Back the Grassroots Labour Women ahead of Women’s Conference this weekend

“Voting for Grassroots Labour Women means voting for a diverse and passionate group of women, who want to ensure that the conference is transparent and accessible; where a variety of women’s voices can be heard.”

By Jean Crocker, Gillian Arrindell & Selina Norgrove

The Labour Party Women’s Conference is a vital arena for women’s voices, and for their particular viewpoints to be heard at a national level. It is important that women are heard from all areas and backgrounds.

This year, like all the internal elections, there is a clear choice on the direction of women’s conference. Grassroots Labour Women are standing on a platform of inclusivity and transparency.  GLW want to ensure that the women’s conference is open and transparent to all women members in the party.

This left group has already come out as strongest in local constituency party nominations which have now closed. Jean Crocker, current WCAC member, along with Gillian Arrindell and Selina Norgrove,  are the three candidates representing Grassroots Labour Women for these internal elections,  which will be held at Women’s Conference this weekend.

Gillian Arrindell is the current BAME Officer at Cities of London & Westminster and prior to that was the Women’s Officer for 4 – 5 years. She is a delegate to Women’s Conference this year, having represented her CLP on two previous occasions and is a committee member of Labour Women Leading. Gillian is also a member of Disability Labour and of Unite Union.

With a history of working and volunteering in the areas of legal and welfare advice in universities and charities, Gillian continues to use her knowledge and experience for the benefit of (largely) women locally and has had some major successes in dealing with victims of domestic violence and single parent families housed in unsuitable properties.

Her main focus, if appointed to the WCAC, would be to make the annual conference more of an integrated process throughout the year, engaging with CLPS, providing ongoing training, forums, speakers, etc. The aim would be to further democratise the processes and fully engage all women members, many of whom, if not delegates, feel isolated from what happens at conference and the decision-making processes there.

Jean Crocker is the Women’s Officer and Women’s Branch Secretary at Gateshead, and on the EC of the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy and the Labour Women Leading Committee. She has represented precariously employed workers in her union UCU.

A CLP rep on Women’s CAC since 2017, she believes the best part of Women’s Conference is women speaking with passion and expertise about what concerns them.

She has worked for such gains as proper debates, with two motions sent to Labour Party Conference; a two-day women’s conference; delegations which encourage diversity; visiting the 2019 venue with Disability Labour; and this year, delegates voting on rule changes.

If re-elected she will press for:

  • More information to members on criteria used to rule motions in order, e.g. – how far must motions include reference to women? What would rule a motion out as ‘organisational’?
  • More explicit written guidance that delegates alone decide the wording of a composite motion
  •  The return of free CLP fringes

Jean welcomes queries and suggestions.

Selina Norgrove became a councillor in 2019, and is an active member of Broxbourne CLP and Unite. As a councillor she has had the privilege to get involved with many community groups, stemming from her participation in local mutual aid groups during lockdown. She is a volunteer with a local charity, where the majority of clients are women. Food and fuel poverty is one of the biggest concerns which these women and their families face. From this, she is now working on community projects across the borough, focusing on mental health and well-being.

Selina wants to stand for the WCAC to continue the work already achieved on ensuring that the Women’s Conference is inclusive and accessible to all women from the Labour Party. Being a relatively new member, she comes from the grassroots, and is aware of the need for the voices of the CLPs to be heard at conference level.

Voting for Grassroots Labour Women means voting for a diverse and passionate group of women, who want to ensure that the conference is transparent and accessible; where a variety of women’s voices can be heard. It is important that the WCAC listen and respond to comments from visitors and delegates, making sure that there is regular feedback. We also pledge to tackle the complications of the paperwork in order to allow the participants to concentrate on the vital work that is being done at conference, and to work towards a conference that reflects what women in the party want.

Join the Grassroots Labour Women on the eve of conference, this Friday (March 18th) at 6:30pm with the candidates and special guests. Register here. Retweet here or share on Facebook here.

If you are a delegate at Women’s Conference this weekend, vote for Gillian Arrindell, Jean Crocker and Selina Norgrove to make sure that your voice is listened to.

  • The three Grassroots Labour Women are supported for WCAC by the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy, Labour Women Leading, Red Labour, Welsh Labour Grassroots, Campaign for Socialism (Scotland), Jewish Voice for Labour, Labour Representation Committee and Labour CND.
  • Join the Grassroots Labour Women on the eve of conference, at 6.30PM Friday, March 18th with the candidates and special guests. Register your place here.
  • You can follow the Grassroots Labour Women on Facebook and twitter.
Featured Image: Conference hall at the Labour Party Conference 2016

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