Briefing:
Development Plans 2020-2022

From:
Shane Brogan
For attention of:
Published:
11th August 2020
Last updated:
11th August 2020
Printed:
25th October 2020
Other formats:
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As the political party of the co-op movement, we know that things work best when we are a strong campaigning force in communities across the country. Despite the challenges of Covid-19, the Co-operative Party’s membership is at a record high and we have more Labour and Co-operative councillors than at any point in the recent past.

We have ambitious plans to further build the Party and to be a loud voice for co-operative policies at all levels of government. Members are at the heart of this plan, and our local structures are one of the most important ways we engage members in our work.

To help us achieve this, all party councils are now asked to agree an updated development plan for the period 2020-2022.

The plan is a chance for officers, members, activists and branches in your area to think about the type of local party you want to build and what support is needed. It is important to give branches and delegates a chance to help shape the plan and provide feedback. You should aim to sign off your final development plan by 30 September 2020.

These documents will be used by Head Office to set workplans for the new Regional Organisers to be in post from late 2020. Your branches will also be asked to do a short action plan showing how they will help achieve the party council’s targets in their areas.

Development Plan Themes

There are three themes based on the NEC’s strategic plan that we are asking you to consider when preparing your development plan. These will help you set targets for the next few years and also think about the types of activity you need to do to achieve them. The development plan will not cover everything you want to do, but will set the broad strategy and direction that will guide your work up to the end of 2022.

The three themes are:

  • Developing a strong and sustainable local party covers our structures and how we get the basics right. Some questions to consider are: How do we make sure our local structures are active and strong? How do we grow the party locally? How do we better promote opportunities to members? How do we support equalities and become more representative? How do we support regional and national keynote events?
  • Becoming an active campaigning voice in our communities relates to how we raise our profile and increase engagement with our campaigns. Some questions to consider are: How do we use the national resources to run local campaigns? How do we help shape and implement Party policy? How do we elect more co-operators at all levels in our area? How do we support existing elected representatives to champion our policies?
  • Working in partnership with the co-operative and labour movements is a key part of the work of our branches and party councils. Some questions to consider are: How do we educate our members about the co-op movement and local co-operatives? How do we engage with local CLPs? How do we promote the Co-operative Party to our local Labour Parties? How do we engage with representative of the co-op movement?

Things to consider

The development plan should fit your priorities and reflect the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges of your party council and branches. Before you complete the template for your party council you can take a look at our completed example here.

You should think of ways you can support and develop member activity beyond branch meetings and think how we can better use digital organising techniques at a local level.

It’s also important to think about the different roles of party councils and branches when drafting your development plan – this will make sure that you are asking the right people to deliver on the targets.

Branches are the key way that members engage with the Party. Branches allow members to shape our policy, lead our campaigns locally, work with our partners in the co-op and labour movements, and support and develop our activists and elected representatives.

Party Councils are the key administrative unit of the Party. They set the strategy for the Party in their area; oversee, support and develop active branches for members; and are an important forum to bring together our officers, branches and elected representatives.

Drafting Process

To help you agree the Development Plan, you may want to follow this model process:

  • Step 1: Appoint one or more officers to lead in drafting of your plan (e.g. your secretary, chair and vice-chair).
  • Step 2: Set the date for the online party council meeting that will approve the final plan (the deadline is 30 September).
  • Step 3: Ask your branch delegates and secretaries to discuss the themes at their September online branch meetings with members. Give a deadline that gives you time to include the feedback from branches into the draft ahead of the party council meeting.
  • Step 4: The officers drafting the plan should complete the template and incorporate any relevant comments from branches and delegates. The draft plan should be sent in advance of your party council meeting so everyone will have read it.
  • Step 5: Add a discussion on the development plan to your party council agenda. This allows delegates to discuss the plan and agree what needs to be included, what the actions are, what the measurements should be, and who will lead on each target.
  • Step 6: At the end of the discussion, your party council should formally adopt the development plan, and the secretary should send the final document to Shane Brogan.

Further Information

If you have any questions or need support or extra time to complete your development plan, please contact Shane Brogan.

Action Points
  • Pick a date
    Set a date for your online party council meeting, so that you can approve your Development Plan by 30 September.
  • Appoint a lead
    Agree a small group of officers to draft the plan and incorporate feedback from branches ahead of the meeting.
  • Ask for feedback
    Send the themes to branch delegates and secretaries and ask them to send back feedback from their members.
  • Agree your plan
    Incorporate feedback and circulate the draft ahead of your party council meeting where delegates will approve it.
  • Submit your plan
    Your plan must be submitted to Head Office by 30 September. If you need more time, get in touch asap.
For more information

Questions about the Development Plan? Please contact us below:

Shane Brogan