Worcester Constituency Labour Party
South Branch Meeting – Tuesday, 24th October 2017
Present: Nick Makin (Chair), Laura House (Secretary), Jim Price, Jo Hodges, Phil Jackson, Jabba Riaz, Phil Ashwell, Ella Young, Cam Keenan, Chris Keenan, Rae Harding, Richard Harding, Mark Caddick
Apologies: Angela Teale, Paul Richardson, Muriel Richardson, Marilyn Wrightson, Sue Davidson, Lyn Denham, Mike Kittcatt
1) Welcome and introductions – Nick Makin welcomed members to the meeting and asked those present to introduce themselves. The Agenda for the meeting was circulated but it was emphasised that as a new Chair and Secretary the agenda produced was fairly loose on this occasion.
2) Minutes of the last meeting on the 29th June – were circulated and approved
3) An overview of the Branch and possible future activities – Nick reminded those present of the Branch’s size in terms of both geography and membership. He talked about the need to ensure that the Branch is engaging with as many members as possible and supporting them to help make the Branch as active as it could be.
4) Local Elections- Rae Harding asked whether it was yet known which seats in our Branch are up for election in the May 2018 Local Elections. Jabba Riaz confirmed that his seat in Cathedral Ward was up for re-election, as was Pat Agar in Nunnery.
Rae Harding asked whether we would be allowed to carry out phone banking in the May 2018 Local Elections or whether there were Data Protection issues related to this method of campaigning. Questions were also asked about the social media strategy for the next year’s elections.
Ward Organisers: It was confirmed that Phil Jackson had volunteered to be Ward Organiser for Nunnery Ward. Members living in Battenhall recalled the excellent work that Stephen Tallett had done organsing Battenhall Ward during the General Election and the meeting actioned Nick to find out if Stephen would be interested in continuing in this role. The need for a Ward Organiser in St Peters was highlighted.
5) Meeting Times and Venues for future Branch meetings – the meeting agreed that we should be aiming for one meeting every two months with a Branch meeting to be held two weeks before the Constituency Labour Party meeting. Laura House and Nick Makin asked the meeting if they would be interested in two meetings a year being held on a weekend. This was favourably received as it may allow members who were unable to attend evening meetings to participate in the Branch more fully. Possible venues were discussed and the idea of rotating venues throughout the area covered by the Branch was suggested. This was received positively with potential venues including the Methodist Church on Pump St, Midland Road Community Centre and the UNISON Office. It was agreed that for ease of organising (and for the free parking!) the next meeting would be held at the UNISON Office. Rae Harding suggested finding out whether it was possible to use Doodle for setting up meetings. Laura House said she would find out from Martin Barratt if this was feasible. Jo Hodges reminded the meeting that Councillors were expected to report to Branch meetings and it was agreed that reports would be received monthly with Councillors rotate their reports.
6) Volunteers for the CLP’s Standing Order Review Committee- Nick Makin confirmed that there were still vacancies on the above Committee and both Rae and Richard Harding expressed an interest.
7) Constituency Candidate Selection – Nick Makin confirmed that a selection panel had been chosen at the last CLP meeting.
8) Nick Makin reminded the meeting that the Branch could submit motions CLP meetings and Richard Harding proposed the following motion
‘ Worcester CLP requests the NEC to ensure that the Labour Party policy of bringing Royal Mail back in to public ownership is reflected by Labour Party practice of solely using Royal Mail services when mailing to members.’
The motion was seconded by both Jim Price and Cam Keenan. Laura House said that she would liaise with Chris Cawthorne about submitting this motion to the next CLP meeting.
9) Christmas Fayre – the meeting was reminded that the Labour Party Christmas Fayre takes place on the 2nd December which is the same weekend as the Victorian Fayre. Nick and Laura were tasked with finding out more details about what help was needed and about how Christmas Raffle tickets were being sold this year.
10) AOB – The meeting was informed about the Policy Forums taking place on the 18th and 22nd November in the Community Centre on Shap Drive.
£17 was collected and handed over to Cam Keenan to cover the cost of room hire for the meeting.