The different levels of the local Labour Party follow the different levels of government:
- national (Walthamstow is a CONSTITUENCY of the UK Parliament, at Westminster)
- local (Waltham Forest BOROUGH council)
- regional (London - GREATER LONDON ASSEMBLY and London Mayor)
CONSTITUENCY: Walthamstow is a Parliamentary constituency and so has an MP (member of parliament). Stella Creasy was first elected MP for Walthamstow in May 2010. She is a member of the Labour and Co-operative parties. This blog is mainly about the Labour Party in this constituency - Walthamstow Constituency Labour Party (CLP).
The rules of the Labour Party say its main aim is: "To secure the return of Labour representatives to Parliament and local government bodies." So one of the tasks of the CLP is to support Stella Creasy MP, and the councillors in the wards that lie in the constituency, in their public campaigning. In the May 2015 election the party was very successful at this; Walthamstow became the 2nd safest Labour seat in London, and in the 2017 election Stella won 38,000 votes - 81% - giving a majority of 32,017. You can follow Walthamstow CLP on twitter: @stowlabour, and on facebook: Walthamstow Labour Party, and on this blog.
BOROUGH: The constituency of Walthamstow lies entirely in the London Borough of Waltham Forest which also includes parts of two other Parliamentary constituencies:
- Chingford and Woodford Green, represented in Parliament by Iain Duncan Smith (a member of the Conservative Party)
- Leyton and Wanstead, represented in Parliament by John Cryer (Labour) .
Electors in Walthamstow and the relevant wards of the other two constituencies elect the local council, housed in the Town Hall on Forest Road in Walthamstow. The other two constituencies have their own CLPs. Click here for more information about the local council. It is likely there will be changes to the constituency boundaries within Waltham Forest following the current review of boundaries nearing completion by the Boundary Commission. Its final report is expected to be presented to parliament during autumn 2018. More information here.
The Labour Party organises in the borough via a Local Campaign Forum (LCF) with members from all three CLPs. In addition the elected councillors who belong to the Labour Party form the Labour Group on the council. The Labour Group website is here: Waltham Forest Labour Party. Following the elections in May 2018 the Labour Group has a majority on the council of the London Borough of Waltham Forest, holding 46 out of the 60 seats. Full 2018 results here. The leader of the council is Cllr. Clare Coghill (Labour). All of the borough seats will be up for re-election in the next local elections in May 2022.
THE LONDON ASSEMBLY and THE LONDON MAYOR: The London Assembly is an elected body, part of the Greater London Authority (GLA see also www.london.gov.uk/), that scrutinises the work of the Mayor of London and has the power, with a two-thirds majority, to amend the mayor's annual budget. The assembly was established in 2000. The Mayor of London and the London Assembly are elected every 4 years. The last election was on May 5th 2016, and elected Sadiq Khan as Mayor.
London is divided into 14 GLA constituencies and Walthamstow is in the London North East constituency. This also includes the rest of the borough of Waltham Forest, and the boroughs of Hackney, and Islington. On the Assembly this Constituency is represented by the Labour GLA member Jennette Arnold. As well as constituency members the Assembly also has 'list' members, elected across the whole of London. There are four Labour party Assembly members on the 'list' - Nicky Gavron, Fiona Twycross, and Tom Copley.
Across London the Labour Party is organised by the London Regional Labour Party, in central London, which holds an annual conference, usually in November.
BRANCHES and WARDS - the most local units of the party: Walthamstow CLP is divided into three Branch Labour Parties (BLPs) - East, South, and West Walthamstow. Branches are based on local electoral wards and each ward on the council is represented by three councillors. There are eight wards in the constituency of Walthamstow:
- East Walthamstow BLP covers the wards of Chapel End (click here for cllr Paul Douglas' blog), Hoe St. (click here for working for Hoe St.), and Wood St.
- South Walthamstow BLP covers Lea Bridge, and Markhouse wards
- West Walthamstow BLP covers High St, Higham Hill, and William Morris wards.
You can find who are the councillors representing these eight wards here. There are also six wards in Chingford and Wood Green constituency (to the north), and six (to the south) in Leyton and Wanstead constituency, making a total of twenty wards in the borough, and 60 elected councillors. Of the 46 Labour councillors in the borough 24 are in Walthamstow constituency, and 18 in Leyton and Wanstead constituency, and 4 in Chingford & Woodford Green constituency.
THE CO-OPERATIVE PARTY: Historically the Labour Party has been closely linked to the Co-Operative Party. Stella Creasy is both Labour MP and Co-Op MP for Walthamstow. The Co-Operative Party organises at borough level. You can find the Waltham Forest Co-Op Party on Facebook here.
JOIN US! Many people are deciding that now is the time to join Labour. We have a dedicated local page for you to join Walthamstow Labour Party at the £15 local join rate. Just follow this link to go to our Walthamstow Local web page:https://www.labour.org.uk/join/Walthamstow/
ABOUT THIS BLOG: This blog is for anyone interested in the Labour Party in the UK parliamentary constituency of Walthamstow, and in the London Borough of Waltham Forest. It covers items of general interest on party activities, and calendars of meetings, campaigning, and other activities, and is open to anyone to read; if you'd like to know more you can join the party and access Labour Membersnet as a member (you need your membership number when you first register). As a supporter but not member you can find out more about The Labour Party here.
I am secretary of Walthamstow Constituency Labour Party (CLP). This blog is one of the ways we communicate both with our party members, and with those who support our aims. None of what I post should be taken as an official indication of party policy whether at local or national level, unless explicitly stated. Email comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org