to get Lambeth Council to
listen to and involve residents in xing
the problems.
Firstly we delivered a joint letter to
residents of the estate with a survey that
they could send back using our FREEPOST
After working out which households had
returned the surveys, we knocked on the
remaining households to persuade them
to complete their surveys.
The key aim of the survey and door
knocking was to encourage the residents
to tell their own stories about how difcult
it was for them and their families due to the
poor state of disrepair.
With the information gathered, Tessa
got the leading councillor for housing to
visit some of the residents ats who
had responded.
With the evidence collected the Residents
Association felt they were then able to take
a deputation to a full council meeting of
Lambeth councillors in order to put their
case on the councillors agenda.
Local GP practices were also approached
and they wrote letters for the campaign
to demonstrate how the poor living
conditions of the estate were afecting
their patients health.
At the same time work to engage
members of the public in the campaign
was in full swing.
The Result Victory for the Residents!
After a year of campaigning, Lambeth
Council agreed to allocate over
2.5 million to the Lilford Estate.
Now the local councillors will be working
with the Residents Association to ensure
that the money to improve their estate
leads to real improvements to their ats
and their health.
Best practice Dulwich and West Norwood
Part two: Best practice
Part two: Best practice
Best practice
Since the Labour Party was founded,
we have strived to share our vision of
fairness, justice and cooperation with
communities throughout Britain.
Dulwich and West Norwood (DaWN) Labour
Party has always tried to put this vision
into practice. I hope the examples provided
here will contribute to the current debate
about the future direction that our party
should be taking.
a long history of campaigning
DaWN Labour Party has always held
the view that campaigning is not just an
exercise that starts in the six month run up
to an election. As such, it has worked hard
to engage regularly with residents through
surveys, on doorsteps and by holding Any
Questions? style local residents meetings.
In the two years prior to the 2010 General
Election for example, we received almost
5,000 responses to local surveys on very
specic local issues.
The success of our campaigning has
depended on ensuring that important
issues that arise in local communities are
addressed. The only parent promoted
school in the country is in my constituency
and is a prime example of this approach in
action. It started when I met a group of
parents who spoke of their vision for a local
secondary school led by the local community.
This was harnessed and that vision soon led
to this school becoming a reality, along with
three other new secondary schools in the
constituency. This was, of course, supported
signicantly by the national vision provided
by a Labour Government that was prepared
to invest in our childrens futures.
Our approach in developing sustainable
community-rooted campaigning was a vital
factor in increasing the number of Labour
councillors in the constituency from eight
to fteen at the local elections in 2010.
Moving Forward
developing new approaches
Against the backdrop of Labours defeat
nationally and the issues we now face
locally, we have taken the opportunity
to reappraise our attitude to campaigning
as well as developing new approaches.
A catalyst to this has been an inux of
some 400 new party members in the
past year making DaWN Labour Party
one of the largest in the country and one
of the largest community groups in the
constituency. There was a clear and
pressing task which was to involve and
harness the knowledge and enthusiasm
of these new members in a way that
would keep them engaged and bring
benet to the party and their local
community. Our campaigning was
already efective in terms of listening
and advocacy. We realised however,
that there was capacity within individuals
and local organisations to improve peoples
lives and the local environment that was
often untapped. Grasping this point and
mobilising our increased membership,
we have embarked on attempting another
approach to campaigning and engagement.
Community Organising in Dulwich
and West Norwood By Tessa Jowell MP
Best practice Community Organising in Dulwich and West Norwood
Community Action
from small beginnings
Starting on a small scale and working
through local Labour Leaders such as our
Labour councillors, we have worked with a
number of local communities to ofer help
with initiatives taken up by residents to
improve their lives and the local area.
Initiatives have included setting up an
after school club, developing grow your
own patches on a housing estate and
attempting to keep young people away
from gang involvement.
We know that these are just a few of
the numerous initiatives that already go
on in local communities. We believe it is
important to start of by supporting projects
where we have resources to deliver real
change in order to avoid disappointment
amongst communities and members alike.
We favour concentrated involvement rather
than sparse integration.
