Disability Labour Annual General Meeting 2018

DISABILITY LABOUR.

DRAFT MINUTES OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING.

HELD 8TH SEPTEMBER 2018, AT THE QUEENS HOTEL LEEDS.

Dave Allen in the Chair (item 1 and part of item 2), supported by 60 members. Sam Margrave took the Chair from item 2 onwards.

1. Welcome from the Chair, attendance and apologies

Dave Allen (Chair) welcomed members to the meeting, noting that it was the largest AGM DL had ever had. Dave introduced Sam Margrave (Vice Chair), Sally Mulready (Treasurer), and Brian Aylward (Acting Secretary). Other officers had submitted their apologies. Dave said that the AGM would represent a major change as most Executive Committee members were not seeking re-election, and he hoped that the new Executive would be able to move DL forward positively.

Fran Springfield read a statement from Marsha de Cordova MP (Vice Chair):

“I am dismayed that I have not received any notice of today’s AGM nor have I been sent any paperwork relating to the AGM.

Furthermore, I’m appalled at the discourtesy shown to the Shadow DWP Team, by not inviting any of us to speak at the AGM, as would be good practice and follows previous tradition.

I send my apologies, as I have Constituency engagements I cannot break at this late date.”

There was a discussion on the organisation of the AGM, the management of the membership database, and the fact that many members had not received notification of the AGM. Dave Allen said he did not accept responsibility for these issues and that Labour Party staff had been responsible for organisation. A number of members objected to Dave’s statement.

2. Emergency Motions on Procedure

The Chair began to make a statement about Emergency Motion 1 (Replacement of Agenda). A number of members objected to the Chair attempting to speak to the motion. The Chair then ruled the motion out of order.

Wayne Blackburn challenged the Chair’s ruling. The meeting voted overwhelmingly to overturn the Chair’s ruling.

Emergency Motion 1 (Replacement of Agenda), was moved by Dave Townsend. At the conclusion of the debate, Dave agreed to a suggestion to revert to the 2

original agenda, provided that all policy and non-AGM business be moved to the end of the meeting. The meeting approved this proposal.

At this point, the Acting Secretary and the Chair resigned and left the meeting. The Treasurer also left the meeting. Sam Margrave (Vice Chair) assumed the Chair, and Simon Lydiard was appointed as Minute Secretary for the duration of the meeting.

The Vice Chair ruled Emergency Motion 2 (Remitting Constitutional Amendments) out of order.

The Vice Chair sought the permission of members to allow Tracy Brabin MP to address the meeting at this point. This was agreed.

3. Speaker: Tracy Brabin MP, Shadow Minister for Early Years

Tracy Brabin spoke about the importance of delivering a National Education Service that served the needs of disabled people. She stressed the importance of not locking disabled people, especially special educational needs (SEN) children, out of the right to education with proper support. Tracy also highlighted the importance of accessibility to the arts for children.

Tracy took a number of questions and contributions from members.

4. Approval of the Minutes of the 2017 AGM

The minutes of the previous AGM, held 1st April 2017, were approved. The Vice Chair noted that Annie Winters had been elected at the AGM, but had sadly passed away in May.

5. Matters Arising

Dave Townsend noted that the agreement at the previous AGM to allow remote access had not been fulfilled. The meeting requested that the new Executive Committee investigate making such arrangements for the next AGM.

6. Chair’s Report

Dave Allen was not present and had not submitted a written report.

7. Motions of No Confidence in the Chair and Secretary

Motion 6 (No Confidence in the Chair) and Motion 7 (No Confidence in the Secretary) were remitted to the Executive Committee. 3

9. Acting Secretary’s Report

Brian Aylward had submitted a written report. The Vice Chair expressed thanks to Brian for his hard work, and noted the very difficult circumstances in which he had been placed.

10. Treasurer’s Report

The Treasurer (Sally Mulready) was not present, and only some members had copies of the finance report, which had been handed out during the meeting. Wayne Blackburn moved that the accounts not be accepted, and that the matter be remitted to the incoming Treasurer who should report to the new Executive Committee within three months. The Vice Chair seconded the proposal, noting that he was not aware whether auditors had examined the accounts. The meeting approved the proposal not to approve the accounts and to remit consideration of the financial report to the incoming Treasurer.

The Chair thanked the outgoing Treasurer for all their hard work and asked the incoming Chair(s) to send Sally a card.

