Minutes of AGM

Southwark Green Party 

AGM (Annual General Meeting)

MINUTES

Date:

Saturday 23 January 2021

Time:

4.00 pm – 5.15 pm 

Venue:

Online via zoom

 

 

Attendees:

Bartley Shaw (chair)

Tracey Beresford (minutes)

Peter Baffoe

Olivia Baskerville

Gerard Bennett

Colin Boyle

Myrtle Bruce-Mitford

Philip Collins

Catherine Dawkins

Andrew Denis

Toby Holland

Liba Hoskin 

Susan Hunter 

David Jennings

Olivia Loveridge

Ania Manser

Eleanor Margolies

Zoe Miller 

Ria Patel

Dale Rapley

Claire Sheppard

Emily Underwood

Phil Vabulas

Karen McBride

 

 

1.

Welcome and Introductions

 

BS welcomed attendees and confirmed that the AGM was quorate. 

BS gave a reminder of the agenda, outlined logistics and reminder of Hustings to follow the AGM.

2.

Officer Reports

 

Report from Co-Chair: Part One [BS]

Since the last AGM in November 2019 we have seen so much upheaval, change and challenge but a lot of achievements. Through all of this, as chairs we have tried to hinge all activity around a shared ambition that we believe defines us as a local party: the ambition of increasing the representation of elected Greens in Southwark.

We have seen our responsibility as guiding the local party in a way that supports this ambition:

  • We invested energy in the Green Party election winning strategy of ‘Target to Win’ a guide based on experience of local parties who have won local elections
  • Invested in the officers: it is essential to have a solid and clear framework for officers to deliver their responsibilities. E.g. essential that as a membership organisation that we are across our membership data – there is a degree of rigour that we believe is a bedrock for a local party.
  • It’s important to have the running of the party in a good place to support our candidates and effective election campaigns for them. Candidates need to invest in their election campaign tasks without distractions such as local party admin, governance or anything else.
  • We launched an initiative to align our social media activity more strategically. Massive thanks to Catherine Dawkins who has led this project so expertly.
  • Essential to provide regular and various ways to connect with members, via regular email newsletters (8 monthly newsletters in last 12 months) and a range of events to build connections and campaign capacity. 40+ events hosted or promoted since the last AGM from socials, speaker events and targeted campaign days.
  • We have built connections with other Green Parties in London and with the regional support and training available led by London Green Party

Not everything goes to plan and we have navigated a wildly unpredictable year. The pandemic changed everything: not least how we meet and communicate – but also the election timeline itself. Within the officer team we saw two resignations in the roles of Election Agent and Treasurer and extend huge thanks for the contributions made by both Preeti Udas and Chris Glenn in these roles and to Phil Vabulas and Andy Denis who were co-opted to fill these roles.

Some unintended and unexpected things informing plans for the year ahead:

  • We will continue to offer a range of routes for members to connect with the party in a positive and inclusive way be that in a social or a campaigning way. Valuable insight gained from members’ survey.
  • We are launching an online space – Basecamp – where members and officers can share information back and forth and provide a forum for sharing ideas and making connections.
  • We introduce a monthly members’ meeting; first of these on Monday 1st February (details on the website).
  • We maintain the investment and support for officers – a regular meeting for officers to progress their responsibilities and ensure responsible governance of the party.

And of course, manage a massively successful campaign for Southwark council in 2022 and support election success this May for the London Assembly. Reminder to regularly challenge ourselves with the question: ‘how does this take us closer to election success?’

 

Report from Treasurer [AD]

Reminder that Treasurer’s Report and Annual Accounts had been made available ahead of the meeting (here). AD answered these matters arising from these documents:

  • PC asked about loan to London Green Party. AD explained this was to ensure that while the question of SGP signatories for the Bank Account was resolved (details held by bank - Triodos  -  are out of date), SGP asked LGP to hold cash as a way of accessing funds in the event this situation was not resolved.
  • PC asked whether the plan is to spend balance of £6K this year – Is there a budget? AD said he had not been asked to present a budget. Substantial reserves put us in strong position for next two elections, but we will also need to think about raising funds to replace what we spend.
  • GB asked for further information on signatories problem. AD advised that the updated change in signatories still needs to be certified and he has asked national Green Party office for help with this; it is nearly resolved and reassured that the risk was greatly reduced.

BS - thanked those who contribute through membership fees and via regular individual donations.

