NEC minutes for 29th May 2014

Thursday, 29 May, 2014 - 20:30
Attending: 
Loz Kaye (LK) - Leader
Andy Halsall (AH) - Campaigns
Ed Geraghty (EG) - Secretary
Jason Winstanley (JW) - Nominations
Jack Allnutt (JA) - Deputy Campaigns
Sam Clark (SK) - Treasurer
Not Present: 
Sephy Hallow (SH) - Deputy Leader (explained by email)
Observing: 
Stephen Ogden (SO) - Governor & Social Media

Matters Arising

  • JW to liaise with NEC Officers to approve previous minutes - Not Done - Email after meeting
  • NEC To mail back approval immediately after meet.
  • LK to speak with Mark and to get to London ASAP - Done
  • AH to raise LK's profile through campaigns - Done

 

Previous Minutes

By email after meeting

 

Leader's Office

Brief update (max. 5 minutes) on actions/tasks since last meeting

LK: Most will be covered in campaigns and elections, otherwise last few days finishing the Pozzible mailouts, signed a lot of letters to donors, talking with potential candidates

 

Finance

Brief update (max. 5 minutes) on actions/tasks since last meeting

Election reports ongoing, local done, London travel has come in for the Vassell election, AH and SC can go over returns.

Working on incorporation, to go over later

Working on an in-house fundraiser for general election as per the Swedes.

LK: We need to decide the timetable in terms of fundraising; whether we want to get the in-house beforehand or whether we want to run a separate fundraiser sooner.  We need the timetable to be concrete to make sure it isn't last minute.

SC: Needs to be done ASAP - will come back with a timetable

AH: If we can do it internally we can break it down as spoken about during the week

SC: We'll do it per candidate/area.

 

Campaigns

Brief update (max. 5 minutes) on actions/tasks since last meeting

Election concluded last week, been following up with people who've been in contact in the interim, pulled together posts to go up tonight, put together an email to go out tonight with EG.  Been a fairly quiet week otherwise, but now we need to focus on volunteers to make it manageable.

Making sure that the tasks we have are doable, need to put out thanks to social media and other volunteers.

International: Communicated the issues we picked up on campaign, EG is now off the PPI HQ, PPI has appointed its PPI HQ officers, with Gregory Engels as the President. SC is helping with bank accounts, though there appears to have been little actual progress other than calling out for a financial system.

LK: We need to hand over tasks as we know AH needs to substantially reduce hours, to cover next week.  NEC need to manage this well, make sure we don't drop momentum.

AH: Need to sit down with EG and look over volunteers who have come in, make sure they're distributed properly.  Been working on materials, question over whether we can get people to do IT team stuff.  Still issues on file distribution etc.

We need to start localising, need to get people to start their local structures, can give them the same support as we had on EUs - materials and IT infrastructure.  What we have now seems to work, ToS needs to happen so we can get people to write for us, need to give support across branches.

We need to look at this again next Thursday as we don't know how many will be able to offer support and how it will look

LK: This is a significant change in the organisation and we need to be able to bridge this or we stand to lose everything we have built over the past two years.

JA: WRT local branches, may be good to get people from Manchester/Sheffield/York over to new meetings of branches to give support and answer questions in their formative times.  JA is happy to do it

AH: people want to know who to talk to, how to set up local sites, experience with meetup etc, discussions on this stuff is useful - it's not just about copyright.  Talking to people involved in branches is the most important, in new branches we need to offer more than sitting around in a pub, rather interesting stuff such as policies etc.

LK: Loz wanted to take this to the local approach to elections and move on.

LK stated that local branches were where we had to go now.

 

Secretariat

Brief update (max. 5 minutes) on actions/tasks since last meeting

EG is out of the room

 

Nominations

Brief update (max. 5 minutes) on actions/tasks since last meeting

JW: My priorities are to run the emergency election for deputy leader - the constitutional amendments and the ToS discussion.

LK: Reminded JW that there is no requirement for a deputy leader and so no requirement for an election, indeed that the post is supposed to be about bringing in someone to support him, which hasn't happened.

AH: reiterated there was no constitutional requirement.

LK: wanted to talk about what the next step would be

SO mentioned that we would have to deal with Deputy leader issue with the constitutional amendments.

This was discussed by the NEC

LK wanted to discuss the electoral roll with JW and that the role for making that data presentable should sit with Nominations.

This was discussed

//ACTION LK to send a copy of the roll to JW (initial and fixed).

//ACTION JW to contact MCTR ESU about data formats for ER

//ACTION LK to send ward details to JW

LK mentions there is a potential by-election in Cheetham ward, as the Councillor has been elected as an MEP, we need to discuss our approach - as and when he declares, we should run in this ward.

JA points out that going forwards, by-elections are probably not relevant to bring up in NEC meetings, it's not relevant to the wider party's operation

AH, LK agrees - LK wants to discuss a different approach from before, needs campaigns onboard for.  LK thinks we should be seeking to meet by-elections in our target areas and may have to do it with half campaigns.  Asking that campaigns are happy to maintain the profile by running half campaigns.

