Momentum Hackney 2017 AGM Report
Momentum Hackney AGM 2017
Date: Tuesday 31st October 2017
Venue: Yorkshire Grove Community Hall, 20 Gunster Road, London, N16 8HF
Meeting was chaired by Chrissie Tiller, who unfortunately informed the meeting that one of our guest speakers Ronan Bennett was unable to attend due to unforeseen commitments, he has promised to talk at a future meeting to be arranged.
Steve Tiller read out an email from Liz Davies, last year’s Hackney North CLP Engagement Officer, highlighting the successes of Momentum in the past year.
Members introduced themselves and mingled, as to provide a relaxed atmosphere for the remainder of the meeting.
Owen Jones had donated a personally signed Momentum T-shirt to be used by the local group for future fundraising initiative.
The Steering Committee Elections
Ali Dogan presented the Steering Committee Elections.
In August we had sent an email to local Momentum members inviting them to apply for roles on the new Momentum Hackney Steering Committee (MHSC).
Of the received applications, only one position was contested, the other positions had the exact number of applications for the particular roles advertised as being needed.
The outgoing MHSC had decided that in order to treat with fairness applicants who had fulfilled the application process within the set criteria, they should be presented to the AGM as the sole candidates for the role they had applied for and the AGM would be asked for objections and the applicants being ratified as elected if there were no objections.
In the contested position, the two applicants proposed a job share to which the AGM did not object to.
Some advertised positions on the MHSC had no applicants making their desire to stand known in the pre-advertised application process, despite multiple calls for applications. We opened up these roles to applicants from floor of the AGM, asking anyone who wanted to stand to do so. This worked out pretty well and quite entertaining, with no objections to any candidates and some proposed role shares, the new MHSC was ratified by the meeting.
Please see below the names of our elected Momentum Hackney Steering Committee.
- Co-Organiser – Alana Harkin
- Co-Organiser – Dawn Manners
- Data Manager – Ali Dogan
- Social Media Manager – Amy Hills-Fletcher
- Social Media Manager – Kyla Sarkey
- Hackney North CLP Engagement Officers – Alex Knox and Iwan Williams (Job Share)
- Hackney South CLP Engagement Officers – Stephen Hamer and Ruth Martin (Job Share)
- Community/Trade Union Engagement Officers – Ripon Ray
- Community/Trade Union Engagement Officers – Hilary Wainwright
- Event Organiser – Doug Holton and Steve Tiller (Job Share)
Phil Bates (Momentum Bristol)
Phil Bates from Momentum Bristol presented an inspirational picture of local context and lessons-learned since the inception of their local group of Momentum which stretches across 4 constituencies.
Their first meeting began with 120 and has grown to around 150–400. They break into circles, different themes are discussed, eg Housing, Health, Environment, Health, Social Justice. They have guest speakers, some beyond the political sphere – poets, artists, music, food and stalls are all regular features. Over time topics have broadened to include: digital world, film, music, creating videos, phone banking apps, musicians and producers sharing expertise, journalists/bloggers writing in their online forums – the movement is strengthening by engaging and drawing on each others knowledge.
A common objective was identified in the early days and has sustained: Is there something here for anyone who comes through the door to connect to, take away and build on?
Further lessons learnt over time:
– Action over bureaucracy, minimal structure, local autonomy is important, recommended. (Bristol has 12 elected organisers and frequently swap roles depending on the task at hand.)
– Create culture, network and community;
– People like to be part of bold, audacious success stories;
– Relentless positivism wins – forget cynicism;
– Role holders in different areas can really help each other. Reach out!
They don’t hold Momentum members only meetings, and encourage non members who are genuine Corbyn supporters to get involved. This attracts more people who want to be part of a like minded group but not committed in a rigid sense. Since opening up to non members many more people and organisations have become involved. Activist groups are encouraged to attend and members join campaigns such as Junior Doctors, anti-fracking, austerity cuts – all under the Momentum banner.
Leafleting and door knocking for Labour can attract hundreds of volunteers – coverage is fast, thorough and enjoyable.
Connection to Labour. Phil detailed how Momentum members had revived Labour branches, ward meetings, sometimes giving themselves to key roles like Branch Secretary, even Mayoral candidate in one case. Momentum have learn to appreciate and work with Labour structures that are in place. Predicts we will grow more and more, and need to, if we are to get a Labour government back in office.
The formal meeting concluded with a jolly old crowd mingling for a good while longer.