Having found community initiatives
that we could support, we had to move
our membership towards community
action. Apart from individual discussions
and branch meetings with members,
we organised an event at Westminster
attended by over one hundred local people
who signed up to help with one of six
community action projects. This has
meant that a high number of our members
are now working with residents at our
community action days as well as
other local community initiated events.
Although this is just the start, there are
already two clear positives. First, local
communities can see for themselves that
we are prepared to ofer practical support
rather than an anonymous party that
puts a leaet through a letterbox. Second,
during the process in which community
action initiatives develop, there is a
clear tie that bonds our local communities
and our members together. We are now,
for example, seeing enthused new
members taking on positions in local
community groups.
lessons for our party
Our approach has been to ensure that our
community action initiatives are realistic
and sustainable. It needs to be a process
that evolves with the local community and,
in turn, our members develop in terms of
capacity and strength.
Critically, it shows that Labour Party
values are aligned with the values of the
community, and that the party is prepared
to provide practical help and support. This
has to be a cornerstone of our project to
win over communities toward the Labour
Party in a sustainable and lasting way.
Part two: Best practice
Part two: Best practice
Best practice Community Organising in Dulwich and West Norwood
How to start your community campaigning.
Working with your local Councillors
Carol Boucher, Jim Dickson & Leanne Targett-Parker
Dear Resident,
Sunday 27th March 2pm-4.30pm Meet at St Matthews Church, Lilford Road
Since the Elections last May the media has been full of stories of harsh cuts that
are creating new hardships for ordinary people. This new Government has shown
little care for residents here and we know things are going to get really tough in the
coming months.
But your local Labour representatives your MP Tessa Jowell and your local
Councillors - have promised to work with you and for you to make your homes,
streets and neighbourhoods safer and better places for you to live and work.
On Sunday 27th March we will be making a start and will be out with the Lilford
Area Residents Association, a local residents group, who are brightening up the
Lilford Estate by painting its main entrance.
From 2pm well be painting, so why not come along and help. If you can, please bring
along a 2 inch paint brush and remember to wear some old clothes rather than your
Sunday best!
At 3.30pm well be stopping for a break with refreshments, and a question and answer
session in St Matthews Church with Tessa and your Councillors .
We want to know exactly what you think is most important and what you want to see
happening in the local area in the next few months and years so we need you to come
along and tell us. By working together we can achieve great things for this
neighbourhood so please join us.
With very best wishes,

Tessa Jowell
On behalf of your local Councillors
Carol Boucher, Jim Dickson & Leanne Targett-Parker
From Tessa Jowell MP
Dumfries and Galloway CLP, led
by local Labour MP Russell Brown,
have strong links with their local
communities. These relationships have
been developed by leading campaigns
on prominent local issues and mobilising
support from within the community to
secure positive change locally.
On a whole host of issues - including
demanding cash from government to help
regenerate run down local town centres,
to ghting to save closure threatened post
ofces, to securing new locally-based NHS
dentists- Russell has successfully reached
out to residents, community groups he has
built relationships with over time, local
businesses and the local media for support
in his campaigns.
By approaching local community groups
to involve them in action days, or local
shop owners and businesses to help
gather petition signatures, Russell has
given greater credibility to his campaigns
and shown that the local Labour Party
is at the heart of the community.
And by reaching out to the community
Russell has helped mobilise many more
people to take part in his campaigns. When
Tory-run Dumfries and Galloway Council
threatened to close local day centres for
adults with learning disabilities, Russell
helped identify and support carers who
wanted to take action by supporting his
campaign and mobilising other carers,
centre users, and their friends and family
to take part in the campaign too.
Russell says, The most successful
campaigns weve run have always been
where weve worked with members of
the local community to demand action from
the council, government or health board.
