Minutes of the April CPA meeting

There follow the minutes of our April meeting. Our next monthly meeting will be held on Wednesday 2 May at 7.30 p.m., at the wheelchair-accessible River Lane Centre, River Lane, Cambridge CB5 8HP.


Cambridge People's Assembly, Wednesday 4 April 2018

  1. Agreement of the agenda
  2. Apologies for absence
  3. Approval of the minutes and matters arising
  4. Secretary's report
  5. Treasurer's report
  6. National People's Assembly conference, 2 June
  7. Strawberry Fair, 2 June
  8. Cambs County Council cuts: action against the cuts, including leaflet
  9. Cambs County Council cuts: proposal to move CCC headquarters
  10. Radio project
  11. National demo for the NHS, 30 June
  12. Other business and announcements
  13. Next meeting

The venue was the River Lane Centre at 7.30 p.m. Present were Eve, Faraz, Hilary, Jamie, Jane, Jenny (meeting chair), Neil (secretary), and Martin B. Names may have been changed.

1. Agreement of the agenda

The meeting accepted the draft agenda. A new item 7, on Strawberry Fair, was added by agreement later.

2. Apologies for absence

Nicki (treasurer) had sent her apologies.

3. Approval of the minutes and matters arising

The meeting noted that under item 6 the minutes omitted to say that Richard was to start an e-mail discussion thread discussing a petition against Cambridgeshire County Council's latest cuts, then the petition itself. Under item 9 a wrong name was given in one place.

Otherwise the meeting accepted the minutes and there were no matters arising.

4. Secretary's report

Neil reported 250 subscribers to the mailing list (last month 251), 984 Twitter followers (977), and 639 Facebook likes (641).

5. Treasurer's report

On behalf on Nicki, Neil reported overall funds of £931.14. Income last month was a collection of £28; expenditure was £22.50 on venue hire for January, February, and March, and £5 on the group's regular donation to the national People's Assembly.

The CPA's bank would shortly close its current accounts and Neil apologized that he, Nicki, and Richard as the intended signatories had not managed to set up a new account with another bank in time. It was likely that before the next CPA meeting the bank would close the campaign's account, and send a cheque for the balance.

Neil proposed that before the account was closed and the CPA's ability to lay out funds was interrupted, it should pay early its major forthcoming bill, of £590 for coach hire in June, and also make three months' worth of regular donations to the national People's Assembly, adding up to £15. The meeting approved this idea.

6. National People's Assembly conference, 2 June

The People's Assembly would soon hold a conference in St Pancras, London, under the title How Can We Achieve an Anti-Austerity Government? The present meeting realized it fell on the same day as Strawberry Fair in Cambridge, which it moved on to discuss immediately. However it agreed that the CPA should pay the travel expenses of at least one delegate if any was available to attend.

7. Strawberry Fair, 2 June

The meeting agreed that the CPA should have a stall at the popular Strawberry Fair, carrying among other things the leaflet against the county council cuts being designed by Jamie. Eve, Jamie, and Jane would be able to attend.

Eve believed the stall should feature some kind of interactive activity, which tried to get people to make politics their problem. It could be a challenge or a fun game, asking the passer-by for example: could you run for office?

Jamie agreed: engaging people with local government allowed the CPA to talk about the different directions from which austerity was imposed.

Martin would book a stall, and Jane would chair an e-mail discussion thread on stall activities. The stall should be on the agenda for the next meeting.

8. Cambs County Council cuts: action against the cuts, including leaflet

Jamie reported that he had a final draft for a leaflet. He thanked Neil for working with him on the council's budget papers. He would circulate the draft on the e-mail discussion list, and give people a week to comment.

Jamie advised that the leaflet still needed a closing call to action. The petition suggested in the last meeting had not been developed. It was agreed that the action should be to get involved with the CPA (for example by reading its blog or following it on Facebook) and voting wherever possible against austerity.

Eve suggested that the leaflet could be adapted for social media. The meeting agreed that Jamie should create shareable graphics for social media; others should share these graphics, and respond to anything put out by the county council.

9. Cambs County Council cuts: proposal to move CCC headquarters

The meeting agreed this proposal was not an immediate priority for the CPA.

10. Radio project

As time was short, the meeting agreed to discuss this next time.

11. National demo for the NHS, 30 June

Neil reported that he had booked a coach, but had not let Dan know to create an Eventbrite page to manage booking. For publicity, the meeting hoped to use the national office's leaflet for the Strawberry Fair stall; Jamie suggested the CPA might be able to adapt the artwork to have information about the Cambridge coach on one side.

12. Other business and announcements

Martin announced that Health Campaigns Together would hold a meeting at the Unite the Union offices on Moorland Street, London, at 11 a.m. on Saturday 12 April. Sadly no one in the meeting was able to attend as a CPA delegate.

Martin also announced that the Trades Union Council would hold a march, A New Deal for Working People, at 11 a.m. on Saturday 12 May, starting from the Victoria Embankment.

Jamie reported that the national office were keen for the Cambridge group to hold a People's Question Time: this could be discussed at the next CPA meeting.

Eve introduced her campaign against the county council's major cuts to Cambridgeshire children's centres. She believed that the present cuts could not be reversed, but that by making some noise around the issue the centres could be protected from the next round of cuts. She planned to score candidates for local political office on children's issues, and to create a website to publish this information. The meeting agreed the CPA should certainly help to publicize this material.

13. Next meeting

The next meeting would be held at 7.30 p.m. on Wednesday 2 April, at the same venue of the River Lane Centre.

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