11. Debate on Motions

Emily Brothers raised a point of order on motions 11-28, and asked for these to be remitted to the Executive Committee for consideration, and for an Extraordinary General Meeting to be held in Spring 2019. The Vice Chair said that the motions needed to be moved before they could be remitted.

Sophie Tablot moved Motions 11-28 (with the exception of (the 1st) Motion 25 (Election of Officers by Disability Labour Members), and agreed that they be remitted.

The remitted Motions are attached to the Minutes. These will be considered by the incoming Executive Committee, and proposals made to an Extraordinary General Meeting in Spring 2019.

(1st) Motion 25 (Election of Officers by Disability Labour Members)

“Disability Labour acknowledges the wishes of its members to elect Officers to the Executive Committee.

Disability Labour therefore resolves to make the following change to the Disability Labour Constitution – Clause E(1) of the Constitution be changed to read:

Officers of the group shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting with a ballot of members to elect two Co-Chairs, two Deputy Chairs, Secretary, Deputy 4

Secretary Treasurer and Deputy Treasurer, as well as any other officer deemed relevant to the Aims and Objects of the group. These officers shall hold these positions until the beginning of the following AGM. All positions may be ‘job shared’ where desired if agreed by the AGM.

This change to be effective immediately. “

Moved by Nico Pollen.

The Vice Chair proposed an amendment, that the words “following this AGM” be inserted at the end of the final sentence. The amendment was agreed.

The Motion, as amended, was carried.

12. Debate on Policy Motions

Motion 1 (Brexit and Charter of Fundamental Rights)

“This AGM notes that UK membership of the EU has positively contributed to equality and human for persons who identify as being disabled and/or deaf.

This AGM notes with anger and disgust, the fact that the Charter of Fundamental Rights is not set to apply in the UK subsequent to 29 March 2819.

This AGM notes the significant Equality and Human Rights provisions of the 1998 Peace Agreement in Northern Ireland and affirms its support for the work that the Trade Union Movement in Northern Ireland and the Republic are doing in order to protect, keep in force and uphold those significant equality provisions that protect disabled and deaf people from discrimination.

This AGM instructs Disability Labour to campaign for the continuation/reinstatement of the Charter of Fundamental Rights. To that end, Disability Labour should work with Labour’s Shadow Brexit Team, future Labour Government, along with interested parliamentarians and organisations representing disabled and deaf people.”

Moved by Emily Brothers.

The following amendments were proposed:

  • Graeme Ellis/Dave Townsend proposed the addition of the following wording at the end of the penultimate sentence: “and the incorporation of any new rights introduced by the EU into UK law, including the forthcoming EU Accessibility Regulations.”
  • Gabrielle Moran proposed that “2819” be changed to “2019”

The mover accepted the amendments, and the motion was carried as amended. 5

Motion 2 (Incorporating UNCRPD into UK Law)

“This AGM notes and supports the fact, that both the wider Labour Party and the wider Disability movement are campaigning for the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons (UNCRPD) to be incorporated into UK Domestic Law.

This AGM further notes that while the wider Labour Party has adopted this position, Disability Labour appears not to have formally adopted this position.

Furthermore, this AGM mandates Disability Labour to adopt the incorporation of the convention in to UK domestic law and instructs the Executive Committee to promote and campaign on this policy, influencing parliamentarians and working with groups that represent disabled and deaf people.”

Moved by Wayne Blackburn proposed. The motion was carried.

Motion 3 (Medical cannabis)

“Cannabis has been used as an effective medicine for millennia. This plant contains THC and CBD which can be used to provide symptomatic relief for many long-term chronic conditions like PTSD, cancer, MS, AIDS, chronic pain and seizures. Many countries such as Spain, Portugal, Canada, parts of the USA, and Germany have recognised the medical benefits that cannabis can offer to disabled people and have legalised it for medical use.

The UK government have recently softened their stance on medical cannabis, however it is uncertain what medical conditions would be considered for prescription. There are many symptoms that can be alleviated by cannabis, it is important that any change in the law is not restricted to a small token number of conditions, but open to all that could benefit.

This conference calls on the Labour Party to:

  • • Campaign for cannabis medicine to be available for a wide variety of conditions.
  • Campaign for the legalisation of medical cannabis in the UK.”

Moved by Sam Margrave. The Motion was carried.