 

Report from Data Officer [TH]

TH outlined focus of work involving data:

  • Membership data: ensuring accurate management and maintenance of membership data, particularly in light of the changes introduced by national party (GPEW) involving a move from Civi to ActionNetwork. 
  • (With Membership Officer) Gauging levels of involvement among members and what they’re looking for from us as a local party via Membership Survey.
  • Analysing ward information to inform target ward selection, resulting in selection of Nunhead & Queens Road (NQR) as the most winnable of the 26 wards.
  • Voter data in NQR: from electoral register and other data from Southwark Council, able to start building profiles of 7,000 households and how to target them during campaign. Many thanks to those members assisting on the associated data management tasks.

 

Report from Membership Officer [MG]

MG – outlined her work as membership officer:

  • First point of contact point for new members, by ensuring a welcome phone call
  • Build engagement, e.g. following online campaign launch in October 2020, MG followed up with attendees.
  • (With TH) conducted Members’ Survey to find out what members want and suggest from their party.
  • Social events in 2020 included Winter Warmer on Zoom; next event will be in May.
  • Engagement with grace members - data problems with this but we’re working on it.
  • Hosting a wide variety of events; this has been harder because of Covid but we have held successful online talks, a quiz with Lambeth GP, an online watch-along and discussion of David Attenborough’s Extinction: the Facts, among others.
  • For 2021: 
    • SGP bookclub, 25 March (with details on SGP website)
    • mentoring and support for members new to campaigning or wanting to become more involved
    • Seek help from members to spread work of ‘phone banking’ and to broaden phone contact with all members

 

Report from Co-Chair: Part Two [SH]

Hard to believe how many elections we’ve fought in recent years - European elections in 2019, followed by general election, now Mayoral elections this year and Southwark Council elections in 2022.

Estimate that SGP members have delivered 120,000 leaflets since the last general election, so huge thanks to members for this, with particular thanks to area co-ordinators MBM, LH, CB, CS & TB.

Introducing Target to Win

  • Using this campaign strategy, West Midlands Greens have achieved total of 54 seats in local councils
  • SGP will need volunteers and resource for wide range of activity including canvassing (when it is safe to do so), leaflet writing, distribution, etc. 
  • Ambition is that by the time of 2022 election, voters should feel they already know their candidates and that they are the obvious choice.
  • This will be backed up by voter data from TH and work of MG will help reaching out to members
  • Reminder that much training is available from London GP.

 

Questions:

OB: I’m a resident of Nunhead and Queen’s Road - can you tell us why this ward was targeted?

BS: A group of experienced campaigners worked through the ‘ward selection’ section of Target to Win which seeks to answer the question: Which is the most winnable ward? Quantitative and qualitative data was looked at and NQR was ultimately chose by from a shortlist of four wards. 

 

AM: Why are we only focusing on one ward only?

SH:  It takes an enormous amount of work to win an election, so it is necessary to start small. Under FPTP there are no prizes for coming second everywhere.

 

GB: Has the number of members gone down since last year?

MG: Yes, a reported decrease in past year. Factors may include: 

  • pandemic and negative impact on finances; 
  • (CS suggested) general trend of people leaving London; 
  • (TH) updating of membership data to reflect members who have moved out of Southwark may have not been possible in previous years so decrease appears concentrated in this year.

3.

Officer Elections

 

Elections to these officer roles were held:

Nominating Officer 

After his recent co-option, PV stood and was elected.

Chair

Current Co-Chairs BS and SH stood for election and were re-elected

Treasurer

After having been co-opted in 2020, AD provided a short statement outlining his having previously served on Green Party’s national disciplinary committee and his work as current SGP treasurer. AD was elected.

Membership officer

Current Membership Officer, MG stood for election and was re-elected

Data officer

Current Data Officer, TH stood for election and was re-elected

Secretary

Current Secretary TB did not stand for re-election. Vacancy remains. 

PV invited AGM to thanked TB for her work as secretary and contribution to wider and on-going campaigning and party activity. All expressed their appreciation and thanks.

4.

AOB

 

Motion: Create the role of Diversity and Inclusion Officer for SGP. [Details here.]

Proposed by: Liba Hoskin

Seconded by: Eleanor Margolies

 

LH spoke for the motion

No-one spoke against the motion.

The motion was carried unanimously.

PV enquired whether any attendees wished to stand for this role.

KMc expressed her interest, adding she would welcome job-sharing.

OB suggested a wider callout to members. This was agreed and the next members’ meeting (Monday 1st February) would be a useful opportunity to progress this.

BS concluded the AGM and handed over to PV to host the Hustings.


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  • Susan Hunter
    published this page in Members 2021-11-11 08:55:06 +0000