2019 Annual General Meeting


This year’s AGM is to be held Saturday 8th June, 12.00 am at the Ryedale Community and Leisure Centre, Bowling Lane, Scarborough Road, Norton, MALTON, YO17 8EG

The draft agenda is currently:

12.00 Guest Speaker.  Labour Coast & Country.

12.45. Short break for refreshments/raffle

1.00. Annual General Meeting.

1. Minutes of the last AGM held on 9th June 2018. Approval and matters arising.

2. Annual Reports for 2017/18.

a. Progress of the Constituency Development Plan (attached).

b. Treasurer’s report.

c. Branch Reports.

3. Constituency Constitution. Ratification or amend. (It was suggested a few months back that we consider electronic voting at Constituency General Meetings. If this is to be progressed it would need to be agreed by the AGM as a rule change.)

4. Constituency Development Plan. Ratify or amend

5. Review of 2019 District Council Election campaigns, results & lessons.

6. Election of Executive Officers for 2018/2019. At least half should be women.

a. Chair.

b. Vice-chair.

c. Secretary.

d. Membership Secretary.

e. Treasurer.

f. Women’s Officer.

7. Election of Co-ordinators for 2018/19. At least half should be Women.

a. Campaign Co-ordinator.

b. Disability Officer.

c. Youth Officer.

d. Press Officer.

e. Social Media Co-ordinator.

f. Website Co-ordinator.

g. Political Education Co-ordinator.

h. Trade Union Liaison.

8. Election of two Auditors.

9. Branch Representatives on Executive Committee. One from Filey & Hunmanby and two each from Malton & Norton, North Ryedale and Vale of York.

10. Election of representatives on Local Policy Forums: North Yorkshire (6), Hambleton(?), Scarborough(?).

11. Election of Delegates to 2019 Annual Conference. Two ordinary delegates, at least one of whom must be a woman, and one Youth Delegate.

12. Parliamentary Candidate Selection. Update and ratification of Selection Committee; five places.

13. Resolutions, including for Annual Conference.

14. General Meetings Programme

Lecture Series: The History and Future of Socialism

The Vale of York branch is hosting a series of lectures on the history and future of socialism. The lectures will be delivered by one of our own members, Dr John Gibbins. This is an opportunity for the branch to come together to discuss what makes us believe what we do and why we behave the way that we do. Why are we socialists? What is it that attracts us to these ideas; where did these ideas come from and how did they develop? The meeting is open to all members and fellow lefties and will be advertised to the Thirsk and Malton CLP as well as York and Richmond CLPs. Please feel free to bring along anyone that you think will be interested.

John took a degree in Government and Economics at the University of London in 1966, gained an MA in Politics and Philosophy at Durham in 1968 and a PhD at Newcastle University later. His lifelong ambition has been to extend advantages from the few to the many, achieved most clearly with 25 years as a Tutor Counsellor with the Open University and as a lecturer and Principal Lecturer at the University of Teesside. He retired as the Director of Postgraduate Research at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, having worked on many national and international bodies including the ESF. He has published across the fields of politics, political theory, philosophy, ethics and history of ideas, including 3 books, has published many essays and articles in Journals, co-founded the international journal, Theory, Culture and Society (Sage), and is now a member of Wolfson College, Cambridge. His latest publication is an edited special edition of a journal on the role of Knowledge Networks (2019). John joined and has remained active in the Labour Party from 1978. You can find a full biography and more at www.johnrgibbins.co.uk

Session one – Socialism and its history

What is Socialism is the question for the first part of this session, and it covers: So what is socialism? What are our ideals, the unique value package? How and why are these ideals and socialism dismissed as extremist, immoral and dangerous? How can we engage in agonistic polemics and win?

The second part provides a short history of European Socialism to the Nineteenth Century: Plato’s Polis, Aristotle’s Political Animal, Cicero’s Republic; Beneficium and Feudalism, the Monastic and Christian Commonwealth, Guilds and the Commons, Thomas More’s Utopia, the Great Commonwealth, Milton, the Diggers and Levellers, Babeuf and the C18th rational ordering of things.

The Socialist Family in C19th- the very distinctive members: Utopians (Owen); Christians Socialists (Kingsley, Ruskin); Syndicalists (Fourier, Proudon, Morris); Anarcho-Socialists (Bakunin, Kropotkin); Communists (Marx and Engels); Guild Socialists (Cole, Laski); Cooperatives; Fabians (Webb’s), Democratic Socialists; Centralist Marxists; C20th – Social Democracy; Neo-Marxism (Gramsci and Hall) ; Socialist Feminists; Postmodernists (Lyotard, Leclau, Butler)

History of Socialism Lecture series

Where: Thirsk & Sowerby Institute, Flats Ln, Thirsk YO7 1LY, UK

When: Saturday 1st June at 1:00pm

John Gibbins Lectures

Session two – The History of the Labour Party

This session cover the History of the Labour Party: Workers International; Trade Unionization; Cooperative Society; Charity Organizations Society; Organizing the Leagues:-Women’s League; Scottish LP, Independent LP, Social Democratic Federation; Keir Hardie and the Labour Representative Committee 1890-1918

History of Socialism Lecture series

Where: Parish Rooms, Tanpit Lane, Easingwold, York YO61 3HD, UK

When: Saturday 15th June at 10:00am

Letter from Richard Corbett MEP

Dear All,

As you know, European elections will be contested on 23 May. They matter.

