Minutes of Branch meeting 20 February 2019

Please find below a copy of the minutes of the meeting of 20 February 2019.

Our next meeting will be held in Newent Library on Wednesday 20 March; we look forward to seeing you there.

Best wishes,

Chris Wooldridge, Branch Secretary

Minutes of Meeting: Wednesday 20 February 2019, Newent Library, 7:30 pm.


  1. Members present
  2. Apologies for absence
  3. Minutes of the last meeting, 16 January and actions arising.
  4. District Council Elections, May 2019: Ward Candidate Selections
  5. Discussion on Draft Climate Change Motion
  6. Chair’s report
  7. Treasurer’s report
  8. Annual National Conference, 21 September, Brighton: Nominations for 3 CLP delegates (main, woman, youth)
  9. DC election manifesto; other CLP business
  10. Any other business
  11. Date of Next Meeting: 20 March, 7:30, Newent Library



  1. Attendees (17)

Mary Francis (Chair); Chris Wooldridge (Secretary); Stephen Tweedie; David Slinger; Cherry Burrow; Eileen Anderton; Hazel Brookshaw; Jim Brookshaw; Michael Holmes; Dennis Richardson; Judith Mortimore; Ian Roberts; Christine Birkan (part-time).

CLP visitors and Executive Members: Bernie O’Neill (CLP Chair); Angela Sullivan (CLP Exec); Mel Farrant (CLP Exec); Toby Flitton (Cinderford and Mid Dean BLP and DC candidate for Huntley and Longhope).


  1. Apologies for Absence:

Jean Sampson, Anita Davies.


  1. Minutes of the last meeting (16 January 2019) and actions arising

Actions Arising:

  • Item 5, Treasurer’s report, to be discussed later.
  • Item 9, Climate Change motion, to be discussed later.
  • Item 11 District Council Elections, to be discussed later.
  • Item 11.4, CW to progress this action CW
  • Item 13, CW to progress this action CW


The minutes had been circulated electronically to all branch members. Those present agreed it was a true record and Mary Francis signed a copy to that effect.


  1. District Council Election/Ward Candidate Selections

The DC elections will be held on 2 May 2019 and this meeting assembled to select candidates for three of the Newent and District wards. Each candidate presented a short address which was followed by a quorate vote from members of the ward plus, if necessary, CLP executive members to make up the quorate. The results by a show of hands were:


Toby Flitton standing for Huntley and Longhope; 5 votes; selected as candidate.


Stephen Tweedie standing for Dymock; 6 votes; selected as candidate.


Jean Sampson standing for Newent and Taynton; in her absence, Jean’s address was read out by Mary; 12 votes; selected as candidate.


Secretary to confirm the results in writing with Judith Mortimore (CLP secretary)                              CW


  1. Discussion on Draft Climate Change Motion

Stephen Tweedie open discussions on the draft motion which, he explained had received general support from the CLP. Although the motion would not be voted on at this meeting, a show of hands confirmed unanimous support. The motion will be discussed at the CLP and could form a substantial climate change motion to be taken to this year’s annual conference at Brighton in September.

The following relevant comments on climate change were noted: the role of the media is vital in informing people of CC consequences. Labour Party can be proactive on this; local press is generally disappointing in this respect. All present were very supportive of the recent widely reported – although not always positive – school children’s ‘strike’ action. Current government policies not renewable-friendly: Green Investment Bank now in private hands, land-based wind turbines a no-no, fracking going ahead, new coal mine opening in Neath Port Talbot etc.  Answer? Vote Labour asap.


  1. Chair’s report

I’m happy to report that last December the Forest of Dean passed a motion declaring a, ‘climate emergency’, holding the council to becoming a carbon-neutral District by 2030. My thanks to everyone in our branch who helped to achieve this outcome.

Our Branch is proceeding with a Climate Change Motion. Our aim is, that the Motion be adopted by the Constituency Labour Party and taken to Conference,and ultimately become part of the next Labour Party Manifesto.

We are fortunate in having three excellent candidates standing for wards in our area in the May elections for the District Council:

Jean Sampson:Newent and Taynton; Stephen Tweedie: Dymock; Toby Flitton: Huntley and Longhope.

Finally, democracy is great, but it’s also expensive. All local campaigning funds for posters, leaflets etc. we have to raise ourselves, so please look out for our fundraising events and support them when you can.


Mary Francis

  1. Treasurer’s Report Action

ST confirmed that he has successfully opened a Unity Trust Bank account and closed the HSBC one. He thanked HB for her help during the last year. The meeting thanked Stephen and agreed we should be in friendlier banking territory with UTB.


  1. CLP Annual Conference Delegates Nominations, Brighton, 2019

The branch proposed Judith Mortimore (Women’s delegate) and Jim Brookshaw (Main delegate) CW to write to CLP secretary confirming choices.                                                             CW


  1. DC Election Manifesto

JM explained the very tight programme for approving the draft manifesto which requires comments to her by Monday 25 February. CW will send electronic copy to all members before the w/e with appropriate deadlines for comments. In addition members should send comments referring to particular local issues in their wards to CW asap.                                     CW

  1. Any Other Business

JM mentioned a general CLP meeting on Thursday 28, 7:00pm at Regents Hall to choose PPC selection candidates. The meeting will also be discussing climate change: all welcome.


  1. Date of Next Meeting

Wednesday 20 March, 7:30pm, Newent Library


The meeting ended at 9:15 pm and a collection was made raising £17:00

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