Dumfries and Galloway
Best practice
Part two: Best practice
Part two: Best practice
This pamphlet sets out some of
the achievements of the Liverpool
West Derby Labour Party since
September 2007. I am indebted to the
truly fantastic activists of West Derby
long standing campaigners and new
When I was selected I promised to be an
active, campaigning local MP engaging
both with Party members and the general
public. The membership was just 176 and
we held just ve of the 18 Council seats in
the constituency. Since then, membership
has doubled and we now have 13 Labour
I hope that Party members across the
country nd our pamphlet useful. We
dont have all the answers but we have
made real progress. I am grateful to my
union Usdaw and the Co-op Party for
their unstinting support.
Stephen Twigg MP.
Twitter: @StephenTwigg
Liverpool West Derby
Best practice
The Liverpool West Derby Way
Best practice Liverpool West Derby
How to start your community campaigning.
The West Derby Action Team or
the Power of Habit
Stephen Twigg was selected as Parliamentary candidate in September
2007, and the West Derby Action Team the WDAT among its many
acionados was born on December 1st that year.
Our mission was a simple one. To establish, maintain and grow an all-year-
round campaign team, to take Labours message out on to the streets of
our constituency, across Liverpool and beyond.
We started small. The inaugural WDAT campaign event comprised two
volunteers Stephen Twigg and John Prince, delivering leaets on a
beautiful Indian summer morning.
Since that balmy Saturday, the WDAT has grown to more than 220 volunteers.
How? A miracle? Impossible levels of activism? Not at all. Its easier than
youd think.
The West Derby Action Team campaigning for Janet Anderson MP in Rossendale 2009

Part two: Best practice
Part two: Best practice
Best practice Liverpool West Derby
How to start your community campaigning.
It was motivation that got us started. Its habit that keeps us going. We take
our commitment to all-year-round campaigning very seriously. 52 weeks a
year, rain and shine, we knock doors, telephone canvass and take up voters
concerns and issues.
Every Saturday morning at 10 oclock, every Sunday at 11 oclock, the WDAT
is to be found delivering leaets and direct mails. In the summer months, we
use the light nights and knock doors. In winter, we Phonebank. Every week,
without fail.
This year will be our fth in succession that we will have a special Seasonally-
themed in-between-Christmas-and-New-Year delivery session. Its proven to
be a great way to start our Teams post-Christmas exercise regime!
How was this team built? Were well in the habit now of all-year-round
campaigning, but habit doesnt provide the only explanation behind our
We distribute our campaign event invitations widely, with a weekly email
outlining our schedule of the days ahead. We keep an accurate Register for
every one of the hundreds of volunteers that come to join us out on the
campaign trail, and thank each campaigner every time. We make a big fuss
of every new volunteer.
We provide an enjoyable social aspect to our work, too we have made
friends (and party members, naturally!) of the owners of the local cafe and
enjoy a sandwich, a cuppa and the opportunity for a catch-up and a gossip
about all things Labour after our campaign sessions.
We strive to make our work sociable, fun, friendly and enjoyable. Stephen
Twigg leads our campaign eorts from the front and makes sure that we
provide an enthusiastic welcome to our volunteers.
And what has the WDAT achieved? In September 2007 there were nine Lib
Dem and a mere ve Labour councillors in the constituency. Since then,
eight Labour councillors have been newly elected, to make a total of
thirteen. In 2012, the last two remaining Lib Dems are set to be vanquished,
making West Derby a Lib Dem-free zone.
And our eorts have spread much wider than that. In our early days we were
really helped by outside groups, notably LGBT Labour. Now were trying to

Best practice Liverpool West Derby
How to start your community campaigning.
pay that back. Our volunteers provided much-needed person-power for the
Liverpool Wavertree General Election campaign, helping to fend o a very
dicult challenge from the Lib Dems. We spread our team out, working in
key target wards across the city and helped to deliver the extraordinary
26 wins out of 30 wards in the 2011 elections. And we sent carloads of
volunteers to Parliamentary by-elections across the country: Crewe,
Glenrothes, Barnsley East, Oldham East and Saddleworth.
All-year-round, rain or shine, the WDAT is to be found talking to voters
about what Labour can do for them. And we have a lot of fun doing it.
Its the West Derby Action Team way.