  • For however long we’re there, it’s important that Britain has good representatives to defend the interests of our constituents. 
  • This election is shaping up to be a battle for first place between Labour and Nigel Farage’s so-called “Brexit party” (which is not a party with members, but a private limited company set up by Farage that is refusing to reveal its sources of finance).  We cannot let a shady outfit of neo-liberals and racists win a nationwide election!
  • A strong contingent of Labour MEPs could make the Socialist Group the largest one in the European Parliament at a crucial time and just as it elects the next President of the European Commission.
  • Brexit itself will be an issue and we must underline that Labour opposes the bad deal the Tory government has negotiated and believes that if the government is so confident that it is a good deal, it “should not be afraid to put that deal to the public” (to quote our manifesto).  Brexit is turning out to be very different from what the Leave campaign promised and it is only right that the public have an opportunity to confirm that they want to go ahead with it – or not.

Richard Corbett

The Greens, LibDems and Change-UK are all seeking to take votes from Labour arguing that they are more clearly committed to stopping Brexit than we are. They know that, even in so-called “Leave” areas, most Labour voters are “Remainers”, and that public opinion is anyway shifting against Brexit. They already had some success with this in the local elections. But in reality, even with proportional representation, in a 6 member constituency like Yorkshire & Humber, the threshold for getting a single seat is too high for them to easily get one – meaning such votes are wasted in terms of seats and any voters switching from us to them would serve only to reduce Labour’s vote and risk giving an extra seat to the Brexit party.

As to the Tories, they own the Brexit shambles. Their incompetence, their divisions and their inability to deliver anything viable have made a bad situation worse. Meanwhile, the country’s critical problems – austerity, the state of the NHS, housing, crime, crumbling infrastructure, and much else, are neglected.

Labour has a good team of candidates. The list is:
– Richard Corbett 
– Eloise Todd
– Jawad Khan
– Jayne Allport
– Martin Mayer
– Alison Hume

Many of you will know that my colleague Linda McAvan has decided to stand down after many years of exemplary service as a hard working and respected MEP for our region. She will be much missed, but will be supporting us strongly.

You will receive an email from the regional party later today with further information about the election campaign, including details about free campaign leaflets and other materials available for your CLP.  

I look forward to joining you on the campaign trail!


Richard Corbett MEP

EU Election Campaign launch

Below is the full speech delivered at the EU Election Campaign launch by Jeremy Corbyn. 9thMay 2019

No one expected us to be holding these European elections but the government’s complete failure on Brexit means they are going ahead against a backdrop of division and frustration.

A vote for Labour is a vote to bring our divided country back together. Labour is the only party with a plan to unite our country to make it work for the many, not the few.

We will end austerity invest in our economy and our communities and raise wages and living standards.

Labour’s alternative plan for Brexit which protects jobs, living standards and communities would end the chaos caused by the Conservatives and let us focus on the other big issues facing our country.

It’s a real and credible plan that would allow the next Labour government to rebuild our manufacturing industries. And restore pride and prosperity to parts of our country that have been neglected for too long. That neglect was, I believe, a major reason behind the vote for Brexit in the first place.

Three years of botched negotiations between the Government and the European Union have left everyone frustrated. Over 17 million people voted to leave the European Union. As democratic socialists, we cannot ignore that.

We voted to trigger Article 50 in 2017 and promised to respect the referendum in our general election manifesto and again at our party conference last year. But we cannot respect the government’s shambolic handling of Brexit that has caused huge uncertainty for people, businesses and jobs.

When Theresa May became Prime Minister she didn’t consult either Parliament or the country. Brexit policy was announced through a series of speeches declared, never discussed.

What we got was three years of the Tories spending more time arguing with themselves than negotiating with Europe. What the Prime Minister finally cooked up led to the biggest government defeat in parliamentary history.

Jeremy Corbyn

It wasn’t until that damaging deal had been defeated three times and the Government had already missed its own deadline for leaving that the Prime Minister finally admitted she needed to compromise.

Labour agreed to talks because we believed it was the right thing to do to see if we could get a better deal in line with our plan and the needs of businesses and trade unions a deal that would see us leave the European Union but keep a close relationship with our major trading partners. So far in those talks, there has been no big offer, and the red lines remain.

It’s difficult negotiating with a disintegrating government with cabinet ministers jockeying for the succession, rather than working for an agreement. It’s in the country’s interests to try to get this sorted one way or another.

But we can never accept the government’s bad deal or a disastrous No Deal. So if we can’t get a sensible deal, along the lines of our alternative plan or a general election, Labour backs the option of a public vote.