Motion 4 (Independent Living)

“Disability Labour notes:

the support for the Welsh Independent Living Grant (WILG) from recipients and the wider support that exists.

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that a positive approach must include a tripartite team to agree the Care Package, comprising the disabled individual, the local authority and a Social Worker independent of both parties.

▪ the decision of the Welsh Government to abolish the WILG

the overwhelming decision of the Wales Labour Party conference to support the saving of the Welsh Independent Living Grant (WILG)

the different approaches that have been adopted to supporting Independent Living in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Disability Labour believes

that the approach to Independent Living adopted in England has been a disaster and that the models adopted in Scotland and North Ireland are more likely to meets the needs of disabled people.

that Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) and trade unions in Wales should be congratulated for their support for the campaign to save the WILG.

that the evidence is clear that local authorities in Wales are not in a position to seamlessly take on the responsibilities of the WILG.

Disability Labour calls upon

the Welsh Government to save the WILG as a first step towards meeting the needs of disabled people in Wales

CLPS, unions and Labour affiliates to support the campaign to save the WILG.”

Moved by Fran Springfield.

Graeme Ellis proposed an amendment to add at the end “Disability Labour supports a robust Independent Living Strategy across the UK.

The mover accepted the amendment. The Motion, as amended, was carried.

Motion 5 (Inclusion of Disabled People in the National Education Service)

“This AGM believes that ‘education is a public good’. To that end, we endorse the principles set out in Labour’s Charter for a National Education Service.

This AGM believes that lifelong learning has intrinsic value for us all. Inclusion of disabled and deaf people must be integral in all phases, from early years to schools regardless of funding status, training and further/higher education, as well as adult learning.

This AGM notes the deplorable changes applied since 2014 to support for disabled children and students. Health and Care Plans have proven more difficult to obtain and the quality of assessments has fallen. Meanwhile, the Disabled 7

Students Allowance has been replaced by a fragile duty on higher education institutions to provide support.

This AGM instructs the DL Executive Committee to work with Labour’s Shadow Education Team and future Labour Government, together with potential partners to develop policy that applies principles of inclusion to the National Education Service in England, as well as practice in devolved settings.

This AGM also re-affirms that the DL Executive should campaign to improve the implementation of Health and Care Plans covering young people to 25, as well as restoring the Disabled Students Allowance.”

Moved by Emily Brothers. The Motion was carried.

Motions 6 & 7 had been remitted earlier in the meeting.

Motion 8 (Adoption of DEAL and Partnership with Project 125)

“Disability Labour applauds the exemplary work of Disability Equality Act Labour (DEAL)in producing the Equality Act 2010 Handbook.

Disability Labour resolves to adopt the handbook in full and ensure closer working ties with DEAL.

Disability Labour also applauds the aims of Project 125 and resolves a closer working relationship, ensuring the shared aim of more disabled parliamentary candidates and MPs is a main campaign target.

Moved by Sophie Talbot. The Motion was carried unanimously.

Motion 9 (Scrap The Disability Labour Membership Fee)

“Disability Labour recognises the important role that our members should play in how our organisation runs and recognises that the current membership fee could be a barrier to Labour Party members being more involved in Disability Labour.

Therefore, Disability Labour agrees to scrap the membership fee with immediate effect and replace the system with a voluntary donation system as well as continuing to ask CLPs to affiliate to Disability Labour.”

Moved by Wayne Blackburn. The Motion was carried.

Motion 10 (End Disability Labour’s Link with the Fabian Society)

“Disability Labour members note with concern the decision made at the November 2017 Executive Committee meeting to agree £2,500 of funding 8

towards a joint report with The Fabian Society with little detail or discussion.

DL members further note that all funds held by Disability Labour have been paid via the membership fee and therefore believe a financial decision of this magnitude should have been discussed at the Annual General Meeting so all members could give their opinion and consent.

DL members therefore move that this decision be reversed with immediate effect and that no payment be made to the Fabian Society. Members also move that any payment already made should be returned, and that any ties between the Fabian Society and Disability Labour be suspended pending further discussion with the full membership.”

Moved by Sophie Talbot. The Motion was carried.

In response to a question raised from the floor, the Vice Chair stated that, as a member of the Executive Committee, he had never been told anything about the work with the Fabian Society, nor had he ever seen a contract with the organisation. He said this was an example of the dysfunctionality of the previous leadership of DL, and that he had been bulled and treated appalling by some members of the outgoing Executive Committee.