The WDAT on Sunday September 19

Part two: Best practice
Part two: Best practice
Best practice Liverpool West Derby
How to start your community campaigning.
local residents and in two cases empty out streets. Penshaw Close,
private housing, and Altnch Close, social housing, were virtually
derelict until the West Derby Labour Team got stuck in. Weve held
site visits, door to door canvassing, met with residents, police and
local housing associations on a regular basis to isolate the problem
families, empower the majority of residents and change the image
of the area for the better. Penshaw Close and Altnch Close are now
lling up. It was great to see Stephen opening a new community
oce in Altnch the other Friday.
Cllr John Prince
Knotty Ash
Half of Knotty Ash covers Dovecot, the other half, more suburban areas
around the two hospitals Broadgreen and Alder Hey. Alder Hey, a world-
renowned childrens hospital, was scheduled for a major new development
under the last Labour government. Since becoming MP Stephen has been
lobbying government intensively to ensure the scheme goes ahead.
Delivering a new hospital at Alder Hey is one of Stephens ve priorities
and crucial both for the health of the city and its wider regeneration.

Architect's plans for the new Alder Hey Hospital

Getting elected is one thing. But the next challenge is using the power of
oce to improve the lives of your constituents. Stephens election as MP for
West Derby coincided with Labour gaining control of Liverpool City Council
from the Liberal Democrats after 12 years. The new Con Dem coalition has
introduced severe cuts in public expenditure with West Derby and Liverpool
as a whole experiencing some of the worst cuts in the country, from
Building Schools for the Future to Sure Start, Area Based Grant and overall
council spending. Despite this Stephen and the West Derby team have
worked to ameliorate the worst eects of the cuts and where possible
push for improvements, making up for 12 years of Lib Dem neglect in much
of the constituency.
Stephen's key priorities
Stonebridge Cross the blighted site of a former council estate,
Stephen is working with the Council and others to try and deliver
long-term development
West Derby Village Taskforce drawing together key players from
the community to deliver a range of initiaitves to improve the
heart of the constituency
Dovecot MAC and Grovehurst an under-used community centre
alongside a large strip of wasteland in a deprived former-council
Newsham Park Orphanage a wonderful though derelict
victorian achitectural masterpiece in Newsham Park
Alder Hey Hospital campaigning for a new world-class building
for the world-class Alder Hey Children's Hospital

local residents and in two cases empty out streets. Penshaw Close,
private housing, and Altnch Close, social housing, were virtually
derelict until the West Derby Labour Team got stuck in. Weve held
site visits, door to door canvassing, met with residents, police and
local housing associations on a regular basis to isolate the problem
families, empower the majority of residents and change the image
of the area for the better. Penshaw Close and Altnch Close are now
lling up. It was great to see Stephen opening a new community
oce in Altnch the other Friday.
Cllr John Prince
Knotty Ash
Half of Knotty Ash covers Dovecot, the other half, more suburban areas
around the two hospitals Broadgreen and Alder Hey. Alder Hey, a world-
renowned childrens hospital, was scheduled for a major new development
under the last Labour government. Since becoming MP Stephen has been
lobbying government intensively to ensure the scheme goes ahead.
Delivering a new hospital at Alder Hey is one of Stephens ve priorities
and crucial both for the health of the city and its wider regeneration.

Architect's plans for the new Alder Hey Hospital

Best practice Liverpool West Derby
How to start your community campaigning.

Labour Councillor and local resident, Hayley Todd, elected in May 2011,
is working hard on the regeneration of Dovecot with Stephen and fellow
Labour Councillor Jacqui Nasuh. As you drive out of the city along East
Prescot Road you come to a big row of shops, Dovecot Parade, at the centre
of which is Dovecot MAC, behind which is the Grovehurst site, which lay
derelict for a decade under the previous Lib Dem administration. Reviving
Grovehurst and the Dovecot MAC is one of Stephens ve priorities.
Theres not enough for our young people to do and precious few
community facilities. Since Stephen became our MP and Labour won
the Council weve been working with residents, environmental groups,
Riverside housing and council ocers to bring the Grovehurst site back
into use. Were looking to put in raised bed allotments, sports pitches,
wildowers and gardens for local residents. We held a family fun day
there on September 4th and a Community Clean Up of Dovecot Parade
on September 16th. It was great to be joined by Stephen, Ben and the
Movement for Change on the Fun Day and Clean Up.