AH says that building the branches is far more important than standing in by-elections for their own sake.  LK disagrees, this could be a useful motivating factor in June/July as a rallying point to work around and deliver on.  LK's big problem for Manchester is it has not been properly focused on elections.  Allows to hand off to George to take on agent role, use it as an opportunity to pass on knowledge.  Biggest argument in its favour is that we have seen from the EUs that if you don't work, even places you've had presence such as Bury/Oldham you disappear.

JA says we have already had discussion about whether we could have a deputy leader at which point LK said we should not be talking about constitutional stuff, so can we move on?  LK clarifies that he wants to have an OK for changing approach - AH says it's down to the branch, as we did in London.  JA apologises if he came across as forceful, let's move on.  LK moves the meeting on.

 

Elections

EU 2014

Done!

Most of it has been covered earlier - local approach works.

AH: we will do a review, will come out with stuff from candidates and outcome by area.  Half-tracked us+other small parties.  Manchester was a key asset in EU, still have a way to go outside the areas we stand in.  Emphasises that the central structure is in place, we need to work on branches at this point.

Lots of lessons learnt, logistically, in campaigning and with people too.  People who got involved on campaigns/social media etc did a wonderful job.  Need to fix our press team as they were all involved in other areas during the elections.

Locals

London

AH incredibly pleased with it, it feels like it galvanised people - it also meant EG didn't have to travel hundreds of miles to campaign on the ground... Having a good candidate has given people someone to rally around, it was a short campaign and could actually have been shorter - the branch achieved far more than thought and asked for additional resources halfway through.  Need to continue to build in local elections in London.  Having campaigners and candidates involved in their communities is A Good Thing.  Largest first standing vote share, all work was done by local branch.  Loads of contacts out of it, we can run further and share experience.

SO: still writing a report to come in ASAP.

Manchester

Ancoats/Clayton: LK we held up our share of the vote, but difficult to manage things simultaneously.  Big thanks to SC and JA for their help in maintaining our vote share which was difficult in the context of a national election.  Need better planning going forward.

AH: need to make sure we have separate candidate/agent - it's the right thing to do.  More than one person committed to an election is incredibly important.

GE2015

Starts tomorrow for campaigns prep.

Need a call-out for candidates, or more specifically people who want to see people standing in their area.  Means we can run multiple candidates across the UK.

We have less than a year to go, we need £2,500-£3,500 for bare-bones in any constituency, whilst we have all central prep/IT etc, we need to make sure there are more people who make use of it at a local level and have people coming back in saying what they need, so we can give them the required support before the final two month campaigning period.

Candidate selection: 1st September. That's 3 months.

LK says we can probably go over into October. AH says 1st September gives us a month for photos, leaflets and what they need in advance.  SC wants to send/confirm receipt of leaflets a minimum of 6 weeks before campaigning starts.  AH points out there is Christmas in the way. NEC agrees Branch candidate selection by 1st September, extraordinary selections by the 1st October.

We haven't focused on Policy:  SC points out we don't have any liquid money, it needs to be raised before it can be spent.

//ACTION SC to send AH current liquid cash/cash flow from memberships

SC intends to issue a quarterly report, depending on workload.

Tonight we will be putting together an email to membership - we have at least 4 candidates, would you like a candidate in your area?

May have more, but needs to be driven by branches.

 

Membership Migration

SC: running late, will be happening between SC and Steve Wilson.

//ACTION SC to talk with Steve Wilson to get a db dump

 

Incorporation

Ongoing, meeting is set up for beginning of July between LK, SC and Wrigley's Solicitors. Possibility they'll do a first bit pro-bono, to be discussed later.

 

Actions

  • LK to send a copy of the roll to JW (initial and fixed)
  • JW to contact MCTR ESU about data formats for ER
  • LK to send ward details to JW
  • SC to send AH current liquid cash/cash flow from memberships
  • SC to talk with Steve Wilson to get a db dump for membership migration

 

Date of Next Meeting

5th June 2014

 

Any Other Urgent Business

LK says SH has sadly resigned, the question is what to do now.  Our work is still the priority, GE2015 and the volunteers.

AH says EG has been doing well with the volunteers, primary issue is getting people in and working on what they want to work on - may not get much easier, but now we're not in election cycles it may be easier.

Needs to be someone to work closely with LK, it cannot be weekly it must be daily.

AH: Talking with SO has been incredibly helpful, but we must be careful we don't throw people full-in as there is a huge amount of work and for discrete tasks, we don't have enough people to manage them.

SC had been forwarded a contact from EG; they didn't want to do the work which needed to be done and SC didn't have the work they wanted to do, and also work that couldn't be done by SC himself.  AH agrees - our work is not that interesting or sexy, but it needs to be done to a set of requirements and deadlines.  We need to deal better with volunteers at a departmental level - EG can only pass on volunteers, can't have them fully formed.  Cannot be done at NEC level.

LK says for Deputy Leader, it has to be someone who wants to stand in a constituency.  Doesn't need to be separate to the call-out, in fact should be part of it.

EG points out that SH's email is the first he has heard about this (& that he isn't psychic), and reiterates to all in the room, please do contact him if needed.

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