13. Results of elections to the Executive Committee

The Vice Chair thanked all of those members who were present, and had voted, and thanked all of the candidates.

The following were elected: Wayne Blackburn, Kathy Bole, Lorraine Harding, Claire Harris, Simon Lydiard, Sam Margrave, Gabrielle Moran, Mick O’Neill Duff, Nico Pollen, Anne Pridmore, Barb Roberts, Martyn Shrewsbury, Fran Springfield, Dave Townsend, Helen Whitehead.

The following were not elected: Brian Aylward, Bill Bailey, Emily Brothers, Annie Galpin, Keith Lakeman, Jean Hardiman Smith, Andy Thompson.

Fran Springfield thanked all those who had supported the successful candidates. She also thanked Labour Party staff for their work in the run up to and during the AGM, acknowledging the great difficulties they had faced. Fran thanked the signers, and thanked Sam for chairing. Special thanks were made to Sophie Talbot for her enormous contribution in the run up to and during the AGM, and a presentation of gifts was made for her.

The Vice Chair added his thanks to the Labour Party staff and to the General Secretary. 9

REMITTED MOTIONS

Motion 11 – CEASING TO BE A MEMBER

Disability Labour recognises the need for further clarification on disciplinary matters and therefore moves the following amendment and addition to section C(2) of the Constitution with immediate effect:

C (2) Ceasing to be a member. Members may resign at any time in writing to the secretary.

(2a) The executive committee will contact any member who has not paid their membership fee for one year. They will decide whether that member is deemed to have resigned.

(2b) Any offensive behaviour, including racist, sexist or inflammatory remarks, will not be permitted. Anyone behaving in an offensive way or breaking the equal opportunities statement in this constitution may be asked not to attend further meetings or to resign from the group if an apology is not given or the behaviour is repeated. The individual concerned shall have the right to be heard by the executive committee, accompanied by a friend, before a final decision is made.

Proposed by Barb Roberts

Motion 12 – Final notice for the AGM

Disability Labour recognises the need to clarify what the final AGM notice includes, and to make it accessible.

We therefore agree to amend section (2b) and add section 2(c) as below:

(2b) The executive committee must send the agenda, minutes of the previous AGM, full annual report including audited accounts, details of online participation and nominations to the executive committee to members giving 14 clear days notice. This is the final notice.

(2c) Alternative formats including accessible pdfs, large print, Braille ready files and audio files of all papers will be included in the final notice.

Notice period for General Meetings

Disability Labour recognises the need for our constitution to clarify that 40 days notice of General Meetings means 40 clear days. This gives our members 40 complete days notice.

We therefore agree to change section M of our constitution to:

M. Special General Meetings. The Executive Committee may call a special general meeting of the group at any 10

time. If at least sixty percent (60%) of its members request such a meeting in writing stating the business to be considered the Secretary shall call such a meeting. At least 40 clear days’ notice must be given. The notice must state the date, place and the business to be discussed. Only business included in the notice may be transacted. This notice is both the preliminary and final notice of such a meeting.

Proposed by Martyn Shrewsbury

Motion 13 – Meetings

Disability Labour recognises the importance of Executive members attending meetings where possible, whilst also understanding the need to support members at all times. Disability Labour therefore moves the following change to the Constitution regarding members who do not attend for a number of meetings.

G (1)

Is absent without the permission of the Executive Committee from all their meetings held within a period of six (6) months, or three (3) consecutive meetings. (See J12(c)) and the Executive Committee resolve that his or her office be vacated; or

Change to:

(1) The Executive Committee will contact any executive member who does not attend four consecutive meetings for any reason. They will decide whether that member is deemed to have resigned.

Proposed by Anne Pridmore

Motion 14 – Conflicts of Interest.

Disability Labour recognises the importance of ensuring our decision making processes are seen to be beyond reproach.

We therefore agree that an additional section H(13) be added to our constitution as follows:

At the start of any executive meeting, members and officers must declare all pecuniary interests and memberships of any other organisation, political or otherwise they may have in relation to any issue to be discussed. Members with such interests must leave the meeting for the entire period that said issue is being discussed.

Proposed by Gabrielle Moran 11

Motion 15 – Workloads

Disability Labour recognises the potential workload for Executive Officers and understands the need to spread the work out wherever possible. Disability Labour therefore moves the following change to the make up of the Executive Committee with immediate effect.

