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Kent and Sussex Branch

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ALB
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Joined: 22/06/2011

I know there's another thread that's been started on this, but participating in an election without a candidate doesn't open doors to the press like participating with a candidate does. And in local elections there is no extra cost to standing, just some extra administrative work (form filling and accounting).

gnome
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Next meeting of K&SRB - Sunday, 12th March, 2017 at 2.00pm at The Muggleton Inn (Wetherspoon), 8 High Street, Maidstone ME14 1HJ (first floor)

AGENDA

Election of Chair

Apologies for absence

Adoption of minutes of previous meeting

Matters arising from the minutes

i) Membership matters

ii) Further call for nominations for 2017 Party Officers

iii) Further call for nominations for 2017 sub-committees

iv) T-Shirts

Conference 2017 – deadline for amendments to motions and submission of further Items for Discussion incl. supporting statements is Friday, 17 March

i) Agenda - incl. amendment to motion 6.

ii) Further Items for Discussion - and supporting statement for the item agreed at February meeting

Correspondence from a member

May 2017 Council Elections

Street Stalls - Canterbury & Folkestone

Brighton Group

Summer School - 21/23-7-17

Forms 'A' & 'F'

Branch membership transfers

EC minutes – February meeting - 4-2-17
                         March meeting - 4-3-17

Future propaganda activities

Any other business

Collection

Adjournment

gnome
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It is with some regret that I've decided to step down as Secretary of Kent & Sussex.  I hope my successor continues to keep the wider party informed about the branch's activities.

Vin
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Joined: 03/12/2011

gnome wrote:

It is with some regret that I've decided to step down as Secretary of Kent & Sussex.  I hope my successor continues to keep the wider party informed about the branch's activities.

That is sad news cde. Hope you reconsider.

northern light
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Joined: 06/09/2012

Gnome, I have, over the course of the last few years, followed the exploits of Kent and Sussex group, thanks largely to your publicastions on this forum. I have felt your disapointment at the poor returns from street stallsand grew in hope, as all of your work began to show profit. I believe Kent and Sussex was showing us the way. It was you who encouraged me to join the Party!! So I am aghast at your announcement. Please reconsider.

 

respectfully,  joe davison

gnome
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northern light wrote:

Gnome, I have, over the course of the last few years, followed the exploits of Kent and Sussex group, thanks largely to your publicastions on this forum. I have felt your disapointment at the poor returns from street stallsand grew in hope, as all of your work began to show profit. I believe Kent and Sussex was showing us the way. It was you who encouraged me to join the Party!! So I am aghast at your announcement. Please reconsider.

respectfully,  joe davison

Thanks for your kind words, NL (and Vin's comments) but I can't claim sole credit for anything K&S has achieved over the 5 years since its formation.  I have sound reasons for making this move and it's unlikely I'll relent.  But nobody's indispensable.....   well, almost nobody.

wink
 comradely, Dave C

jondwhite
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Sorry to hear this news about stepping down as branch secretary.

gnome
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[The following is posted on behalf of the acting Branch Secretary]


Next meeting of K&SRB - Sunday, 9th April, 2017 at 2.00pm at The Muggleton Inn (Wetherspoon), 8 High Street, Maidstone ME14 1HJ (first floor).

Note: At the March meeting, it was AGREED that for a trial period, subject to seasonal business, the Branch meeting agenda be structured with a 2 hour general business section and a 2 hour discussion section on pre-agreed topics or an open discussion

AGENDA – Part One: Business

01. Election of Chair

02. Apologies for absence

03. Confirmation of agenda items (discussion period)

04. Adoption of minutes of previous meeting and Matters arising from the minutes

a) Branch Secretary – Vacancy – Item 2

b) Membership matters (Questionnaire & further response) – Item 4(i)

c) T-Shirts (further information on procurement) – Item 4(iv)

d) Correspondence from a member – Item 6

05. Annual Party Conference – 29th-30th April 2017

a) Appointment of Delegates (two may sit)

b) Consideration of Final Agenda and Reports*

c) Branch meeting following Conference (Rule 21)

