Working to achieve collaborative change

Martha James, Green Party Regional Council (GPRC) co-chair, describes the work that the group is currently doing and invites members to get involved in forthcoming consultations on a new constitution for the Green Party of England and Wales.

Martha James
Martha James

Many party members have heard of the Green Party Executive (GPEx), as they are outward-facing and often appear in the media. Fewer members are aware of the GPRC, which is more inward-facing – we go about our work often quietly, working with others in the party to solve problems and make improvements.

The Green Party Regional Council (GPRC) is made up of 20 members, elected by the regions and Wales. As a result, GPRC has a wide range of skills and experience. We meet as a council quarterly, and all members of the party are invited to attend our meetings as observers.

In between formal meetings we have a number of working groups running, discuss issues on Loomio (the party’s discussion and voting system) and, when required, have extraordinary meetings to discuss urgent issues.

GPRC is responsible for:

  • Encouraging dialogue between the regions and Wales
  • The general well-being of the party
  • Supporting and advising GPEx
  • Policy statements between conference
  • The agreed democratic procedures within the party
  • Attending a number of committees within the party where we have a seat

Adrian and I have been acting co-chairs since November 2020, and during that time we have progressed many projects, including:

  • Working with the disciplinary and disputes resolution committees to improve the complaints process
  • Improving the culture of the party
  • Rewriting the constitution
  • Writing the political strategy for the party

One of the improvements that we are working very hard on is the constitution, through the Party Structure Working Group. Very soon you will receive an email from the Party asking you to attend a number of consultation events – we want to hear members’ thoughts about a number of topics related to how we are structured, and how we run ourselves. These events will be the start of the consultations that we will be holding, leading up to the spring conference, where we aim to bring the revised constitution.

The constitution working group has been meeting weekly since July. We have five members of the GPRC in the group, and have been assisted by 20 or so members with specific skills, viewpoints, or experiences related to the constitution. We are now ready to consult as widely as possible; to find out what matters to you, and therefore what needs to be changed and what doesn't. This will be the third version of the constitution that will have been brought to conference, so I am very much hoping that this time we get it right – third time lucky!

We are thankful for the dedication that the team has put in over all these weeks. In the meetings, we have had some very good conversations that have helped each one of us understand the implications of a variety of changes. Now we have had these conversations, we are ready to speak to members of the party and understand your thoughts.

The events will be held in November, and they will cover:

  • Limiting risk
  • Governance
  • Other issues

We will be videoing the consultation events so that members can watch the discussion in their own time. Some of the members of the working group have also produced videos to help members get an understanding of various topics; to ensure that you have all the information you need and to help give us your views.

We hope that you will all get involved, and we look forward to seeing you in November on the consultation Zoom calls – if you are a Green Party member and would like to attend, please contact our secretary: secretary@gprc.greenparty.org.uk.