During previous consultations, the National Policy Forum (NPF) has held policy events across the country to connect with our membership, with events last year held in north Wales, Leeds and Yeovil to name but a few. These events form a key part of our consultations and enable us to directly engage with members so they can have their say.
The coronavirus crisis has meant that we have had to do things differently this year to comply with social distancing measures. We have been required to explore new methods of engagement, and so have been running a series of policy roundtable events on Zoom with members, affiliates, commission members and members of the Shadow Cabinet. Each roundtable has focused on one of the eight consultation topics the NPF is consulting on this year, with members split into ‘breakout rooms’ to have in-depth discussions on issues from the economy to the social security system after coronavirus.
So far we have held five events, and have more in the pipeline so that we can hear from as many members as possible. Thank you to all who have attended so far for contributing to these vital discussions on how we rebuild the country post-coronavirus.
We have been overwhelmed by the response from Labour members to these events, with over 10,000 expressing interest in attending so far. It has been inspiring to see such a high level of engagement with the NPF this year, and shows how committed our members are to building a fairer Britain for all.
While we have tried to ensure as many members can attend these events as possible, we have had to limit their size so members can genuinely have their say and have time to discuss their ideas in detail with fellow members as well as the Shadow Cabinet.
We are aware that this has left many of our members disappointed, and we are committed to continue to find innovate ways to develop policy that are as inclusive as possible. This is just the start of the NPF exploring engagement with members in a new way, and there will be some trial and error while we try to get this right and ensure the process is as inclusive as possible. We hope that these roundtables are just the starting point and that we can scale up our engagement as the NPF evolves over the next few years.
Questions have been received on the process by which members have been selected. We believe it is important our events are representative of our membership and the UK as a whole, and so have tried to ensure a diverse cross-section from all regions, nations and backgrounds.
We are still accepting registrations so please do keep expressing your interest in the remaining events. You can do so via our events page here. We would also encourage you to engage with the policy making process through our online home of policy development, Labour Policy Forum. The 2020 NPF Consultation is open until 30 June so there is plenty of time for you to submit your response. We look forward to hearing your ideas on how we can re-shape our policy platform to win again and ensure a fairer Britain for all.