The Zoom AGM was quorate. Many thanks to all who logged in. The following Officers were unanimously elected unopposed.
• Chair– David Yellen
• Vice Chair– Alan Avery
• Secretaries– Mick Johnston and Anne Seex
• Treasurer– Steve White
• Membership Secretary– Ivan Adams
• Communications Officer– Mark White
• Digital Media Officer– Tim Buckley
• Trade Union Liaison Officer– Samson Muteke
• Political Education Officer– John Gibbins.
Alison Hume spoke briefly about her campaign for North Yorkshire Police and Fire Commissioner. This sparked a lot of interest, discussion and questions. Although she did lose the election she significantly increased the Labour vote, against the national trend. The keys to her relative success, she said, were focussing strongly on actual local issues and effective social media campaigning.
The motion proposing a national rule change which would give Party Conferences the power to call a leadership election was defeated by 15 votes to 10 following a good debate.
Annual Conference Delegates
No proposals for Annual Conference Delegates were made at the AGM but subsequently John Gibbins of Vale of York Branch volunteered and has been appointed as a delegate by the Constituency Exec. We can send another two delegates, one of whom must be a woman and one must be aged under 27. We must decide who they are by the end of this month so if you are interested in representing us at Conference please let me or Anne Seex know straight away. Conference this year is ‘real’ and in Brighton from 25th to 29th September. The Constituency Party pays fees and basic travel and accommodation costs. Any member can attend Conference as a Visitor if you apply before 30th July and pay your own costs.
Women’s Conference 26th&27th June: Our Motion on Sexual Harassment in Schools
We submitted a motion to Conference calling for action to tackle peer on peer harassment of young women and girls in schools. The motion (attached) was drawn up by our Women’s Group. . It actually came top in the prioritisation vote, along with a number of ‘early years’ motions. We agreed to combine ours with a motion from the Socialist Education Association to give us a chance of getting on the Conference agenda. We then succeeded in persuading the Conference Arrangements Committee to accept two motions allowing ours to be discussed as well as one on Early Years. Our SEA/Thirsk & Malton Composite is also attached. Our delegates are Chris Dowie and Mick Johnston. Chris will be speaking on our motion but we don’t yet know when it will be scheduled.
This is a Zoom event and the fringe meetings which are open to all women members got under way today. This is the full Conference programme. Just Register to attend. The workshop on Wednesday afternoon ‘Increasing Women’s Engagement’ may be of interest as it includes setting up of Women’s Branches.
NEC Report of May Meeting
Ann Black has provided another comprehensive report of the goings on at the National Executive Committee. (Attached) It’s a must read although not wildly encouraging. Since then it has been reported by Labourlist that the Party’s Director and Deputy Director of Communications have ‘left’. (Who knew we had them?) Ann’s reports on previous NEC meetings are all on her website.
Conflict In Israel/Palestine
At the height of the recent intercommunal violence in Israel we carried the following motion and submitted it to Lisa Nandy, Shadow Foreign Secretary. ‘This CLP notes that the United Nations has called on the Israeli Government to halt all forced evictions of Palestinians from East Jerusalem and has warned that, if they take place, the evictions in the Sheikh Jarrah case would violate Israel’s obligations under international law. We therefore support the 7th May ‘Joint Statement: Stop the Ethnic Cleansing of Jerusalem’,(attached) which was initiated by Stop the War and has been signed by most major Trade Unions and which calls on the British Government to hold Israel accountable and take meaningful action to prevent the further ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from Jerusalem. We call on the Party leadership to also support the Joint Statement.’
We got no reply but Lisa Nandy did issue a statement. This is attached together with the Joint Statement referred to above.
In Memoriam – Douglas Sutherland
Sadly we have to let you know that our comrade Douglas Sutherland passed away earlier this year at the age of 83 following an operation. Douglas was a delightful man with whom I frequently disagreed but never fell out. He was a lifelong member of the Party and cut his teeth as a Councillor for Newham, alongside Bernie Grant, with whom he also frequently disagreed. Douglas’s commitment was an inspiration. I first met him out leafletting for Ed Milliband in Pickering during the 2015 General Election. In spite of health problems he kept involved and active, was one of the most regular and articulate presences at General Meetings and remained an active member of the North Ryedale Branch Committee until this year. Always willing to help the cause he stood for Pickering East in the 2019 Ryedale District Council Elections. Douglas is a real loss. He will be missed by all who knew him and remembered with affection.
Best wishes, Mick Johnston and Anne Seex Secretaries of Thirsk & Malton Labour Party