It was agreed that a series of models would be brought to the next meeting for discussion with a view to putting proposals to the National Executive in time to be debated by the whole Union at annual conference 2015.
There has been discussion around a number of issues but I believe there are two core principles which we have to apply in looking at our National Executive structures:
- All members should have a right of equal representation on the National Executive, with constituencies being as equal as possible in terms of numerical size;
- We urgently need to tackle the question of gender representation on the National Executive.
The latter has been the most controversial on the working group, with people advocating a range of different options in response. I think we need to consider all of these, including training and support, as well as structural measures. Ultimately, this is about creating a culture change within the Union but we cannot assume that this will happen naturally. I have a lot of sympathy with proposals to create multi-member constituencies with some places being reserved for women, but these need to be combined with giving targeted support to women activists to take on leadership roles in the Union at all levels.
I would be interested in the views of members in my Executive Area on some of these questions.