Apologies for the delay, I celebrated my 40th birthday this June and went away before I could complete my report.
The next CAC meeting is on Tuesday 10th July. I’ve managed to collect an extensive list of items CLP Secretaries want me to raise from the Facebook CLP Secretaries forum. They are:
- CLP Secs being sent the delegate packs as well as the delegates.
- CLP Secs to be sent information guides (compositing, reference back etc)
- CLP Secs to be sent information on all of the rule changes and motions passed at conference shortly after conference ends.
- A review of the payment and registration system.
- Other items that I will be raising following requests from members are:
- Progress on resolving disability access issues (see below for details)
- Confirmation of our charity partner
Disability and Access Issues
Firstly a huge thank you to disabled members, members from DEAL, Disability Labour and CLP Secretaries for both sharing your personal testimonies and allowing me to seek your advice on the new proposals for stewarding.
Your personal testimonies were heartbreaking to read. No member of this party should leave conference crying, injured or too anxious to leave their hotel rooms. It is not OK. Your braveness in sharing your experiences have enabled myself and my colleagues on the CAC to understand more what we need to do.
Stewarding: There are new proposals for stewarding which I have shared with some of you for feedback. That feedback has altered (improved) the proposals and next week at the CAC meeting we will discuss and agree/request further improvements if necessary. I will feedback in my July report.
Other access issues: I will be raising –
- Additional Seating
- Priority entrances
- Facilities for assistant/services dogs
- Ensuring the information desk has a lowered counter for wheelchair users
- Suitability of lifts and priority usage of lifts
- Speed at which Braille and large print paperwork is available
- Training for Stewards
- Toilets – whether they are fully disabled access with the right equipment
Financial Impact on Disabled Delegates
I was surprised to hear from some Disabled Members that they had to consider additional costs if they required one-to-one support from a personal assistant. This could be as much as £800-£1000 to cover the costs of the pay, accommodation, travel and pass for their personal assistant.
From the handful of members who contacted me, all said their CLP could not cover this cost. One felt that they were not elected as a delegate as it meant their CLP could send two delegates if they chose others.
I have asked for a meeting with Jennie Formby to discuss a grant fund, disabled members who need this can apply to via their CLP. However, during my enquiries I have found out about the NEC Development Fund which members/CLPs can apply to.
I have asked for more information (which I will share).
Disabled and Mobility Access To Fringe Events
This month I will be launching my campaign asking fringe organisers to sign up to a pledge to ensure they meet basic access requirements at their fringe meetings. This will include:
- Ensuring disabled access (lifts/no steps)
- Queue checking – someone checking queues and letting those with mobility issues come to the front and be seated as soon as possible
- Reserved seating closer to entrances and exits for people with access issues
- Being mindful of use of presentations for visually impaired
- Being clear on publicity if there are any barriers
From preliminary discussions, TUCG; Labour First; Progress; Momentum/TWT have indicated they will sign up.
It has been formally agreed that we will have a local charity partner at Conference this year. This will be a charity which tackles poverty in the location where we hold conference. You can read more about this on my website by clicking here.
At the CAC meeting next week, we will formally agree the charity and types of activity.
Rule Changes – Errors
I believe all of the errors CLPs have found and come to me about have formally been rectified. If you have an error on your rule change, please can you let me know by Monday as we are looking at the rule changes on Tuesday.
Some of you wrote to me saying that last year you were sitting separately to your CLP colleagues. There are assurances that this will not happen this year.
The Sun Boycott
Last month I informed you that we will continue not allowing The Sun printed copy at the conference. Since then I have been asked if the same applies for the Daily Fail – I’ll find out, if not then be rest assured I will be pushing for it to be.
If you have any questions, queries, concerns, issues you wish to raise, please email me direct on seema @ seemachandwani.co.uk