06. May 2017 Council Elections – Kent and East Sussex

a) Candidates and Agents

b) Manifesto leaflets and other campaign activity

07. Street Stalls

08. Brighton Group

09. Forms 'A' & 'F' and Branch membership transfers

10. EC minutes – April Meeting (if available)

11. Future propaganda activities

12. Any other business

13. Collection

AGENDA – Part Two: Discussion Items (as previously agreed)

Item 1: Questionnaire – Free Text Suggestions**

Item 2: “Employment of staff at Head Office”

Adjournment

gnome
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[The following is posted on behalf of the Minute taker]


Minutes of the 64th meeting of the Kent & Sussex Regional Branch of The Socialist Party of Great Britain held on 12th March 2017

The meeting started at 2:30pm and was held at the Muggleton Inn, High Street, Maidstone, Kent

Present: Mandy Bruce, Rob Cox (Treasurer), Dan Fabian and Sam Wicks.

Apologies for absence: Dave Chesham, Marie Chesham, Hannah Dutton and Karl Luetchford.

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

02. Apologies for absence
Cde Cox reported that Cde D. Chesham had both given apologies for absence today and stated that he intended to step down as Branch Secretary. Cde Cox also gave details of further correspondence between them, the latest being received just before the meeting, in which Cde Chesham had expressed his conclusion that Cde Cox lacked confidence in him.
After some discussion, during which all members present expressed their complete confidence in Cde Chesham as Secretary, Cde Cox said he would reply to Cde Chesham to assure him that he did have his confidence, and that this was shared by the Branch.

Cde Cox agreed to take notes for the minutes.

03. Minutes of the 63rd meeting held on 12th February 2017 were before the meeting
Motion 2. Fabian & Cox “That the minutes be adopted”. AGREED

04. Matters arising from the minutes

i. Membership matters - Questionnaire

a) Meeting format. Further to the discussion at the last meeting, there was a discussion on the views expressed in responses, which indicated members preferred having more time for general discussion, possibly with a speaker or specified subject.
It was AGREED that for a trial period, subject to seasonal business, the Branch meeting agenda be structured with a 2 hour general business section and a 2 hour discussion section on pre-agreed topics or an open discussion.

b) Follow-up: Free-text Suggestions. A list was available of individual suggestions made by respondents to the questionnaire, including those requiring individual replies (including on meeting issues, two in Folkestone and Cde Pruden in Brighton). Cde Cox undertook to contact the Folkestone members, and Cde Bruce to contact Cde Pruden, to discuss whether he could participate via Facebook. It was AGREED the remaining items on the list be dealt with as part of the discussion period at the April meeting and circulated with the agenda.

ii. Further call for nominations for 2017 Party Officers
No nominations.

iii. Further call for nominations for 2017 sub-committees
No nominations.
Further discussion Item AGREED for April Branch meeting: “Employment of staff at Head Office”.

iv. T-Shirts.
Further to the offer of Cde Cox to donate a stock of new SPGB ‘flyer’ T-shirts to the Branch, he reported on investigations on current prices of buying in further supplies if required from Vista Print. Due to an increase in prices and the volumes required to obtain discounts, he suggested we may wish just to sell the remaining stock and not make further orders. It was suggested better prices may be obtained from alternative suppliers or by applying for a ‘voucher code’;
Cde Bruce undertook to look into this and report back. In the meantime it was AGREED to accept the donation of eight remaining shirts, for sale via the Branch stall for £9 each or £12 including postage and packing.

05. Annual Conference 2017 – Amendments to motions and further Items for Discussion

i. Amendment to motion 6 (from Lancaster Branch):
Motion 3. Fabian & Cox: “Amendment to motion 6:
Insert after “Conference”: “every five years, or as deemed necessary by the EC”.

