There follow the minutes of our January meeting, which was our annual general meeting for 2018, with the group's constitution as revised there attached. Our next monthly meeting will be held not on the usual first Wednesday of the month but on Friday 9 February at 7.30 p.m., at the wheelchair-accessible River Lane Centre, River Lane, Cambridge CB5 8HP.
Cambridge People's Assembly, 3 January 2018 (annual general meeting)
Discussion. Directions for 2018 (not yet published)
- Agreement of the agenda
- Apologies for absence
- Approval of the minutes and matters arising
- Secretary's report
- Treasurer's report
- Amendment of the constitution
- Election of officers
- Save Our Children's Centres demonstration, 27 January
- CPA demonstrations against Cambridgeshire County Council's austerity budget, February
- Other business and announcements
- Next meeting
The venue was the River Lane Centre at 7.30 p.m. Present were Dan, Faraz, Hilary, Jamie, Jane, Neil (secretary), Nicki (treasurer), Martin B., and Richard M. (chair).
The meeting accepted the draft agenda.
Jenny, Lucy, and Nik had sent their apologies.
The meeting approved the minutes and there were no matters arising.
Neil reported 249 subscribers to the mailing list (last month 252), 972 Twitter followers (968), and 628 Facebook likes (629).
Nicki reported overall funds of £971.54. Income was a £15 collection at the December meeting; expenditure was £5 on the group's regular donation to the national office.
Neil read aloud the constitution. Nicki proposed and the meeting agreed that it should remove the outdated section 11, which had required a review meeting after the constitution was first adopted in 2015, and renumber the following section.
The meeting discussed Dan's concerns that section 8.1 of the constitution made it too easy to remove officers. In the end he was satisfied with the present rule.
Neil proposed and the meeting agreed that transphobia (although already implicitly included) should be added to the list of unacceptable kinds of discrimination under section 2.4.
The meeting elected Richard, Nicki, and Neil to continue as chair, treasurer, and secretary respectively. It agreed that they should be signatories to the Cambridge People's Assembly's bank account, joined by Hilary if the bank required a fourth signatory.
Neil had attended the meeting of the Save Our Children's Centres campaign on 7 December, which had agreed to hold a march and demonstration on Saturday 27 January. He had a little rashly offered the CPA's support, for one thing by meeting the cost of publicity materials.
The present meeting approved this idea and asked that any such materials should acknowledge the support. Nicki noted that the campaign might reach people quite outside the CPA's usual audience.
The Save Our Children's Centres meeting had suggested joining its 27 January demonstration with the CPA's planned demonstration against Cambridgeshire County Council's austerity budget as a whole. However Neil had since come to think that there was not space for two closely-related demos on the same day.
The meeting agreed, and discussed alternative dates, agreeing on Sunday 4 February. The demo would be held at 1 p.m. outside the Guildhall in Market Square, Cambridge: the County Council's headquarters at Shire Hall were a little too far from the town centre.
The meeting agreed the individuals and organizations whom Neil as secretary should invite to speak. Dan, Jamie, and Neil would design a leaflet, which Martin, Nicki, and Richard should between them be able to print in sufficient quantities.
Supporters of the CPA would also join UNISON Cambridgeshire County's early-morning protest outside Shire Hall on the day of the budget meeting, Tuesday 6 February.
Stand Up to Racism would hold a Holocaust memorial meeting at the Friends' Meeting House on 22 January. Stop the War would hold a meeting on 'Living Under the Threat of Nuclear War' at the same venue on 25 January.
Cambridge Keep Our NHS Public would hold its monthly meeting at the present venue of the River Lane Centre on 31 January.
Stand Up to Racism would hold its trade union conference in central London on 10 February.
The next meeting should have been held on Wednesday 7 February, but the present meeting agreed to find another date in order to avoid a clash with a Stand Up to Racism event on the same evening.
Instead Neil would ask the venue what other dates were available, and the members of the discussion list would choose between them. It was later agreed that the next meeting would be held at 7.30 p.m. on Friday 9 February, at the same venue of the River Lane Centre.
- Name of the organisation
- Aims and objectives
- Annual general meeting
- Extraordinary general meetings
- Organising meetings
- Recall of officers
1.1. The name of the organisation shall be the Cambridge People's Assembly Against Austerity, also to be called the Cambridge People's Assembly (CPA).
2.1. The CPA is a local branch of the national People's Assembly, which has been set up to campaign against the political programme of austerity.
2.2. The CPA recognises that austerity will only be defeated if those that oppose cuts work together. It therefore aims to bring together and support individuals, organisations, community campaigns and trade unions to build a collective force for social change and a united resistance against austerity.
2.3. The CPA is open to support and affiliation from political parties, but will remain non-party-political and will refrain from direct involvement in election campaigns. It can support parties on matters consonant with its agenda but will not endorse any one party.
2.4. The CPA believes that unity is impossible if discrimination is unchallenged. It therefore will not work with any organisation or individual that espouses racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ageism, ableism or discrimination of any kind. It recognises the need to make every effort to represent all areas of society, and to diversify and broaden its support to include ethnic minorities and people with additional needs.
3.1. Anyone may choose to be or to cease to be a supporter of the CPA. No list of supporters shall be held.
3.2. Supporters shall be encouraged to contribute regularly to the CPA's funds, but no fees shall be due from them.
4.1. Any association may affiliate to the CPA with its permission, and no fee shall be payable for affiliation.
4.2. The CPA shall support any and all action by an affiliated organisation that matches its constitutional aims and objectives and its agreed policies.
4.3. Affiliates shall receive proper notification of CPA activities.
5.1. The sovereign body of the CPA is the annual general meeting (AGM). It shall:
- 5.1.1. be held annually in the month of January;
- 5.1.2. be the only body with the power to amend the constitution;
- 5.1.3. elect as officers a secretary, chair, and treasurer;
- 5.1.4. determine the direction and main policies of the CPA for the year.
5.2. Anyone may attend and any supporter may vote in an AGM.
6.1. An extraordinary general meeting (EGM) may be called by the agreement of all the officers.
6.2. An EGM shall have the power to amend the constitution and to elect officers as provided under section 5 above, and to dissolve the organisation as provided under section 12 below.
6.3. Notice of one month shall be given for an EGM.
7.1. An organising meeting shall be held at least once a month.
7.2. Anyone may attend and any supporter may vote in an organising meeting.
7.3. A chair for the meeting shall be designated by those present.
8.1. If an officer fails to attend three consecutive meetings, she or he may be recalled by the vote of any meeting.
9.1. All the monies raised by the CPA shall be applied to further its aims and objectives. The treasurer shall keep proper accounts of the finance of the organisation and shall maintain a bank account.
9.2. The CPA shall bank at a place suitable for access for the treasurer.
9.3. Two signatures from a stated list of three (normally the secretary, chair, and treasurer) shall be required to withdraw money from the CPA's account.
9.4. Supporters shall be reimbursed expenses incurred whilst undertaking approved business on behalf of the CPA.
9.5. The treasurer shall ensure that all accounts are independently examined at the end of each year and available to all supporters and affiliates at the AGM or on request.
10.1. In order to achieve its aims and objectives the CPA may:
- 10.1.1. raise money;
- 10.1.2. open bank accounts;
- 10.1.3. work with similar organisations and exchange information and advice.
11.1. The CPA may be wound up if agreed by two-thirds of those present at an AGM, which must include all the officers. In the event of winding up, any assets after debts have been paid shall be donated to the national People's Assembly.
7 January 2015, revised 6 January 2016, 4 January 2017, and 3 January 2018