1. Executive Committee.

(1) The Executive Committee shall consist of fifteen Individual Members elected at the group’s AGM. In addition the Labour Students Disabilities Officer shall be an ex-officio member with voting rights.

Change to:

(1) The business of the group is carried out by the Executive Committee. This comprises eight ordinary members and eight officers, as below, elected annually at the AGM.

(1a) Officers are: Two co Chairs, two co Secretaries, two co Treasurers, two co CLP Liaison Officers.

(1b) In the event of an officer standing down during the year a replacement will be co-opted by the next Executive Committee.

(1c) Any executive committee member not attending a meeting without apology for three months will be contacted by the committee and asked if they wish to resign.

(1d) Representatives of the BAME, Women’s and Youth sections and of LBGTQ+ Labour are invited to attend all executive meetings in an advisory capacity.

Proposed by Helen Whitehead

Motion 16 – Banking procedures

Disability Labour recognises the need to improve and tighten up our banking procedures to be more specific, accountable and to address modern online banking techniques.

We therefore agree that section I(1) be amended and a new sections I(1b) to I(1d) be added to our constitution as below:

(1) An account will be maintained in the name of Disability Labour at a bank agreed by the executive committee. Four cheque signatories will be nominated by the Committee (one to be the treasurer). The signatories must not be related nor members of the same household.

(1a) All payments must be signed by two of the signatories, one of which to be the treasurer. 12

(1b) For BACS payments, cash withdrawals, debit card payments or cash payments, a requisition note must be signed by two signatories one of which to be the treasurer.

(1c) Records of income and expenditure will be maintained by the treasurer and a financial statement given at each meeting.

(1d) The income and expenditure records will be independently audited in good time for the AGM, and included in the printed and online annual report.

Proposed by Sophie Talbot

Motion 17 – Indemnifying Executive Committee members and officers.

Disability Labour recognises that using members’ money to indemnify Executive Committee members is wholly inappropriate. Executive members should be indemnified by an appropriate insurance policy or by incorporating as a company limited by guarantee.

We therefore call on the Executive Committee to explore more appropriate means of indemnifying themselves as a matter of urgency. Further we agree that section J of our constitution should be removed immediately.

Proposed by Sophie Talbot

Motion 18 – AGM voting procedure

Disability Labour recognises the need to improve our voting procedures at AGMs, making them more secure, valid and reliable.

We therefore agree the following should be added to Section L(7) of the constitution:

(7e) When electing executive committee members and officers, each member will be given a ballot, with a unique identifier to enable a full audit trail.

(7d) Those standing for election will cast their ballots first. They will then leave the meeting for the duration of the voting process.

(7f) Ballots cast will be kept secure at all times by independent third parties. They will be counted by being entered onto a database for the purpose. The database will include the unique identifiers to enable member to check that their ballots were counted correctly.

Proposed by Mick O’Neill-Duff

Motion 19 – Regularity of Executive Committee Meetings

Disability Labour recognises the importance of regular meeting of the Executive Committee, and notes with disappointment that the previous Executive did not 13

meet regularly. Disability Labour therefore moves the following change to the Constitution to ensure the Executive meet on a regular basis.

H (1)

The Executive Committee shall hold at least four (4) ordinary meetings a year. A special meeting maybe called by the Chair or by any five (5) other members of the Executive Committee upon not less than seven (7) day’s notice being given to the other members of the Executive Committee of the matters to be discussed.

Change to:

(1) The executive committee hold ordinary meetings once a month. Meeting dates for the year are agreed by the Executive Committee at their first meeting following the AGM.

(2) Additional special meetings maybe called by 50% of Executive Committee members. Seven clear day’s notice of a special meeting and its agenda must be given, the seven clear days start when the meeting notice is received by email by all executive members.

Proposed by Kathryn Bole

Motion 20 – executive quorum

Disability Labour recognises the importance of having a quorum of Executive Committee members in attendance to ensure representation.

To ensure clarity, Disability Labour moves the following change to the Constitution to be effective immediately:

H(5) There shall be a quorum when at least one-fifth of the number of members of the Executive Committee for the time being or four (4) member of the Executive Committee, whichever is the greater, are present at the meeting, of which one member must be an Officer of the group.

Change to:

The quorum for ordinary and special executive meetings is 50% of the executive members or seven, whichever is greater.