Supporting Statement:
"This Branch does not accept the case for this motion. Where is the evidence that there is any likelihood that the position may be “misused or misinterpreted”? Further, should any misuse occur, this may actually prevent any action being taken for up to a year, unless by a Party poll. However should most members feel these risks require precautions to be taken, this amendment makes the following improvements:
1. Provision is made for the EC to act in an emergency;
2. The expense and bureaucracy involved is very much reduced.
NB “the party treasurer must notify the Commission of a change of officer within 14 days of the change taking place” using form RP4 and there is a fee of £25 (in addition to the re- registration fee).”
AGREED.

ii. Items for Discussion
The following supporting statement (for the item agreed at February meeting) as submitted by Cde D. Chesham was AGREED:
“At the time of writing there have been 112 posts on Spintcom this year and 8 on Spopen. Contrast those figures with a total of almost 40,000 posts in 51⁄2 years on the website forum. Spintcom currently has 127 SPGB members with Spopen a whisker behind with 126 WSM members, the end product of 16 years. The website forum now boasts a total of 618 users, although admittedly membership is not restricted to members of the SPGB/WSM. We are of the view that, while there could be improvements, the website forum is more versatile and user-friendly than the Yahoo! lists with separation of threads and division of topics into sub-forums.
It makes no sense in having forums in two different places; we should be concentrating our efforts in making a success of just one. And closing down the Yahoo! Forums would of necessity involve the transfer of all the files held there to the Party’s website.”

06. Correspondence from a member
This item concerns a paper received during the previous week from Cde Howard Pilott, and a response made jointly by Cde D. Chesham and Cde Cox. It was reported a reply had since been received from Cde Pilott. After some discussion, it was AGREED to inform Cde Pilott that the Branch intended to hold a discussion on this at the Branch meeting in May.

07. May 2017 County Council Elections
It was reported the EC had agreed to the Branch contesting two seats in Folkestone, Kent and Lewes in East Sussex, and granted a budget of £2000 for leaflet printing and distribution. We have quotes for printing and delivering 15,000 A5 double-sided leaflets in Folkestone (just under £1000), so the budget appears adequate. It was AGREED that Howard Pilott be the candidate in Lewes and to ask Anton Pruden to be agent, and the Treasurer liaise with them to allocate the available funds between the three electoral divisions.
It was also reported that discussions with the candidates and possibly West London to draft a common manifesto text for submission to the EC were underway, and with a member of the AV Committee on a possible video.

08. Street Stalls
Due to a change in circumstances it was AGREED to cancel the stall planned in Canterbury on 25th March, but to go ahead with Folkestone on 22nd April.
Further dates were AGREED for Saturday: 20th May (Folkestone) and 24th June and 22nd July (Canterbury).

09. Brighton Group
No report yet received of the attendance of Comrades at the ‘joint Left Unity and United and Different event’ in Brighton on 20 February or of further meetings.

10. Forms 'A' & 'F' & Branch membership transfers
None.

11. EC minutes – February and March 2017
It was reported the nominees put forward by the Branch for the four vacancies on the EC and last month for committee vacancies (Blog, Internet, Membership Applications, Library and Premises) were all appointed. Those for Election and Campaigns had not accepted nomination.
There was a discussion on a plan by the EC to commission magazine inserts to promote the Standard.

12. Future propaganda activities & Any other business
None

Meeting adjourned at 7:05pm
Collection taken: £13.50
Literature sales: £3.00

gnome
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[The following is posted on behalf of the Minute taker]


Minutes of the 65th meeting of the Kent & Sussex Regional Branch of The Socialist Party of Great Britain held on 9th April 2017

The meeting started at 2:30pm and was held at the Muggleton Inn, High Street, Maidstone, Kent

Present: Mandy Bruce, Dave Chesham, Rob Cox (Treasurer), Dan Fabian and Jacqueline Shodeke.

Apologies for absence: Marie Chesham and Hannah Dutton.

01. Election of Chair Motion 1. Fabian & Cox “That Bruce be Chair”. AGREED. Cde Cox agreed to take notes for the minutes. The meeting proceeded on the basis of the circulated agenda.

02. Minutes of the 64th meeting held on 12th March 2017 were before the meeting Motion 2. Fabian & Bruce “That the minutes be adopted”. AGREED

03. Matters arising from the minutes

a) Item 2 - Branch Secretary Vacancy.