Cllr Hayley Todd
Stephen at the 'Dovecot MAC Big Clean-Up, organised with
Movement for Change and community leaders on September 16 this year
Part two: Best practice
Part three
Ideas to help
you get started
Part three: Ideas to help you get started
Part three: Ideas to help you get started
Fly-tipping, rubbish, grafti and
anti-social behaviour can all harm our
neighbourhoods and are rightly big issues
for the communities that live there.
Why not run a grot spot campaign?
Ask residents in your area to tell you where
the grot spots are and you will campaign
with them to have them cleaned up:
Go door to door and ask people
personally, take a camera with you and
a blank report form. Take the residents
details, and the date, time, location and
description of the grot spot, plus lots
of photos.
Include a grot spot section on all your
leaets and materials for residents
to complete and send back to you
(ideally by FREEPOST).
Hand out blank grot spot report
postcards to residents for them
to keep until they are needed.
Work with your local councillors to report
these grot spots formally and get the council
to take action. Dont forget to get back to
every resident who has reported a grot spot
to you, and send a wider letter or leaet
to all residents about the work you have
been doing and how they can help keep the
area clean. Think about how else you can
work to improve the area, such as better
communications about rubbish collection
timetables, encouraging recycling, asking
the council for anti-y-tipping signs and
cracking down on those caught y-tipping.
Or you could organise an estate-walkabout.
If there is an issue with littering, y-tipping,
grafti or poor street lighting in one area
and you want to raise it with the council and
MP, then organising an estate walkabout is
really efective. Contact local residents tell
them of your idea and invite them to join
you. Approach the local council Environment
(street cleaning, grafti clear up etc) Ofcer
and ask them to join you and local residents
on a walkabout to highlight their concerns.
Also invite your Safer Neighbourhood Police
Team and your local ward councillors and MP.
Agree a convenient time (NB. this might have
to be during the normal working week for
council ofcers and local police to attend).
Go back to your residents with the time
and a public meeting place and get as many
of them to join you on the day. Plan a route
and walk around with residents and ofcials
allowing the residents to tell their stories
and point out how the issue is afecting
their area. A good tip is to take photos
of the area and the problems with you.
Sometimes the council may clean up the
area ahead of the visit.
Make sure on the walkabout that you ask
when the area will be cleaned up, how
residents can work with the council to
ensure the area stays clean and draw up
a list of action and a timetable to go back
to everyone with. Take lots of photos of
the walkabout.
Thank the residents, the council ofcers,
councillors, MP, police for attending. Then
after the walkabout go back to all residents
and the ofcials to conrm the plan of action
that was agreed.
Estate walkabouts/grot spots
Part three: Ideas to help you get started
Lots of local Parties have been very
successful in campaigning for 20 mile
an hour speed limits in residential
areas. This campaign is simple, some
residential areas have higher speed
limits and residents are concerned
about road safety and children playing
in the area or walking to and from
schools, parks or other facilities.
This is a great campaign to go door to
door to collect signatures for your petition,
and include petition forms as reply slips in
all your letters and leaets.
Think about who else you can reach out
to in your campaign, such as local schools,
parent groups, pensioner groups, local
charities or even national road safety
charities such as Brake who have campaign
resources on their website. This is a great
campaign to run with the local community.
It does not need to be party political,
and you may nd a number of groups or
charities will be more willing to get involved
if you are not running an overtly political
campaign. But dont forget to include the
local councillors and MP in your campaign
and ask them for help.
Think about how else you can highlight
your campaign such as inviting the local
press along to a street rally with parents
and kids. Dont forget that you must get
parents permission if you want to use any
photos of their children campaigning for
20mph in your materials. There is a form
you can download from Membersnet which
parents can choose to sign to give their
Then take your petition and campaign to
the local council. Find out when the next
full council meeting is and ask one of the
ward councillors to raise it. You could invite
residents along to the meeting and let the
local paper know.
