NEC minutes for 9th July 2015

Thursday, 9 July, 2015 - 20:30
Cris Chesha (CC) - Party Leader
Sam Clark (SC) - Treasurer
David Elston (DE) - Deputy Leader
Rebecca Rae (RR) - Campaigns Officer
George Walkden (GW) - Nominating Officer
Steve Wilson
Jack Allnutt

Matters Arising

SC to send fundraiser links to CC.

Previous Campaigns Officer emails have been checked by SC - not much of significance found. Phil Cooke also found no existing email policy internally. When the new NEC "contract" is written up, it should perhaps include a clause about emails being party-related and thus retrievable by the party if the need arises.

Discussion about whether we need public liability insurance and whether we should be a limited company (or co-operative, or society, or...) Obstacles mainly financial, including solicitor (substantial costs) and process (£15-20). 

Phil Cooke has added incompatible organisations list to the website.

CC waiting to hear back from Archibald Sr about the Scottish printer, to be sent to Loz.

SC awaiting PO box answer, having sent documentation.


CC gave a welcome speech emphasizing our "chosen one" status (!) and our common interests: defending free speech and free thought, protecting the fabric of communication, making politics rational, justified, and fair, and opening culture to all. Also mentioned was the need to provide support for existing officers GW, SC, Steve and Jack, and to accelerate dissemination of their practical knowlege of running the party.

NEC structure, process and task assignment

SC would like a deputy, an accountant ideally. Wendy has been asked to put a call out. RR raised possibility of student placements/apprentice scheme. Some discussion of political implications.
Previous planning: New planning:

SC to chase Bilal on fundraising. RR and SC to get together to talk about apprenticeship roles.
Mark Chapman has been supporting GW already. Nominations role needs little support, but it has to be someone who has an eye for detail and has meticulous admin skills. GW to formally ask Mark Chapman if he would be willing to be deputy noms officer.

IT requirements: majority of tasks are automated. In interim, CC to offer support in responsive role.

~120 accounts not marked as member. Someone to check accounts once a month. Originally under Treasury. Useful roles: putting stuff into SAGE, doing membership.

Board should be encouraged to take on other roles in the party. Some already are. Blog posts and other content creation would be particularly welcomed at this stage. DE to attend next Board meeting to fish for volunteers.

Press and PR process

Stephen O is informally managing this at the moment. RR should check if he wants to continue helping out as it was originally an interim role. 

Press releases currently produced at high volume, but less new content. New methods of creating and targeting content discussed. Be more active in approaching the media to pitch new ideas.

Where does the output from the Press Team go? Nobody Knows... We need to look at the mailing list and figure out who's on it. People currently need to sign up to it and accept it, which is not normally how press lists work. JA pointed out that, historically, more press releases led to increased attention and more members, though it's not easy to measure. When press releases dried up, things otherwise went quiet. Ideally we should have criteria specified for when we do a press release and why.


CC initiated a Diversity Team to improve diversity within the party and set out processes, not least to show that we have a diversity problem and would like to do something about it. RR to head up team and look for other members. Youth Blog to be brought in as an example of good practice. When asked what we are doing about diversity, our response should be: "We're putting together a handbook" rather than "We have a team". SC to follow up with Reclaim about pursuing shared interests/getting young and marginalized people more engaged in politics.

Area Updates

Leader's Office

Interview printed today on Design Council blog. Informal leadership handover was carried out with Loz on Saturday and full handover on Monday. Blog post today. Asked to appear on Manchester TV channel for interview Tue/Wed next week - may be put off until a couple of weeks down the line if possible. Set of questions from IDG Connect - answered on Saturday so they can do a profile. Website updated to reflect new leadership.


There is still no money. RR to look at crowdfunder text once links received.


Election went fine. We had a problem with the members not being contacted by email. We dealt with it and we shouldn't have it again. We had problems with seconding, which was around the rules. GW to check election issues that arose (i: members not being contacted; ii: confusion about rules regarding seconding; iii: setup with RON) to ensure that they won't be issues in future.


There's a lot to be done. Probably going to do a lot separately. Want to catch up with individual teams. People to contact Steve to get access to web stats.

Jack A still registered as Deputy Campaigns.

RR requests a calendar of stuff for 6 months/a year.


  • EVERYONE - Look to push the fundraiser when it comes out (SC will let all know) - SC to send links to CC and RR.
  • CC to get Archibald Sr's printer sent to Loz
  • SC to get PO Box for party
  • SC to chase Bilal
  • RR and SC to get together to talk about apprenticeship roles
  • GW to formally ask Mark Chapman if he would be willing to be deputy nominations officer
  • DE to attend next Board meeting to fish for volunteers
  • RR to speak to Stephen O about press team
  • RR to head up diversity team and look for other members
  • SC to follow up with Reclaim
  • RR to email SC with list of places she found for apprenticeships/internships
  • RR to look at crowdfunder text once links received
  • DE to speak to board and ask them to open a pad so we can record board decisions in it (temp) until we have a wiki to do it
  • GW to check election issues that arose to ensure that they won't be issues in future
  • RR (and others?) to email Steve to get access to stats

Date of Next Meeting

Thursday 16th at 8.30

Any Other Urgent Business

SC asked who is Board Chair. Andrew Norton is still chair.

Jack A reported that privacy activist Caspar Bowden died today after a short battle with cancer. The NEC expressed their sadness at losing this active and valued campaigner.