Labour is Listening
When I launched my review of the National Policy Forum and policy-making process earlier this year, I was keen to look at harnessing new technology and how to reach out further and find new ways of hearing disparate and often seldom heard voices.
So I am pleased to tell you that we have launched a pilot of a new approach which we've called 'Labour is Listening' and I'd encourage you all to visit the Labour is Listening website and get involved.
The purpose behind Labour is Listening is very simple. It aims to give anyone and everyone a new way to talk to us. To give us their ideas, their opinions, their insights or even simply their stories and experiences. And it gives us the opportunity to listen.
We're piloting the Labour is Listening exercise in two areas — support for small businesses, and housing, where we are working with Shadow Housing Secretary, John Healey. This pilot will inform my review and I will report to Annual Conference this year with what has been learned.
The main vehicle for Labour is Listening is our website. We're also integrating with Twitter and Facebook, and creating a Flickr account where people can send us pictures or even short videos straight from their smartphone. And we're setting up a podcast, which will be available for subscription via iTunes.
One of the perennial problems for listening exercises — whether carried out in the public sector, private companies, or political parties — is how we develop a system to respond and being seen to respond. So an equally important part of the Labour is Listening exercise is investing time and effort in responding to what we've heard.
I'd encourage you all to visit www.labourislistening.org and get involved. Please also share it with friends, Labour colleagues and other Party members, and let them know that Labour is listening.
Chair of the National Policy Forum
PS — Don't forget to let us know your views on the NPF and policy-making process. You can find out more and get involved via Your Britain, Labour's online home of policy development and ideas.