Thursday, September 11, 2008

Lessons for Local Party Secretaries: no. 7 - the Annual General Meeting

Once a year, the Secretary becomes core to the very being of the Local Party. Ironically, the only reason anyone will notice this is if you screw up. So, given that yesterday was the last date by which you could call an Annual General Meeting on 1 October, the first date on which one could be held, it is high time that we looked at planning your Annual General Meeting.

In England, the State Party provide a very useful CD which contains all of the information you need to fulfil your obligations (I'm not sure if the Scottish and Welsh Parties do likewise), including all of your report forms, model nomination forms and job descriptions. I got mine this morning, and very good it is too.

However, you need to set things up. Firstly, you need to agree a date, which must fall between 1 October and 30 November. Make sure that your key personnel (MP, PPC and Chair) can make it, and that a venue is available. Have you left yourself enough time to issue a calling notice (a minimum of twenty-one days)?

Excellent! Now you need a calling notice, which should include:

  • an agenda
  • a copy of the minutes of the last meeting
  • reports from the Chair, Treasurer and Membership Secretary
  • a report from your Conference Representatives
  • a report from your Council Group(s)
  • any constitutional amendments
  • a copy of the accounts for the preceding year
You may also want to invite a guest speaker. Most people tend to think in terms of an MP but, whilst they're very nice, why not try a Peer or, if you're in London, Scotland or Wales, one of the members of the devolved administrations? You'll also probably need a Returning Officer, who can be borrowed from a neighbouring Local Party, just in case you have any contested elections.

Alright, you've issued the paperwork. What about the meeting? Your task, should you wish to accept it, is to minute the meeting. It isn't actually that difficult a job, given that there is usually little in the way of debate, but it is important to make sure that you know who gets elected and, preferably, their contact details. I won't go into any more details on minuting, as you've already read that...

And that's about it. There's just one more lesson, and it is based on a personal theory of mine...


Martin said...


I don't think many local party secs read LD Blogs; can you knock the eight 'bits' into one document which I (and others) cold circulate to local party secretaries? I've half a dozen here in Cambs who would benefit from it.

Mark Valladares said...


Will do. If it helps anyone to do one of the Party's more unsung jobs, I'm delighted to be of assistance...

Martin said...

Please send me a copy on