Sheffield Heeley CLP day school in February brought together over 60 people in lively discussion. The theme of the day was winning hearts and minds to the message ‘You’re better off with Labour.’ It was pleasing to see so many people from other CLPs present and hear the commonly held view that the day was a successful opportunity to share thoughts and experiences.
Jeremy Corbyn’s 10 Pledges provided the starting point for the day. The discussions focussed on how we can build an anti-austerity Labour Party as a successful electoral and campaigning force to improve people’s lives.
We had some excellent contributions to kick start the workshops from Louise Haigh MP and Jamie Gough on Labour’s investment for growth policy. This workshop was very popular with members who felt more confident afterwards about putting forward a coherent and positive alternative to Tory austerity.
Our communications officer, Stella Bolam’s session on ‘Winning hearts and minds on social media’ stimulated lots of discussion on effective strategies and techniques.
Gemma Perkins led a thought provoking workshop on ‘Speaking in public.’ Members came away enthused with lots of new ideas about engaging with voters and in meetings.
Cllr Jack Scott opened a discussion on ‘Becoming a Labour candidate in Sheffield’ with members exploring their options.
The workshop on ‘Delivering a successful campaign’ with Paul Scarrott saw new and old hands highlighting what works and what needs to change in our local campaigning.
Everyone recognised that the day school was the beginning of a debate about what is required to reach out to all members and inform campaigning with voters and groups throughout the Heeley constituency.
Amongst the many recommendations coming out of the day was agreement about Heeley CLP providing more opportunities for members to contribute to the National Policy Forum documents and to develop new ways of encouraging more members to share their ideas and contribute their skills.
Paul Scarrott (Political education officer)