Minutes: Annual General Meeting 21.01.14

Les W; Gareth L; Maxine B

1. Welcome & round up of our activity to date
Sam B gave a brief summary of events – a meeting in Sheffield on 22 May, a get together after the London launch in early July (100 + present), the forming of an interim steering committee; the conference at O2 academy on 14 September, the rally as part of the TUC demo in Manchester; 5 November day of action, coordinating with national activity, regular meetings of the steering group, the planned monthly presence on Saturdays in Fargate and/ or outside the market – combination of as many stalls – parties, campaign groups etc. The Chair thanked Mathew R, Stuart R & Dan G on up-dating mailing list, up-dating website, producing e.newsletters.

Open for other comments – Dave brought up Feb 6 – UCU, Unite & Unison to hold another day of action. Tom D pleased with action but needs to be more for Rotherham, Barnsley etc – is named S Yorks PA, also not enough official trade union involvement. Lisa T – there is a relationship with unions – e.g the conference in Sept. Dawn voiced concern about structure likely to be too bureaucratic. Paul S said that SYPA had done well – need to link in to all anti austerity groups out there; important to focus on getting a Labour Govt to adopt anti austerity policies; need to organise activities around pivotal issues to unite people; turn all our anger against this Govt. Alice said was important to have a structure BUT must remember to communicate at a micro level – friendly, involve other people, members of the public.

2. Finance report
Jane L had set up bank account and handed round copies of income (£2,815.00) & expenditure (£2,187.06). Most of this had been around the 14 September conference. £250 yet to come from Unison Suggestion of fundraising event around May Day

3. Ratification of the Constitution
Dan M gave an overview – the format had been discussed by a sub group. All officers have to follow the main aims of the constitution; actions/ decisions can be taken by the wider general group – the organising committee are there to carry through the mandated actions. Every member of SYPA is an individual member and has 1 vote – no group, union, or party has any more voting power than any individual member. General meetings to be held on Saturday lunchtimes. Some discussion around the issue. Sam B had submitted an amendment which he then proposed – see link. Broadly this was to give affiliated groups a sliding scale of delegates and affiliation fees.
Sam argued for a more formal link and recognition of the unions. Some debate before a vote was taken – in favour of amendment – 7; against – 8; abstentions – 3. Carrie H proposed that in the Aims & objectives section, it should not read’…and all those who impose it (austerity), including members of affiliated parties’ Suggested ‘..those involved in imposing austerity measures.’ Paul S proposed that the sentence should finish after ‘…against austerity.’ Meeting agreed with last proposal.

4. Election of officers

  • Chair: Sam B (Deputy: Dave H)
  • Secretary: Matthew R
  • Treasurer: Jane L (Deputy: Maxine B)
  • Communications: Stuart R
  • Outreach: Carrie H (Deputies: Lisa T, Tom D)
  • Activities:
  • Membership: Dan M

5. AOB

  • Alice – is part of a political theatre group – would like more members – if interested, there is a meeting on 21 Feb at Quaker Meeting House.
  • Laura P – intends to do a video project – interviewing people affected by the cuts, putting together as film that can be used in public places – to drive home to people the damage being done by austerity and the alternatives. Please contact her if you know of people who might take part.
  • The next street stalls presence will be on Feb 15th. More notification to go out on this.
  • March marks the start of the 30 year commemoration of the Miners’ strike – a lot of events planned nationally but locally a rally on 7 March at Sheffield Library Theatre with various speakers from the NUM, Women against Pit Closures, the Orgreave Truth & Justice Campaign plus.
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