As always, dont forget to keep everyone up
to date with your progress. And thank those
who have supported the campaign.
20s Plenty
Part three: Ideas to help you get started
Running a campaign to save a
local service or facility is often a
straightforward campaign to run, as
the message and the objective is so
simple; to keep things as they are. It is
also easy to nd people willing to join
you as these are the people currently
using or beneting from the service and
who can clearly see they will be worse
of if the service or facility is lost.
This is also a really good opportunity to
build links with local union members, as
lots of public service workers are union
members. If a local service is being cut,
then no doubt the staf will also have
strong views about it: think how powerful
it would be for you to campaign alongside
local residents, nurses and doctors to stop
an A&E department being closed.
Firstly you have to be absolutely clear
about the threat to the service. Do not
scare-monger if the threat is not real, but
also dont be afraid to raise awareness in
the early stages; just always be clear on
what the threat is. For example has the
council said it will close a particular library,
or are the council ofcers carrying out a
feasibility study to see how many people
actually use the service?
Once you are clear about the threat and
know if there are processes or appeals,
you can then identify where the nal
decision will lie and how you need to
change that decision. For example, will
this issue be voted on at a council meeting,
or is it the council leader or another person
who makes the nal decision? Work out
how you can change their mind and show
the service is vital and valuable (socially or
economically, or both). Draw up your plan
to achieve this.
Now you can go out there and build
your campaign.
Identify the people most afected by
the threat of closure and invite them
to join and use their personal stories to
bring your campaign alive. Make sure you
make contact with the union reps for
the staf who work at the facility thats
under threat.
Use petitions, street stalls, protests,
visits, local media and other high
visibility techniques to get attention
and momentum behind your campaign.
Make sure your campaign is at full tilt
to put pressure on the decision makers
according to your plan, such as at a
crucial council meeting. Put your case
clearly and show the amount of support
behind your campaign.
Whether you win or lose (hopefully win).
Make sure you thank everyone who has
supported you and bring the campaign
to a conclusion, whilst at the same time
inviting people to stay in touch and let
you know of any other services they
want to improve/save in the area.
Similar to the SOS style campaign this
tackles similar issues in a more positive
way. For example, if you are working
with your local Labour council to retain
a local Library service. Because the
focus will be on increasing the up take
and popularity of the service rather
than mobilising around the threat of
its closure then your tactics will be
diferent in a couple of respects to the
campaign above.
Instead of mobilising support to protest
against closure you are looking to mobilise
more long term support for the service by
increasing its users.
Just as you will seek to bring people into
your campaign you may also be seeking
to bring people on board in helping run
the service, which is a diferent sort of
You may also seek to work with other
groups, organisations and established
networks to help develop your supporters
through training and help, in order for
them to play a proactive role in the service.
Use, dont Lose
Part three: Ideas to help you get started
Many local Labour Parties ask
residents if they want to join a Labour
Party Community Action Team (LCAT).
An LCAT is a community organisation
that meets to discuss local issues and
campaign for change. This is a great
way to bring people into your campaign
and many members of your LCAT may
get involved in the wider party as
supporters or members. Your LCAT
should be very local - covering an
estate or neighbourhood for example.
Here are some top tips for your LCAT:
1) Personally visit and invite each person
who was interested in being part of
the LCAT to the meeting. Dont just
email or phone. Ask them if they
would like to invite their neighbour,
family or friends.
2) Give people plenty of notice.
3) Make the meeting as local to the area
as possible, think about having the
meeting on the street if the weather
is good or ask if anyone would host it
in their homes. If not use a community
hall or local cafe, if using a local pub
think about the fact that not everyone
likes or feels comfortable in a pub.
4) Invite locally elected Labour
representatives to these meetings
but make it clear they are there to
listen. This is not about giving them
a platform to defend or attack the local
council or government.
5) At all times its about asking the
community what they want but
also what they are prepared to do
to help achieve the priorities they
have agreed. Ask them what they
would like to put in a local leaet,
or what they want to petition about.