Proposed by Kathryn Bole

Motion 21 – The Social Model

Disability Labour notes that the “Aims and Objects” within the Constitution reads as follows:

1. Aims and Objects

Preamble 14

The group recognises that disability is a socially constructed experience resulting from environmental, economic and social barriers faced by disabled people.

Disability Labour moves that this part be changed to the following with immediate effect:

1. Aims and Objectives.

Disability Labour recognises that disability is a socially constructed experience resulting from environmental, economic and social barriers faced by disabled people. This is known as ‘the social model of disability’.

Proposed by Kathryn Bole

Motion 22 – WOMEN ON THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Disability Labour recognises the importance of gender balance within the Executive Officers and moves the following clarification within the Constitution.

E (2)

At least three (3) of these officers shall be women.

Change to:

At least 50% of Executive Officers must be women.

Proposed by Fran Springfield

Motion 23 – EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE DECISION MAKING

Disability Labour believes no decision should be taken by a small clique of the Executive Committee. All decisions should be, and should be seen to be, properly democratic.

We therefore agree to an additional section H (6) being added to our constitution:

In the event of there being no quorum provided at least three (3) officers are present those present may constitute themselves as a temporary subcommittee under Clause J(11) in order to conduct such business as in their opinion cannot await consideration at a subsequent meeting of the Executive Committee.

Change to:

If there is not a quorum at an executive meeting, all decisions will have to be ratified by the next quorate executive committee meeting.

Proposed by Fran Springfield

Motion 24 – REGIONAL GROUPS 15

Disability Labour recognises the need for regional representation and is disappointed that the previous Executive failed to act on the request for regional groups at the 2017 AGM. Disability Labour therefore moves the following addition to the Constitution to encourage regional groups to start as soon as possible.

F (5)

With the agreement of the executive committee, regional branches of the group may be constituted on an area co-terminus with Labour Party regions. Once properly constituted, each regional branch may elect one member to the Executive Committee.

Add:

(2a) Disabled Party members can set up regional branches of Disability Labour. Each group must use the Disabled Labour Regional Group constitution – a form of this constitution suitable for the Party regions. Each regional group must apply to the Executive Committee for approval as a Disability Labour branch and give at least one month’s notice before approval can be granted.

Proposed by Fran Springfield

Motion 24

  • • Format of AGM Minutes

Disability Labour AGM motion.

Disability Labour recognises that past AGM minutes have not been fit for purpose. We therefore agree the following addition to the constitution:

(8e) AGM minutes must include:

1. The date, time and physical venue of the meeting.

2. The name of the group.

3. The names of those present and the names of those having made apologies for not attending. Should anyone be present for a section of the meeting only, the detail of which section they were present.

4. The items on the agenda.

5. The precise wording of any resolution together with the name of the proposer of the motion.

6. A summary of the discussion on each item of business.

7. Information on which the decision was based.

8. Who voted and how and if Chair used a casting vote

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9. The action required

10. The names of the people who are responsible for implementing the decision.

11. The date, time and venue of the next meeting.

12. The name of the person taking the minutes.

Proposed by Simon Lydiard

Motion 25 – Business of the AGM

Disability Labour AGM motion.

Disability Labour recognises the need to improve the way Officers report to members, and to introduce the right for members to directly elect executive officers bringing us in line with Party procedures.

We therefore agree that section L(8) of the constitution be amended to:

(8) At the AGM:

(8a) The executive committee will present the report of Disability Labour’s work over the previous year. This must include a report from each officer.

(8b) The executive committee will present Disability Labour’s audited accounts for the previous year.

(8c) Motions for constitutional changes will be discussed and decisions about them made.

(8d) Officers and executive committee members for the next year will be elected by members.

(8e) Membership rates will be agreed.

Proposed by Simon Lydiard

Motion 26 – Executive Committee minutes

Disability Labour AGM motion.

To be properly accountable and democratic, Disability Labour recognises the need for meetings to be minuted fully and those minutes be up to a minimal standard.

We therefore agree that there should be an additional section H (8a) in our constitution as follows:

Executive committee minutes will include:

1. The date, time and physical venue of the meeting.

2. The name of the group.

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3. The names of those present and the names of those having made apologies for not attending. Should anyone be present for a section of the meeting only, the detail of which section they were present.

