We had our second CAC meeting on the 14th February 2018 (yes, Valentine’s day because we love arranging conferences that much!).
On the agenda was:
- Contemporary Motions – How they work?
- Priority Ballots
- Reference Back Process
- Selection of Speakers
- Feedback from Delegate Survey
- CAC Reports
- Working with a Charity at Conference
- Ethnic Monitoring of Pass Applications
- Stalls for campaign groups
Some of the items discussed are explained below in a different order.
BAME Monitoring of Pass Applications
Increasing the number of BAME members participating and attending conference is something I said I would focus on if I were elected. I’ve written more detail about it on my website here.
It is hard at present to establish if there is a representative problem with BAME members attending conference, we have no data. After some work, it has been agreed that this year we will be starting to monitor ethnicity of pass applications. It will be an optional requirement, however I hope people participate.
This year it will be a supplementary form and next year it will be integrated into the main registration form.
This of course is not the solution, if we do find that there is a below representative attendance of BAME members, then the real work starts on what we plan to do about it.
Mystery of Motions
In my February report I did inform you that I will be raising this. It first came up just before Christmas when I visited a CLP and was asked: “what happened to our motion that passed at conference?” It made me realise as a CLP Sec my CLP also had a motion that passed at conference – I had no idea what happened to it!
Since my February report many of you have since contacted me asking me what happened to your own motions.
At our February CAC Meeting, the Director of Policy – Simon, explained that all motions that pass on the Conference floor go to the National Policy Forum (NPF) policy commissions.
Since the CAC meeting I have had lengthy email exchanges with Simon to find out exactly what happens, using the motion passed from my CLP as a real life example. It is for me, still unclear and is obviously a lot more work in this area is needed. I will continue to have the dialogue with Simon and the policy team until I can give you a clear answer.
Age of Youth Delegate
A couple of you have contacted me asking what the age is of the youth delegate. Hopefully this will help:
- To be youth delegate to conference you need to be under 27 by start of conference (so 26 or under on 23rd September).
- So if you elect your youth delegate in May and they are 26 but turn 27 in Aug then they are not eligible.
- But if they turn 27 on 24th September (or after) they are eligible.
- To be nominated for NPF Youth Rep they need to be under 23 by the start of conference (so 22 or under on 23rd September 2018).
- The reason for the age difference is the NPF Youth Rep needs to remain within the age for the whole term of office as an NPF Rep.
It was raised by one of you that your delegate allocation did not look right (they were allocated 7 delegates), and when they contacted Conference Services it was actually inaccurate and it was meant to be 15 delegates.
I have asked Conference Services to investigate and they have assured me this only affected 3 neighbouring CLPs in London and all 3 have been notified. They are confident this was an isolated error. If you do believe your delegate allocation doesn’t look right – please contact Conference Services (firstname.lastname@example.org) and copy me in.
Since my last report I have had more feedback from Disabled Members and from DEAL. It has been both educational and heartbreaking to hear the experiences and barriers you have had at conference.
All of your points are being fed to the Conference Services team and there is an ongoing discussion.
I recognise that some of you are upset and angry, and that is OK. We need to get this right and we need to really understand the barriers to overcome them. As I have said to some of you, my younger sister has Elhers Danlos Syndrome and has just been diagnosed with MS, this is an issue close to my heart and I will continue to push the issues you raise until we see positive outcomes.
Both party staff and CAC Members are really keen to get this right, but I appreciate actions speak louder than words.
Working with a Charity
One of the things many of us noticed when we were at Brighton were the levels of street homelessness in the city around the conference centre. Of course the best way to tackle this is by getting a Labour government where we can make a real structural impact on the causes of homelessness and poverty. But it does not mean we cannot do something now.
Last month I told you about Owen Collins from Whitney CLP who started a crowdfunder for a homeless charity after conference and this spurred me on to investigate what else we can do.
We cannot be a party that steps over homeless people outside our conference to get to a fringe meeting on the plight of homeless people. We are socialists and we should strive to make a difference in and out of government.
I am pleased to say the Business Team (who organise the logistics for conference) are currently liaising with charities in Liverpool to work out a way we can work with a local charity during our time at conference.
I will keep you updated.
My colleague Billy has been pushing for the need to have a full list circulated to all delegates in CAC Report 1 of all of the party units attending conference (i.e. what CLP, what Trade Union and what Socialist Societies), what their voting power is and where on the conference floor they are sitting.
I will feedback on the progress of this at the next CAC report.
London Regional Conference
A couple of you have contacted me about your concerns with several rule changes passed at London Regional Conference and the subsequent consultation London Regional Board have sent out which you believe appears to be undermining the rules you passed.
I am afraid I am elected onto the National CAC and have no role in Regional conferences. As a London member (and delegate to London conference) I have my own views and my CLP has sent a motion to the NEC expressing our concerns. Our CLP is also responding to the consultation and I recommend you do to.
I have also written to Len Duvall (Chair of London Regional Board) as the consultation seems to suggest that electing people via OMOV ‘risk poor diversity outcomes’ – as a BAME woman who topped the poll in the CAC OMOV elections, I did find that a bizarre claim.
A couple of CLPs have emailed me to say that they have nominated me for CAC in this years elections – thank you, but I am a CAC Rep in the CLP Division, which is every two years (odd numbers 2017, 2019, 2021). This year is for the General Division which is every two years but even numbers (2016, 2018, 2020).
Please do not nominate me this year, I am already elected until 2019. In 2019 I will be begging you for nominations I promise!
April CAC Report
We have no CAC meeting until July, however there are things I will feedback on in April as I am seeking more clarity and want to ensure you get complete information.
- Selection of speakers (delegates opportunity to speak on stage)
- Reference back
- Disability Access Continued.
- Priorities Ballot
If you have any questions, please contact me my email is seema [at] seemachandwani.co.uk