6) Let them know that you will need
their help to deliver questionnaires
or leaets in their streets and
7) If there is already a popular Local
Residents Association be careful
about setting up a rival group.
Rather than building relationships
in the local community you could
easily end up causing division.
Set up a Community Action Team
Part three: Ideas to help you get started
Further help
and information
Further help and information
Further help and information
Train to win
Tom Geldard

Paul Upex

Tel: 0845 092 22 99 (option 3)
Regional Ofces
1 Whitehall Estate, Flex Meadow,
Harlow, Essex, CM19 5TP
Tel: 01279 625860
East Midlands
Harold Wilson House, 23 Barratt Lane,
Attenborough, Nottingham, NG9 6AD.
Tel: 0115 943 1777 Fax: 0115 943 1888
Greater London
One Brewers Green, London SW1H 0RH
Tel: 0845 850 0588 Fax: 020 7802 1266
Labour North, Labour Central, Kings Manor,
Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 6PA
North West
St James Court, Wilderspool Causeway,
Warrington WA4 6PS.
Tel: 01925 574913 Fax: 01925 234655
John Smith House,
145 West Regent Street, Glasgow G2 4RE.
Tel: 0141 572 6900 Fax: 0141 572 2566
South East
3 Windsor Square,
Silver Street ,Reading, RG1 2TH
Tel: 0118 931 1599
South West
1 Newfoundland Court, Newfoundland
Street, Bristol BS2 9AP.
Tel: 0117 972 9446
Transport House, 1 Cathedral Road,
Cardif CF11 9HA.
Tel: 02920 877700 Fax: 02920 221153
West Midlands
Terry Dufy House, Thomas Street, West
Bromwich, West Midlands B70 6NT
Tel: 0121 569 1900 Fax: 0121 569 1936
Yorkshire and the Humber
20-22 Cheapside, Wakeeld,
W Yorkshire WF1 2TF.
Tel: 01924 291221 Fax: 01924 290098
Further help
and information
Further help and information
Further help and information
Trade Union and Labour Party
Liaison Organisation (TULO)
TULO (The Trade Union and Labour Party
Liaison Organisation) is the umbrella
organisation that coordinates the activities
of the 15 trade unions who afliate to the
Labour Party.
Our website is and on
it you can nd details of how to build strong
links between your CLP and the trade union
branches in your area.
The trade unions who are afliated
and details of what industries they
represent are:
ASLEF - Associated Society of Locomotive
Engineers - (railways drivers, operational
supervisors and staf)
BECTU - Broadcasting, Entertainment,
Cinematograph and Theatre Union -
(broadcasting, lm, video, theatre, cinema
and related sectors)
BFAWU - Bakers, Food and Allied Workers
Union - (food)
COMMUNITY - (industries in and around
steel, metal and textile communities)
CWU - Communication Workers Union -
(post and telecommunications)
GMB - Britains General Union - (general
workers in public and private sectors)
MU - Musicians Union - (performers, writers
and teachers in the music industry)
NACODS - National Association of Colliery
Overmen, Deputies and Shotrers - (mining)
NUM - National Union of Mineworkers -
TSSA - Transport Salaried Stafs
Association - (railways, London
Underground, travel, haulage, shipping)
UCATT - Union of Construction, Allied
Trades and Technicians - (construction and
UNISON - The Public Service Union - (for
all those providing services to the public
whether employed in the public, private or
voluntary sectors)
UNITE - (general workers in public and
private sectors)
UNITY - (ceramics industry)
USDAW - Union of Shop, Distributive and
Allied USDAW Workers - (retail, distributive
and related industries)
GFTU The federation for specialist unions,
Its members include BECTU, BFAWU,
For more information about TULO,
the afliated trade unions or to get
involved in campaigning around the
issues that are of interest to trade union
members, then please visit our website
Further help and information
Further help and information
Afliated organisations
Co-operative party
The Co-operative Party is part of the
global co-operative movement. Over 800
million people are members of co-operatives
worldwide, and the UN estimates that
the livelihood of three billion people is
made more secure by co-operatives.
