mnmlist: Executive Committee Meeting 9th January 2013


1. Kevin Quigley opens the meeting.

Present: Kevin Quigley (KQ), Lee Garland (LG), Maureen Pike (MP), Sue Verel (SV),

Liz Hooper (LH), Brian Parbutt (BP), Nicolas Redfern (NR), Adam Spencer (AS).

2. Apologies: Arun Chopra (AC), Andrew Gibson (AG).

3. Apart from Nicolas’ name being spelled incorrectly, approved the previous (AGM)

minutes, which are online here:


4. Led by KQ, we then ran through previous minutes to pick up on actions from last


– KQ; we have had recent contact with Stephen Twigg’s office, who have said they will

get back to us with a new date. Nothing confirmed as yet. ACTION KQ/LG to maintain

contact and attempt to schedule date.

– LG; no update from AC/Tom Watson – ACTION KQ wondered if contact from new

chair/sec might help move plans along.

5. Liz mentioned would be keen to speak on Energy/Environment at a future event,

specific concerns of LH being to raise the level of evidence-based knowledge of the

subject among young people

– KQ & LG agreed this would fit in well with the Technology/Green event considered at

the last exec meeting

– AS would also be keen to speak on this topic, and noted it dovetails well with his own

& departmental research

– MP liked that it would draw on local speakers and keen that it be focussed – Energy/

Tech/Environment/Green could be quite a wide field

– KQ only concern that LH & AS might be too similar in terms of argument and that we

may need more on the panel

– AS pointed out there a colleague of his who researches climate change scepticism

ACTION LH & AS to take the lead on organising the event & researching speakers/

focus/format (rough plan for late Summer/Autumn).

6. Dragons Den, a.k.a. ‘Policy Den’

– LG; we have 3 speakers lined up. We need 4.

ACTION LG to find fourth speaker, organise date and advertise to membership.

– MP; topics at Dragons Den shouldn’t overlap with separate single events planned for

future / held recently. All agreed.

– It was mentioned AC may be willing to speak. Some concern that it could overlap

somewhat with Liz Kendal/health event though.

– LG keen that we have event soon, given we haven’t had an event since Oct. First

week of February proposed, with 2nd week as a back up.

– KQ best to try and avoid Monday evenings.

– MP willing to be a back-up speaker on Academies/Free Schools if necessary / can’t

find fourth volunteer.

– SV proposed a 10-15 min talk length. KQ/exec agreed we should have a 10min max

for each talk, followed by 10min questions, with chair giving a ‘1min warning’ before end

of each allotted time.

7. Future events/brainstorming;

– BP; on local council event proposed at last meeting, has agreement from Alex Norris to


– No title as yet, but NR suggested might be good to couch the terms of the local council

event around what priorities local councils should have given the budget constraints

placed upon them by central govt

ACTION KQ is going to contact John Clark/a second councillor to speak, and also

suggested a third panel member – perhaps an academic on Local Government.

– KQ; date should be late March. Good timing for local elections in May.

– MP; we need to track privatisation agenda. Whilst people may be aware of moves

towards privatisation in their own work/personal spheres, may be surprised by the scale

of the larger privatisation picture. Issue of public awareness.

– NR; likes idea, but needs to be a format we can debate

– AS; suggested the terms of reference could be ‘what does a good society look like’.

– KQ; keen to get a list of names/topics down on paper for us to start contacting

– SV; would be nice if we could get into a position whereby we have lots of agreements

to speak, from which we could choose

– KQ; Billy Bragg, potentially speaking on protest music. Big draw, potential to expand

membership. Owen Jones – LG has contacted Owen Jones this week, awaiting


– AS; Austin Mitchell

– KQ; Gloria Del Pierro, local and could speak on ‘reengagement with the public’

– SV; Glenis Willmott, LH notes topical with upcoming referendum on Europe

– KQ; suggests Austin Mitchell could speak for Eurosceptic left wing, with Glenis

Willmott pro-EU

– NR; we could add in ‘what can be done to improve Europe, the institution‘ to the EU


– MP; confident about getting Tony Benn. All keen. Great turnout potential,

– KQ; noted it would be best in a separate event, rather than an EU debate

– KQ; Arnie Graf, the Obama community organiser that Labour has brought in

– AS; worries that Fabians should be about ideas, as opposed to actions – and that Graf

risks falling into the latter category. Notes he would be good a great CLP speaker.

– NR; notes there was a Fabian pamphlet on the topic of community organising,

– KQ; suggests he could talk on the idea of re-engagement with the electorate

– KQ; we should aim for a big speaker for June-July.

ACTION KQ & LG to contact above names.

ACTION MP to contact Tony Benn.

8. Next Exec meeting – 27th Feb – planning for County Councillors event (title needed)

9. A.O.B.

(i) NR; original Unity Trust (society bank account) forms missing in post.

ACTION officers (KQ, AS, NR, LG) signed new forms after meeting.

(ii) NR; noted membership year should perhaps be changed to start with calendar year,

to ease admin. This may need General Meeting called. ACTION LG to check


10. Summary of ACTIONS

KQ; Contacting Stephen Twigg, contacting Tom Watson, contacting John Clark & find

academic for County Councillor event, along with LG – contact potential future speakers.

LG; Organise Dragons Den speakers & date & advertise to membership, contact

potential future speakers, check procedure for changing membership/subs due date.

AS & LH; to liaise and think about a Technology/Energy/Green event.

NR; Unity Trust account set-up.

MP; to contact Tony Benn.