Sheffield Quaker Meeting House 13 January 2018

Present: Mike Roberts. Tony Beddow, Peter Mayer, Vivien Walsh, Rene Smit, Lawrence Cotter, Steve Bedser, Brian Fisher, Irene leonard, Gurinder S Josan, Alison Scouller, Alex Scott-Samuel

In attendance:  Martin Rathfelder, John Carlisle, Deborah Cobbett, Dave Shields, Simon Duffy, Jim Steinke

Apologies for absence: Caroline Walsh, Jean Hardiman Smith, Helen Cranage, David Mattocks, Katrina Murray, Jos Bell, Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe, Andy Thompson, James Gill, Mike Grady, Judith Varley, Tom Fitzgerald, Neil Nerva, Vivien Giladi, Brian Gibbons, David Davies, John Lipetz

1.Minutes of the meeting in Chester  were agreed as accurate

2. Matters arising

  1. SHA policy on maternity services: Alison and others are interested in developing our maternity policy. She has a draft in preparation. She was encouraged to keep a wide perspective, including for instance, mental health. Alison will circulate as it develops and link in Brian.
  2. Young Labour/recruitment: We had a delegate, James Gill, to the Young Labour conference. A resolution was passed on Mental Health. More thoughts from the young members to be collected to discuss recruiting. Martin is trying to get a list of secretaries of Labour Students. MedSin could be a useful organisation for recruitment.
  3. NHS 70th anniversary materials: Martin had a meeting with design expert and is expecting some ideas shortly. Plans to reprint  “In Place of Fear” Designer was interested in  Socialist Health socks? Note to Jon Ashworth – what plans for 70th anniversary? A joint letter from Jon and SHA to all LP members? A note for many of us to write on the NPF website about this issue.

3. Director’s report – Martin had produced a written report which will go to the AGM.

Discussion re West Midlands and branch catchment areas generally. Tony says we don’t know which of our members are also members of the Labour Party. SHA already has delegates to all the CLPs in Wales. If we write to all members, we could ask whether they are party members? Martin creates categories of people in the database, selecting for skills. People could be filed under many categories if they have many skills. Martin will investigate the General Data Protection Regulation  rules as they apply to SHA.

At the moment, any SHA member who is a Party member can become a CLP delegate. MR will consult officers if there are more than 5 members wanting to be delegates to a CLP if they are not in a branch. Tony: Should they be mandated? He will write a discussion document for officers.

4. Labour Party matters:

  1. Follow up of Conference resolution
    Alex: composite 8 effectively proposed renationalising the NHS. Some aspects of the policy appear not to have been followed through properly. There are, for instance, no new campaign materials reflecting the new Labour Party policy as result of it. Tony: the NPF has been struck by the Composite and will be discussing it specifically in early Feb. Mike: silence is deafening from LP re Comp8. Tony: renationalizing the NHS will be expensive, eg buying out care homes to nationalise social care. Labour is in power in some areas– advice is needed for those who want and need to make decisions about local planning beyond saying no to ACOs. Local discussions may be best. A meeting will be set up to address this in Sheffield
  2. Socialist Societies
    The Democracy Review may result in better participation for SocSocs. One suggestion is for SocSocs to share administration. Alex had meeting with the Review team and he circulated the list of questions that had been raised:

These are questions which arose during an initial discussion with members of the Democracy Review.

  1. Should membership of SHA and other socialist societies be open to Labour party members only?
  2. Should block voting continue in Labour Party elections?
  3. Should socialist societies be funded by subscriptions or by the Labour Party?
  4. Can socialist societies’ representation on the NEC be justified?
  5. Should there be a Socialist Societies Forum?
  6. Should there be defined eligibility criteria for the recognition of socialist societies?
  7. How should the existence of several societies focusing on a single issue be dealt with (eg JLM, JVL; Fabians, Momentum)?
  8. Can joining socialist societies be seen as buying power?
  9. Should conference policy carry executive authority with Labour councils and councillors?
  10. How should the London-centric nature of the socialist societies executive be dealt with?
  11. How can Labour Party policy be ‘gender proofed’?
  12. How can Labour be engendered?

A long discussion suggested overall that:

  • we need to allow non-party members to be members of SHA, because they have enormous skills. But we need to find a mechanism to keep party issues only to party members. And non-LP members should not oppose LP policies.
  • The party cannot insist that there is only one SocSoc per topic or group.
  • There should be criteria that define what constitutes a SocSoc but there are many practical issues in enforcing any fixed criteria.
  1. Policy development process from here: The SHA is in conversation with the Shadow Team on policy development. The topics are confidential. Brian outlined an approach to getting the best people to discuss with the Shadow Team and this was agreed: we shall request a 100 word document from all members and the policy team will shortlist. If needed, we shall ensure that we add to that list specific skills needed. Despite concern, the need for confidentiality was agreed. A key issue is the financing streams the whole manifesto can draw on and the demands coming from the different spending departments.

6. AGM and elections Notice to go out shortly

  1. AOB
    MR asked us all to sign up to be governors of the Manchester Trust

Dave: contact LP governors and ask to them to become members of SHA
Alison: A Welsh BBC programme is looking for women with experience or information on back-street abortions.
Brian: There will be a Demo 3rd Feb responding to the Winter NHS crisis.

  1. Next meeting:  Annual General Meeting

 

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