mnmlist: Executive Committee Meeting 7th November 2012


  1. Kevin Quigley (new Chair), opens the meeting.
    Present: Kevin Quigley, Lee Garland, Arun Chopra, Brian Parbutt.
  2. Apologies: Andrew Gibson, Maureen Pike, Adam Spencer, Liz Hooper, Nicholas Redfern
  3. Approved the previous (AGM) minutes, which are online here:
  4. Twigg/Education event postponement.
    – KQ; Twigg’s office have suggested rearranging but we are awaiting date. ACTION KQ will get in touch with them again in a few weeks to follow up.
    – AC; Broxtowe CLP have asked if possible to have a teacher on the panel.
    – KQ; An anti-Academy campaigning group have also been in contact, re: being involved in the event.
    – KQ; When the event was originally planned, the Exec saw it as a single speaker event, on a broad Education topic, and the exec discussed the possibilities of having a panel/debate format of event in the light of Broxtowe & campaign group approaches, but decided it could narrow the debate into looking solely at schools/academies.
    Keen to have a large Education/teacher community turn-out, so very happy to advertise to and invite teachers/campaigning groups, but decided to keep the format as a single speaker event.
    Exec in attendance agreed unanimously.
  5. Future events; 2012-13.
    – LG; keen to have at least one ‘big name’ speaker to draw attendance. Society benefited greatly from the Glasman event in terms of both debate and membership signups.
    – AC; Tom Watson has expressed to AC he is keen, but no date as yet. ACTION AC to contact Tom W & office again to firm plans up.
    – Exec ran down list of topics suggested at AGM & previously.
    – KQ; Land Ownership v interesting. Possibily in a debate format; tax experts, Chris Leslie MP for example.
    – KQ; Economic policy, obviously very relevant; Chris Leslie / Rachael Reeves / Ed Balls(??).
    – KQ; Technology idea also very interesting. Especially if expanded to look at energy policy / futurology.
    – AC; Expanding this to include green agenda too. This area shouldn’t be left to the Green party to take the lead on, and the tech/energy/future/green agenda should also appeal to a young audience, and help the society also build ties with/attract young labour/uni members.
    – KQ; should/can we invite a speaker from the Green party?
    – AC; we can/but less keen.
    – BP & AC; a panel of a Lab party representative & an academic/scientist?
    – BP; it could be expanded further to include Nuclear.
    – KQ; a CND rep on panel..?
    ACTION LG & KQ to research names of potential speakers/panel members for a Tech & Energy event. Planned format, panel discussion/debate.
  6. Local Event; specific local issue focus.
    – AC; should we have a consciously local-focussed event. Though this could be the Dragons Den event brought suggested at AGM & previously?
    – KQ; at AGM, Andrew Harrop did point out local societies can be at their most useful when contributing to local policy agenda.
    – LG; Dragon’s Den style event can be planned in order to stand in for Twigg / Watson events if their offices cannot commit to a late Jan/early Feb date.
    ACTION LG email membership requesting ideas & volunteers to speak at a Dragons Den event. Proposed 4 speakers, >10min talk, followed by 10min Qs. Panel/audience vote on best idea/policy at end of event.
    – After extended discussion, all agreed that especially given local County Hall elections in May, a local policy / incoming Labour administration manifesto panel/debate would be beneficial both to the society and to the party, in terms of contributing to the formulation of a new administration agenda / priorities for post-May. Also, the local democracy event in Dec 2011 was very successful; good turnout, good feedback from both panel & audience after event, and splitting into small groups to discuss ideas raised by panel and to feed back to them was particularly interesting and fruitful.
    – KQ; Could possibly include campaigning groups, and hearing of their experiences/innovations/tactics in areas such as groups keeping libraries open, etc.
    – BP & all; discussed potential city/county council representatives that could speak. All agreed best format would be a panel of speakers; potentially one city councillor, one county councillor, one local government academic/expert, followed by splitting in to groups again, providing a good opportunity not only for member debate but also for manifesto-generating feedback to the commissioners on the panel.
    – KQ; names of councillors/speakers required. Alan Rhodes & John Clark mentioned.
    ACTION KQ & BP to think of / contact potential county & city councillors.
  7. Outline of event plan
    – KQ;
    Late Jan / Early Feb
    Stephen Twigg / Tom Watson (confirmation of dates dependent) OR Dragons Den.
    Late Mar / Early Apr
    Local policy / New County Administration agenda panel (*acknowledged title needed)
  8. A.O.B.
    (i) Membership sub renewals.
    – All agreed to keep membership fee unchanged; £5 full, £1 concessions.
    – AC; How should we go about collecting renewals? Should our focus be to get money in asap, or is it of more benefit to encourage as many people to come to events as possible, and worry less about membership status?
    – All agreed maximising numbers at events was top priority, especially since society still new & growing. All keen that members should be encouraged to share details of events with interested friends, and to bring them along, regardless of whether they are members or not.
    – KQ; we should stress the benefits of membership, as allowing free entry to all events, and increase efforts to encourage non-members to join on the door, or pay a £2-3 contribution per event if not.
    – LG; We have a record of when each member joined, so in the future we can be more proactive in terms of chasing renewals, but at present growing membership size & attendance is more important. There is the facility to join/renew on the website.
    ACTION LG email membership to note membership fee is unchanged, and for many of those who joined at the first Glasman event, their memberships are due. Provide link to online join/renewal to minimise admin of paper renewals. People can also renew at next event.
    (ii) National Society subs
    – AC; these are due & the local society is now officially recognised thanks to Andrew Harrop’s visit.
    – All present authorised treasurer Nicholas Redfern (ACTION NR) to pay national Fabian subs (depend on membership numbers, currently 94).
    (iii) East Midlands Labour contribution / representative.
    – AC; as another result of us being officially recognised, the National society now pay our East Midlands Labour contribution. This in turn allows us to send a representative to East Midlands Labour.
    – KQ; in view of confirming all the above plus the new Exec positions, ACTION LG to email Deborah Stoate at National society to introduce new Chair/Sec & exec and cc: in AC.
    – AC; Vicky Street of East Midlands Labour has been very helpful in terms of advertising our events to whole region through the party. ACTION LG to likewise email Vicky Street to introduce new Chair/Sec etc & express thanks.
    (iv) – LG; Seema Malhotra’s audio has been taken off the website, as requested.
    – LG; NR is to set up position-specific emails for Chair/Sec on exec (ACTION NR).
  9. Summary of ACTIONS
    AC; Contacting Tom Watson
    KQ; Contacting Stephen Twigg, John Clark/councillors, researching energy/tech speakers
    BP; Contacting city councillors
    LG; researching energy/tech speakers, email membership re: Dragons Den, share minutes & membership renewals, email intros to Deborah Stoate & Vicky Street
    NR; pay National society subs (Deborah Stoate?), set up emails.