I am very worried about how divided our society has become. Every week I go to a different part of the country to campaign to meet people and to listen. And over the last year, I’ve seen the divisions around Brexit grow.

In communities and families, there are real tensions. So how do we go forward? We could all retreat to our respective side of the argument and let bitterness drive us further apart.

We could allow ourselves to be defined only as ‘remainers’ or ‘leavers’ labels that meant nothing to us only a few years ago. But where would that take us? Who wants to live in a country stuck in this endless loop?

What’s needed is a bit of understanding. Understanding of why so many people felt so frustrated with the system that they voted to leave. And understanding of why so many others believe that staying in the EU is the only way to protect our open and diverse society.

Some people seem to look at the issue the wrong way around. They tend to think the first question is leave or remain as if either is an end in itself. I think they’re wrong.

The first question is what kind of society do we want to be? And on that people can find so much common ground.

Labour, and only Labour stands on that common ground in this election. That’s why we insist the real divide in our country is not how people voted in the EU referendum. The real divide is between the many and the few.

Whether you’re from Tottenham or Mansfield, Stockwell or Stoke here in Medway or Manchester so many of the problems you face are the same.

And while the government’s incompetence and divisions over Brexit have created this deadlock the injustices in our society are deepening. Those injustices aren’t to do with backstops, implementation periods and all that obscure jargon.

They’re about whether your children will go to a school that can afford the basics or one that has to send begging letters to parents. Whether your relatives will be treated quickly and safely on the NHS or wait in pain and distress for months.

Whether your parents will get a helping hand in old age or be left isolated and afraid. And whether we as a country can end the burning injustices in our society that Theresa May once talked of but did nothing about.

Austerity insecure work and low wages cause anger and disillusion. Some want to use that to stoke further division. But it wasn’t the EU that slashed public services to pay for tax cuts for the richest it was Tory governments.

It wasn’t nurses and teachers who crashed our economy it was the bankers and hedge funds. And it wasn’t immigrants who caused the biggest squeeze on wages since the Napoleonic Wars it was bad employers.

We need solutions, not scapegoats. When you blame your neighbour rather than the powerful for problems with the health system or for overcrowded classrooms or for a lack of housing you’re letting those responsible off the hook.

You haven’t trained a doctor or a nurse you haven’t opened a new school you haven’t built a house you haven’t secured a penny of extra investment. All you’ve done is fuel an atmosphere of division and nastiness.

It’s only by coming together and working together that we can improve people’s lives. Labour will stand up for all workers, black and white. And we will guarantee the rights of EU citizens and students in this country and British people who want to work and study in the EU.

We are internationalists to our core. So when we see the emboldened far right strutting its stuff across Europe and in this country too in the shape of UKIP and its hangers-on our response is to strengthen our ties with working class and progressive movements both at home and abroad.

The biggest issues facing us like tax avoidance and the power of multinational corporations are international issues that demand international solutions. And the biggest issue of all the climate and environment emergency that threatens everyone’s future cannot be averted by one country alone.

Climate breakdown air pollution and the frightening loss of species demand collaboration across borders. And I am proud that Labour led the way last week to make the UK parliament be the first in the world to declare an environment and climate emergency.

I hope our action sparks a wave of declarations of a climate emergency by parliaments and governments around the world. So we will always cooperate closely with our progressive allies in Europe and across the world.

These elections are also a chance to challenge the poison being peddled by the likes of Nigel Farage. He says Brexit is being blocked by the elite. It’s not true. The large majority of MPs have voted for a Brexit deal in one form or another.

The Brexit party is in fact the No Deal party. And for millions, No Deal would mean no jobs. An economic shock threatening entire industries. And here in Kent, turning the M20 into a permanent lorry park, causing massive disruption.

It would be an elite Brexit that would only work for the richest. Who wants to deregulate slash public services and rights at work still further. It would be a Donald Trump Brexit leaving us at the mercy of a reckless and bellicose US administration.

Nigel Farage’s Brexit is a Brexit for conspiracy theorists. For those who see Muslims and migrants or George Soros as the enemy. Only Labour can see off the Farage snake oil in this election. And stand by our country’s values of tolerance, openness and diversity.

It’s said that Labour is trying to offer something to everyone over Brexit. I make no apology for that. Labour will never be the party of the 52 per cent or of the 48 per cent.

We are the part of the great majority who reject the politics of smear and scapegoating. In favour of unity for social justice.

Other parties appeal to just one side of the Brexit debate because they aren’t really committed to taking on the tax dodgers the big polluters or the financial gamblers who crashed our economy a decade ago.

To transform our country and tackle injustice, inequality and the climate crisis we need to unite the overwhelming majority of people and take on the privileged and powerful.

Labour will address the inequalities that helped fuel the Brexit vote by investing in our communities and people ending austerity and creating a fairer society. And we will lead the fight against racism at home and across Europe wherever and however it arises.

It is Labour that wants to bring our country back together. So whether you voted leave or remain in 2016, I urge you to vote Labour the party that is determined to bring the many together and take on the entrenched power of the few.