Fifteen people attended Newcastle Momentum AGM (previously Tyne and Wear but for over 6 months now the 5 Tyne and Wear subgroups have all been launched and are meeting, though not all regularly)
The first part of the meeting was formal business and decisions. The second part of the meeting was a talk and slide show from Tony and Fran Pierre about their work to support refugees across Europe, specifically Syrian refugees in Greece.
The following decisions were made:
Ed to approach other in Tyneside for meetings every other month, jointly and planning meetings in between.
Motion 1: Campaigning against low pay and poverty
Momentum exists not just to support Corbyn’s leadership but to help win back the labour party to socialist politics and to make a difference for the working class.
Momentum in Newcastle should prioritise organising against poverty, low pay and inequality.
Newcastle has the busiest foodbanks in Europe, high levels of child poverty, facing a higher share of Tory cuts and a Labour council committed to bringing in the real Living Wage but not yet achieved.
Our region has some of the highest levels of unemployment, fuel poverty and poor housing.
Momentum should seek to campaign ourselves and with others including Labour and the unions to campaign on the following:
– for a Newcastle Needs a pay rise campaign for a £10 an hour minimum wage, as well as increases in benefits and state pensions
– for Newcastle Council to institute the full Living Wage foundation Living Wage for council and all contractors
– against fuel poverty and for public ownership energy companies
Momentum to develop some model motions for Labour and Trade Unions and coordinate with them joint campaigning and meetings on these themes. To coordinate in CLPs to win policy on these themes.
As well as model motions we will produce a briefing pack / notes for this campaign.
Other campaign priorities including NHS etc were agreed for future motions and initiatives.
It was agreed that the new Secretary would take a lead on this working with the other elected officers.
Motion 2: Organising in Momentum
Momentum in the last 12 months has failed to organise a national democratic conference and empower members to help decide its direction including vote on a constitution and structure.
The recent closing down of existing structures have ignored decisions and activity of local groups like Tyne and Wear and Northern Region.
Local groups are the heart of Momentum and regional organising at a local level has been important to help coordinate.
We believe Momentum should be a grassroots and bottom up organisation based on local groups, organising in local Labour Parties and and trade unions.
We support the call for a grassroots momentum national networking event called by local groups nationally and in this region. We agree to send representatives and encourage people to attend and offer to support running workshops at this event.
We also encourage members to attend the Momentum national event on 25 March
The following were agreed though some of the nominees were not present
Chair person (momentum contact 1): Jane Byrne – agreed
Chair person (momentum contact 2): Jamie Driscoll – agreed
Secretary/data manager: Ed Whitby – agreed
Social Media x 2 – Rachel McGrath – agreed (one other person to be sought)
Social Secretary – Rachel McGrath
Student and Youth Rep x 2 – Amy agreed (proposed that Ella and Benj might consider as well)
Treasurer: Lara continue until new person agreed (proposed Steve Fairfax need to ask him)
CLP engagement officers (Central x 2, East x 2 and North x 2) Jamie – North, Jane – East, Amy – West – will seek additional nominees for these roles during the year.
Regional delegate x 2 – Ed Whitby and Rachel Broadbent (Rachel offered to stand down and someone else could take her place, so will seek additional nominees at future meetings)
Following the discussion on refugees we agreed to seek to work more with Tony and Fran and consider how we could:
- Help joint initiatives in future
- Fundraise or share the call for funds wider
- Help with production of video materials using the photos shown to help share this message wider.