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Kent and Sussex Branch

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gnome
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Joined: 14/10/2011

Minutes of the 63rd meeting of the Kent & Sussex Regional branch of The Socialist Party of Great Britain held on 12th February 2017

The meeting started at 2.17pm and was held at the Muggleton Inn, 8 High Street, Maidstone, Kent

Present: Mandy Bruce, Dave Chesham (Secretary), Rob Cox (Treasurer), Dan Fabian

Apologies for absence: Marie Chesham, Hannah Dutton, Karl Luetchford, Jacqueline Shodeke, Sam Wicks

1. Election of Chair
Motion 1.
Fabian & Bruce “That Chesham be Chair”
AGREED

2. Minutes of the 62nd meeting held on 8th January 2017 were before the meeting

Motion 2. Cox & Fabian “That the minutes be adopted”
AGREED

3. Matters arising from previous minutes

i) Membership matters

Rob reported that 60% of the branch membership had responded to the questionnaire. One of the main issues is the sheer size of the geographical area the branch covers. Since the branch’s inception five years ago only one member living in Sussex has been able to attend branch meetings in Maidstone. The emphasis then surely is to attempt to form a branch in the Brighton area where seven of the branch’s members reside, although one of those is currently living abroad.

As far as Kent is concerned one of the suggestions put forward was that the branch could meet alternately in Maidstone and Folkestone. However, the experience of the short-lived Folkestone Discussion Group does not provide encouragement that branch meetings would be any better supported. In fact, the contrary could prove to be the case as at least two of the current regular attendees at Maidstone would not be prepared or able to make the journey to Folkestone.

It was felt there was no short term solution but nevertheless it was AGREED to return to the matter at our next branch meeting.

ii) Further call for nominations for 2017 Party Officers
NONE

iii) Further call for nominations for 2017 sub-committees

It was AGREED 4-0 (four members present) to nominate the following members for these respective sub-committees.

Blog – Alan Johnstone, Matt Culbert

Campaigns – Fraser Anderson

Election – Keith Scholey

Internet – Brian Johnson, Alan Johnstone, Tristan Miller, Darren Poynton, Robert Stafford

Library – Roy Beat

Membership Applications Committee – Paul Bennett, Richard Botterill, Howard Moss

Premises – John Helps

iv) T-Shirts

It was AGREED to return to the subject again at our next meeting.

4. Conference 2017

i) Preliminary agenda

An amendment to Motion 6 was proposed by Rob & Dan but consideration deferred to the March meeting.

ii) Items for Discussion

The following Item for Discussion was AGREED 4-0 (four members present)

Should the Party ditch all the Yahoo! forums and transfer the files and all internal communications (i.e Spintcom/Spopen) to the website forum?”

5. Branch Form ‘C’

Rob presented several documents relating to the branch’s finances and activities spanning 2016. The accounts had been audited by Dave & Mandy.

Motion 3. Fabian & Chesham “That the branch’s Form ‘C’ be adopted”
AGREED 4-0 (four members present)

6. May 2017 County Council Elections

It was proposed that in May the branch contest the two Electoral Divisions in Kent - Folkestone North East and Folkestone South and that our candidates be Andy Thomas and Max Hess respectively. Rob Cox will be the agent for each division.

It is likely that the branch will use the method of paid distribution of leaflets which is estimated will cost in the region of £40 per 1000 leaflets. £500 should cover the total cost of distribution although the cost of printing the leaflets would be additional. It was AGREED to ask the Executive Committee for a grant of £1000.

There is a slight possibility that Brighton comrades might be able to contest one or two Electoral Divisions in Sussex, namely Lewes and/or Chailey.

It was AGREED that Sam be asked if he would be willing to accept nomination as a candidate in Maidstone.

7. Street Stalls

A new season of street stalls was arranged with the first taking place in Canterbury on Saturday, 25 March, followed by one in Folkestone on Saturday, 22 April. Both will commence at 12 noon.

8. Brighton Group

Three comrades, Anton, Howard & Jessica, attended an NHS Rally in Brighton on Saturday, 21 January. They were there for about an hour and gave out loads of leaflets and some Standards. Quite a few people seemed genuinely interested in the Party.

They’re planning to make more contact with the Sussex Marxist society too; Jessica is going to another meeting and will see about doing a joint evening of talks or something similar.

It is hoped some of the comrades will be attending a joint Left Unity and United and Different event in Brighton (Clock Tower) on Monday, 20 February from 2pm onwards.

The branch’s second lightweight folding literature table and corresponding banner will soon be taking up residence with one of the Brighton comrades.

9. Forms 'A' & 'F'
NONE


10. Branch membership transfers
NONE


11. EC minutes - January meeting – 7-1-17
NOTED


12. Future propaganda activities
NONE other than those already mentioned

13. Any other business
NONE

Meeting adjourned at 5.30pm

Collection taken: £12.00

Literature sales: £3
.00

alanjjohnstone
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Joined: 22/06/2011

All the best for those May elections. Looking forward to reading the election manifestoes and those very likely local press candidate statements. 

"I have no country to fight for; my country is the Earth, and I am a citizen of the World." - Eugene V. Debs

Vin
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Joined: 03/12/2011

Always encouraging to hear what the branch is up to. Hope other branches follow suit.

Good luck with the elections. If the branch wishes to make a short version of the manifesto - about 90 seconds long -  even better an audio recording, I will attempt to produce a short videoscript and some 'memes'. for the election

ALB
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Joined: 22/06/2011

There are County Council elections in Durham too, which the Party has contested on a number of occasions.

robert.cox
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Joined: 08/05/2012

Thanks Vin, regarding the video offer.

I have a meeting with the prospective candidates on 6th March (by which time we should have EC approval to contest) so I will discuss the idea with them.

As I recall one of the candidates has his own recording studio, so the audio should be no problem (he is an experienced Party speaker as well).

Will be in touch later.

PS Would this be in a personal capacity,or via the AVC, now you are re-instated?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Cox

Member, Socialist Party of Great Britain (Kent & Sussex Branch)

Vin
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Joined: 03/12/2011

robert.cox wrote:

Thanks Vin, regarding the video offer.

I have a meeting with the prospective candidates on 6th March (by which time we should have EC approval to contest) so I will discuss the idea with them.

As I recall one of the candidates has his own recording studio, so the audio should be no problem (he is an experienced Party speaker as well).

Will be in touch later.

PS Would this be in a personal capacity,or via the AVC, now you are re-instated?

 

I can do it as individual or AV. 

Its good that a party speaker will do the recording. It would be even better if it was a recording of an actual meeting but either way I will give it a try and see what the branch thinks

ALB
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Joined: 22/06/2011

Re County Council elections, West London branch are investigating the possibility standing a candidate in Guildford for the Surrey Council Council. Certain legal matters need to be sorted out before a final decision.

gnome
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ALB wrote:

Re County Council elections, West London branch are investigating the possibility standing a candidate in Guildford for the Surrey Council Council. Certain legal matters need to be sorted out before a final decision.

Still early days but in addition to the two candidates in Folkestone (subject to EC approval) we are investigating the fielding of a candidate in one of the Maidstone divisions and one or two in Sussex.

ALB
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Joined: 22/06/2011

After the Socialist Party of London, the Socialist Party of the Home Counties.

gnome
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Joined: 14/10/2011

ALB wrote:

After the Socialist Party of London, the Socialist Party of the Home Counties.

Indeed, but there's nothing to stop other branches doing much the same - it doesn't take that much effort...  But then one has to remember there are those members who regard the contesting of elections as a waste of time or see it as further evidence of the 'bureaucratic malaise' they claim is consuming the party.

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