The CAC met this week on Friday 14th May 2021. On the agenda was:
- Annual Conference 2021 Update
- Disability Access
- Changes for Delegates
- Review of Reference Back
Annual Conference 2021 Update:
Conference will be held in Brighton and the main hotel will be the Hilton. The security plan is being finalised by Sussex Police. There will be separate entrances and exits.
Access to the Hilton will be solely for pass holders.
The use of the main hall is now being worked out, given the need for social distancing, which is believed will still be in place in September. Auditorium 1 at the Brighton Centre can hold 445 delegates seated at a social distance of 1.5m. The Auditorium can hold 1,002 delegates at a social distance of 1m. If we employ social distancing we could look at a hybrid event with a virtual element. As well as looking at the use of overflow locations.
We were taken through possible online and hybrid scenarios if needed. These will still allow motions, constitutional amendments etc.
Disability Access at Conference:
- RNIB are possibly who will be worked with to ensure documents are available in a range of accessible formats.
- The main hall, training rooms and all policy seminars will have hearing loops and the main hall will also have BSL interpreters.
- Additionally, there will be a speech to text service in the main hall where we will provide delegates who request these in advance with a tablet that comes with a protective cover to access this.
New Changes for Delegates
- The delegate deadline has been pushed back from Friday 11 June to Friday 9 July, with no late applications accepted.
- The CAC agreed a new process of swapping delegates after the deadline based on medical grounds (not checks will be made). Swaps need to be done on a like for like delegate i.e. meeting entitlement and gender balance.
Reference Backs Review
When Reference Backs were introduced, we agreed to allow very little structure so we can see how they worked and that we would review. For obvious reasons, we did not review last year.
We were presented with potential structures and all had a huge debate, trying to find consensus. We agreed the following:
- that all references backs are submitted prior to Conference ONLY. No reference back raised by delegates from the floor of Conference will be accepted
- Where the same reference back is requested by multiple CLPs/affiliated organisations, the CAC has the discretion as to how many speakers will speak on that reference back.
- the reference back and the reasoning printed in the CAC report there is less emphasis on the speech and delegates know what they are voting on.
- Each organisation may also only submit one reference back for each policy commission with no more than four per organisation submitted to Conference in total.
- the co-convenor of each policy commission will respond to each section of the report.
I agreed and helped shape some of these final structures as I felt only allowing one per a CLP in total was too restrictive and allowing one per a policy commission would make a really chaotic CLP meeting.
It was also agreed the NPF report will be made available sooner to CLPs and members.