77 Weston Street, London, SE1 3SD
Tel: 020 736 741 50
Chinese for Labour
Chair: Sonny Leong
PO Box 277, Didcot,
Oxfordshire OX11 1DR UK
The Christian Socialist Movement
The Christian Socialist Movement is a
movement of Christians active in politics
to secure change for the common good.
PO Box 65108, London, SW1P 9PQ
Tel: 0207 783 1590
The Fabian Society
The Fabian Society is the UKs only
membership based left of centre think
tank. Providing an arena for open-minded
debate, the Societys programme aims to
explore the political ideas and the policy
reforms which will dene progressive
politics in the future.
11 Dartmouth Street, London SW1H 9BN
Tel: 020 7227 4900
The Jewish Labour movement
PO Box 695, Harrow,
Middlesex HA3 0HF
LGBT Labour
Making the link between the lesbian, gay,
bisexual and trans movement and the
Labour movement.
PO Box 306,
London N5 2SY
Voice and fax messages: 070 9233 2676
Labour Disabled members group
Working within the United Kingdom
and the rest of Europe to promote
the understanding of disability as an
equality issue.
Dave Allan - 9 Seymour Square,
Springwell Estate,
Sunderland, SR3 4DR
Tel: (home) 01915521113
(mobile) 07789878407
Labour Housing group
Paul Eastwood
39 Longlands
Hemel Hempstead HP2 4DD
Labour Irish Society
Chair: Brian Duggan
Co/ One Brewers Green,
London SW1H 0RH
Tel: 08705 900 200
Labour Students
Labour Students is the student wing of the
Labour Party and is home for all students in
further and higher education in the UK.
One Brewers Green,
London SW1H 0RH
Tel: 020 7783 1365
Further help and information
Socialist Environment
and Resources Association
SERA is the only environmental
Organisation that is afliated to the
Labour Party. From this unique position,
we are able to campaign for social justice
and environmental justice, and better
emphasise the links between the two.
SERA has members throughout the
country, including MPs, MSPs, MEPs and
local and district councillors. We provide
our members with information to enable
them to campaign on green issues from
a red perspective, and we use our highly
skilled and informed resources to inform
government, and campaign for better
environmental policy.
c/o The Co-operative Party
77 Weston Street
London SE1 3SD
Tel: 020 7022 1985
The Socialist Health Association
The Socialist Health Association promotes
health and well-being and the eradication
of inequalities, in the UK and worldwide,
through the application of socialist
principles to society and government.
Our members believe that these
objectives can best be achieved through
collective rather than individual action.
22 Blair Road,
East Chorlton Manchester M16 8NS
Tel: 0870 013 0065
Society of Labour Lawyers
Swinton House, 324 Grays Inn Road,
London WC1X 8DH
Tel: 020 7837 2808
National Union of Labour
and Socialist Clubs
Bob Bates
38 Percival Way
St Helens, Merseyside, WA10 4GX
Scientists for Labour
An organisation open to members or
supporters of the Labour Party who are
interested or involved in UK science and
Matt Gwilliam
Socialist Educational Association
The S.E.A. is an independent socialist
educational organisation, afliated to the
Labour Party.
Martin Dore, 6 Preston Avenue,
London E4 9NL
Tel: 07504 739520
Further help and information
Further help and information
Tamils for Labour
Chair: Sen Kandiah
One Brewers Green,
London SW1H 0RH
BAME Labour
BAME Labour seeks to empower ethnic
minority members within the Labour Party
and campaigns for greater representation of
ethnic minority communities in public life.
Chair: Kamaljeet Jandu
One Brewers Green,
London SW1H 0RH
Labour Animal Welfare Society (LAWS)
Though not an ofcial party afliate, LAWS
was set up in 1992 as an organisation for
Labour Party members and supporters.
LAWS objectives are to give support to
the Labour Party on animal welfare issues,
educate, promote and organise discussion
on matters concerning animal welfare and
promote our beliefs that humans have
obligations towards other animals
First Floor, 34 Bridge Street,
Walsall WS1 1JH
Tel: 01922 724189
Further help and information