4. The items on the agenda.

5. The precise wording of any resolution together with the name of the proposer of the motion.

6. A summary of the discussion on each item of business.

7. Information on which the decision was based.

8. Who voted and how and if Chair used a casting vote

9. The action required

10. The names of the people who are responsible for implementing the decision.

11. The date, time and venue of the next meeting.

12. The name of the person taking the minutes.

Proposed by Simon Lydiard

Motion 27 – Regularity of AGMs

Disability Labour recognises the need for our Executive Committee to be more accountable, more regularly to members.

We therefore agree that section L(1) of our constitution should be amended to:

There must be an Annual General Meeting within fifteen months of the previous AGM.

Proposed by David Townsend

Motion 28 – Procedures at the AGM

Disability Labour recognises the need to improve our procedures at AGMs, making them accessible and more democratic.

We therefore agree the following should replace Section L(7) of the constitution:

(7) The quorum at the AGM is 10% of members or 30 members, whichever is higher.

(7a) A signer and a palantypist will be provided to ensure accessibility for deaf people. 18

(7b) Alternative formats including accessible pdfs, large print, Braille ready files and audio files of all papers tabled at the AGM will be made available.

(7c) All questions at the AGM will be discussed openly and the meeting will seek to find general agreement that everyone present can agree to.

(7d) If a consensus cannot be reached a vote will be taken and a decision will be made by a simple majority of members present. If the number of votes cast on each side is equal, the chair will have an additional casting vote.

Proposed by David Townsend

Minutes of the 2017 AGM.

Manchester Conference Centre

Saturday 1 April 2017  

1. Welcome

David Allen, Chair of Disability Labour, welcomed all members to the meeting and expressed his pleasure at the large turnout. He informed members that Debbie Abrahams MP will be giving the keynote speech later in the meeting.

Before the meeting begins, David asked for a minute silence for Janet Seymour Kirk, Councillor Paul Bull, Lesley McCollum, and Debbie Jolly, as well as all the comrades we have lost in the past year.

2. Executive Reports

2a. Chair

David said that the last year has been an eventful year for Disability Labour and raised that Reema Patel, Secretary, was unable to fulfil her role. He thanked Emma Meehan and Erin Mulhatton for their support.

He mentioned the successful fringe at Labour Party Conference, attended by Executive Officers and colleagues. He also raised the Disability Roadshow which have been very successful.

He also raised the issues that Wayne Blackburn, current Deputy Secretary, has had over the last few months following a house fire which had resulted in living in temporary accommodation and had a major impact on his ability to assist. He thanked Wayne for the work he had continued to do despite these issues.

2b. Treasurer

Sally Mulready presented her report. She mentioned the issue with the handover and stated that the accounts were in a mess.

An audit has been carried out on the accounts, which she has copies of and are available to members.

The total amount in account is currently £8957.

Sally raised the costly difficulties for some Executive members for travelling to EC meetings. It was agreed that these costs would be met by Disability Labour.

A number of questions and comments were posed from the floor:

  1. PA / Carers fares – can they be covered? No response received.
  2. A member was streaming the meeting for the benefit of members not at the meeting. After a discussion, a colleague suggested that for the next AGM we ensure that streaming services be available and this was agreed. Also responded that there would be a need to look at security.
  3. Any outstanding liabilities? Also proposes that the incoming Exec look at planning the next AGM in good time with all issues looked at. No response received.
  4. Asks if a group photo can be taken. The Chair agrees to having still photographs as long as members are happy to be on them.
  5. Needs to be more communication from the organisation.
  6. My Labour platform – how can that be harnessed to our advantage?

3. Motions

3a. Home Office Motion – proposed by Brian Aylward

“This AGM notes the fact, that the Home Office do not collate and/or records statistics regarding the number of Asylum Seekers and refugees who are disabled and deaf.

Furthermore, this AGM notes the difficulties that can arise when there is not such collating and recording as it may affect the ability of the authorities and statutory agencies both to provide appropriate support and assistance to asylum seekers and refugees who are disabled and deaf and to adequately plan for such provision.

In addition, this AGM notes that the only information that is out there regarding asylum seekers and refugees who are disabled and deaf is information provided by academic research and information from NGO’s and voluntary organisations with official information from the authorities and statutory Agencies being extremely patchy.

This AGM furthermore notes with dismay, that there are no figures regarding those who are seeking asylum because of being persecuted and subject to discrimination because of being disabled in their country of origin.  This Disability Labour AGM considers this to be unacceptable in the extreme particularly in view of the Government’s obligations under EU Directive 2003/9.

