Kennet and North Wilts Green Party AGM Minutes
Date of meeting: 13/01/2015, 7.30 pm
The meeting was held at Jubilee Building, 32 Market Place, Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN15 3HP
In attendance: 27 members and supporters.
The following officers were present:
- Mark Fletcher (chair and Devizes parliamentary candidate)
- Samantha Fletcher (Chippenham parliamentary candidate)
- Phil Chamberlain (North Wilts parliamentary candidate)
- Lucy Garven (coordinator)
- Jill James (Treasurer)
- Tim Walton (Fundraising)
- Sophy Fearnley-Whittingstall (Press Officer)
Apologies were received from 5 members. The meeting was chaired by Mark Fletcher.
The following officers addressed the meeting and a vote was taken to confirm their positions with a show of hands. All were unanimously elected.
- Lucy Garven: Co-ordinator
- Mark Fletcher: Assistant co-ordinator
- Jill James: Treasurer. We have done well so far but need to focus on raising more election funds. The current balance is £1,952.42. However we must still pay for the deposits for the candidates and need to fund the Freepost (Official Green Party leaflet) by the 8th of February. Fundraising should aim to raise around 3 to 4 thousand pounds.
- Tim Walton: Fundraising. We should be looking towards local businesses for support. It is vital that we mobilise our members to let us know of businesses in the area which may be sympathetic to our cause, and provide a personal intro. We are also exploring crowd-funding with three separate campaigns in order to show that it is an achievable goal for each constituency. Steve Webb, ex Head of fundraising for Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, has also offered support fundraising.
- Sam Page: Local group contact. Has been finding local groups who may be interested in hearing a talk from a Green candidate, or perhaps be able to help up in some way. This is a wonderful way to get in touch with large groups of people who could be sympathetic to our cause. The importance of local knowledge in these two areas is pivotal, please let Sam know if you have any ideas.
- Nick Ellis: Website content editor. The website will become a platform to share views with both members and members of the public. We need contributors for things such as opinion pieces which can be shared on social media.
- Sophy Fearnley-Whittingstall, with help from Paul Baker: Press.
- Martin Otto and Denis Griffin: Graphics. Graphics are a wonderful way to reach a large number of people with one simple message. This message is ‘bite-sized’ and easy to share on social media. The ‘road signs’ graphic developed by Martin is a great example of this, we need more examples like this relating to local issues.
- Ged Byrne, Ieuan Squires, Susie Price & Lucy Garven: New Media
Mark Fletcher and Sam Fletcher announced they are both stepping down as parliamentary candidates due to a personal change in circumstance. Two new candidates have come forward and it was agreed to hold a ballot to nominate them officially.
- Devizes Nomination: Emma Dawnay
As Emma could not attend the meeting in person, Mark Fletcher showed a short video she had sent in which she talked about her beliefs and what she would bring to the role.
- A strong economist with a background in science. Experience includes working for the new economics foundation (nef). She can competently argue why and how we can get the money for our social justice ideals and, crucially, disprove current mainstream economic theory. She believes in the idea of ‘Positive Money’: which should make the financial system more stable and over the long term provide the state with another source of income which could be used, for instance, to reduce the national debt. She believes in sensible spending to promote good growth. She grew up in Wiltshire and has a daughter at school here. She is currently working abroad but will be returning to the UK full-time before the election campaign starts and periodically in between.
- Chippenham Nomination: Geoff Brewer
- Geoff has a wealth of experience as a local councillor both for Kennet District Council (prior to the unitary authority) and subsequently for Devizes Town Council. He began in the Greens, however, realising he could be more effective elsewhere moved to the Liberal Democrats, rising to the level of Regional Secretary for the South West. Due to changes in his personal circumstances he left that role joining the Conservatives when David Cameron first came to power. However he is disappointed with Tories’ many broken promises and has resigned to join the Greens.
- Because The Green Party has a policy of positive discrimination towards women, nominations for Chippenham also need to be reopened to see if any women are also interested in standing.
- find someone to run our Twitter account (a volunteer has since come forward)
- get the candidates to do short videos for crowdfunding. We will start this at the next meeting on Jan 24th
- ask the members and supporters to:
- suggest three businesses they believe could be sympathetic to the Greens and make a personal introduction
- suggest three local groups which could be interested in a presentation from the Greens
- Encourage people to write opinion pieces and short essays for the website and Facebook - especially members and candidates!
- Alert us of any opportunity in the three constituencies for candidates to get out and meet people. For example markets or local events
- Contact the Rowntree Trust
- Contact local Chambers of Commerce for identifying businesses we can approach for support
- identify town-specific volunteers for leaflet distribution and stalls.
- We should also be in touch with Olly Lavery and Robin Pink. Robin has offered to do the photoshop stuff for the billboard and Olly has offered to print and display billboards on his land. (He has since been contacted)
The meeting closed at 10 pm.
Date of next meeting: Saturday 24th January 2015, to meet new prospective candidate Emma Dawnay, upstairs room at the Bear Hotel in Marlborough High Street, SN8 1AA, 10am to 12pm. To be chaired by Sam Page.
The regular meetings will generally be held on the 2nd Tuesday of the month in the evening, so the next regular meeting is due to be held on February 10th. To be chaired by Phil Chamberlain. Venue TBC.