It was AGREED to issue a call for nominations before the next meeting. Cde Cox agreed to continue to stand in until the next meeting, and Cde Bruce agreed to take minutes at the next meeting.

b) Item 4(i) - Membership matters – Questionnaire

It was reported a further response from a Folkestone member was received, indicating willingness to attend Branch meetings if held near Folkestone. There was discussion on a suggestion to convene another ‘discussion group’ meeting in May, which was not resolved but which may continue online.

c) Item 4(iv) - T-Shirts

As promised last month, Cde Bruce reported back on her investigation into alternative sources of the SPGB ‘flyer’ T-shirts, should further supplies be required or if the Branch wished to suggest that they be retailed by the Party centrally. A Medway-based supplier had quoted screen printed shirts at £8.50 each for a run of 20 or £7.50 for 50, with mono designs. As Hannah Dutton has agreed to visit the supplier for a product quality check, it was AGREED to defer further consideration for one month.

d) Item 6 - Correspondence from a member

Cde Cox reported he informed Cde Pilott of our intention to discuss his paper in May – reply awaited. There was some further discussion.

04. Annual Conference 2017

a) Appointment of Delegates*

It was agreed to appoint Cdes D. Chesham, R. Cox, D. Fabian, J. Shodeke and (subject to acceptance) S. Wicks.

b) Consideration of Final Agenda and Reports

After discussion the following positions on the agenda items (numbered) were agreed:

04. Motion: Kent & Sussex Regional Branch - SUPPORT
05. Motion: West London Branch - FREE HAND
06. Item for Discussion: North London Branch - FREE HAND
07. Item for Discussion: Lancaster Branch - OPPOSE
12. Motion: North London Branch - OPPOSE
13. Motion: Manchester branch - OPPOSE;
1st Amendment to Motion 13 – SUPPORT;
2nd Amendment to Motion 13 - ABSTAIN
20. Rule 2: North London Branch - OPPOSE
21. Rule 2: Kent & Sussex Regional Branch - SUPPORT
23. Motion: Lancaster branch – OPPOSE;
Amendment - OPPOSE
24. Motion: Lancaster branch - FREE HAND
25. Item for Discussion: Swansea Branch – Not recorded
30. Item for Discussion: Lancaster Branch - SUPPORT
31. Item for Discussion: Kent & Sussex Branch - SUPPORT
35. Motion: West Midlands Regional Branch - SUPPORT

c) Branch meeting following Conference (Rule 21) Pre-scheduled for Sunday 14th May.

05. May 2017 County Council Elections

a) Candidates and Agents

Our three agreed candidate’s nominations were submitted and accepted for Folkestone East, Folkestone West and Lewes (where Cde Pruden is agent).

b) Manifesto leaflets and other campaign activity

The EC had agreed with some amendment the two texts submitted as agreed between the Branch candidates and agents. A draft layout for the leaflets was circulated at the meeting, and Cde Cox reported on printing and distribution arrangements, which were still being finalised due to the circumstances. A high street stall with an extra election leaflet to hand out is arranged for Folkestone on 22nd April, and another may be held on 1st May. No events yet scheduled in Lewes.

06. Street Stalls

Cde Chesham undertook to publicise the stalls scheduled as agreed previously.

07. Brighton Group

No further reports of activity or meetings.

08. Forms 'A' & 'F' & Branch membership transfers

None.

09. EC minutes

Cde Cox reported that the EC’s call for volunteers to help deal with responses from the ‘Awareness of the Party’ publicity campaign had been circulated to members. It was reported there had been several volunteers already, including from a member of our Branch.

10. Future propaganda activities & Any other business

Enquiries to be made about the next Kent Miners Festival. Cde Bruce to contact Cde Hess about Facebook meetings.

Meeting adjourned at 5:40pm due to loss of quorum - remaining items to be deferred.

Collection taken: £4.50
Literature sales: £3.00

*It was later established that the Branch was entitled to have three delegates sitting at Conference 2017.

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