Accordingly, This AGM wishes to acknowledge the excellent work done by the Hear Network and others on this matter and calls on the Home Office to commence the collating, recording and publication of statistics regarding the number of asylum seekers who are disabled and deaf.

Furthermore, this Disability Labour AGM mandates the incoming Disability Labour Executive to raise awareness of this issue and to seek to have this issue raised in Parliament both by Labour Peers and Labour MP’s as well as by the Shadow Home Office team.”

After a discussion, this motion was agreed to subject to a review of the language used.

3b. Funding Motion – proposed by Brian Aylward

“This AGM notes that Disability Labour does not have a fund to support Labour candidates running for elected office who are disabled and deaf.

We furthermore note, that LGBT Labour has the Christ Smith fund, which goes to support LGBT candidates who are running for the Party.

This Disability Labour AGM calls on the incoming Disability Labour Executive to take steps to establish a fund to support Labour candidates who are disabled and deaf similar to the Chris Smith fund, which LGBT Labour have. “

This motion was passed to the Executive Committee for further discussion.

3c. Motion proposed by Emily Brothers

“This AGM believes that:

  • Disabled people are largely excluded from Labour Party involvement and are under represented in public office;
  • Reform is required, both culturally in how things are done and in practical terms by meeting the extra costs that disabled people incur when getting involved;
  • Labour needs to develop rights based approach to disability policy, shaped by the ‘social model’.

This AGM notes that:

  • Proportionate demographic estimates from EHRC suggest there should be 65 disabled MPs today, equating to 23 on the Labour benches – far from being achieved;
  • With the abolition of the Access to Elected Office Fund, Labour has not provided resources to support disabled people seeking selection or election.

This AGM resolves that DL should make representations to Labour’s NEC to:

  • Ensure Inclusion is encapsulated in Labour values and incorporated as a Duty within the Labour Party’s rules;
  • CLP Equality/Disability Officers are supported with the development of an Inclusion Guide and network to share best practice;
  • There is a designated place on the NEC to represent disabled people and that DL and LCMH are better represented on the NPF and other relevant bodies;
  • Collaborate on the findings from the NEC’s recent ‘Party Reform’ survey in order to breakdown cultural and practical barriers to participation, as well as taking affirmative action and providing selection and election;
  • Monitor diversity on NEC/NPF, CLP officers and those selected/elected;
  • Enable the NPF and DL to work together in order that disability issues are incorporated into the current Policy Review.”

This motion was approved unanimously.

3d. Labour Campaign for Mental Health Cooperation Motion – proposed by Wayne Blackburn.

“Further to decision of the Disability Labour National Executive on 29th October, Disability Labour confirms that there will be a co-opted place on the executive for a member of the Working Group of Labour Campaign for Mental Health to ensure that the two organisations are working together to fulfil mutual aims. “

This motion was approved unanimously.

3e. Administrator Motion – proposed by Wayne Blackburn

“In order to ensure that the administrative burden is lifted from the Executive and Secretarial position, Disability Labour commits to hiring an Administrator. The Administrator will be paid Living Wage and work half a day a week. The administrative will report to the Disability Labour Executive

We believe this is a crucial move to ensure that we have proper membership services.“

After discussion, this motion was remitted to the Executive Committee for further discussion.

3f. Regional Networks Motion – proposed by Emily Brothers.

“Disability Labour should establish regional networks to offer mutual support, share best practice and influence Labour regional policy. This would reduce travel inconvenience and costs.”

Subject to a small change, this motion was approved unanimously.

4. Election of Executive Committee Members

A ballot was held and the following members were elected to the Executive Committee for 2017/18.

David Allen, Louise Reecejones, Sally Mulready, Wayne Blackburn, Marsha de Cordova, Sam Margrave, Kirsten Hearn, Annie Galpin, Emily Brothers, Ellie Southwood, Carl Lewthwaite, Lesley Farrington, Trish Chester, Andy Thompson and Brian Aylward.

Officers were then elected at the brief Executive Committee meeting following the AGM as follows:

Chair Dave Allen

Vice Chair Marsha de Cordova and Sam Margrave

Secretary Louise Reecejones

Treasurer Sally Mulready

Deputy Secretary Brian Aylward

Minutes by Wayne Blackburn