Saturday, December 10, 2011

The final (wipes tear from eye) report of the Regional Secretary

Since the last Executive Committee meeting, I have been concentrating on my legacy as your Regional Constitutional Monitor, sorry, Secretary.

To that end, I have revamped our website, enhancing its 'usability', making it more current and vibrant by linking it up to bloggers across the Region (and that includes you, if you blog). There is more that can be done with it, especially in terms of being a research resource, and I intend to spend more time on this over the coming months (Lloyd, I was going to mention the fact that, as you have been so kind in arranging a smooth transition, I was planning to stay on as, if you like, the mad aunt in the website attic).

I have also carried out a major reconstruction of our Constitution, providing a secure base for future Executive Committees to take the strategic view that I believe imperative for their work. The introduction of two-year terms for the Executive Committee is a first for a Regional Party, and I shall be an interested onlooker as its effects emerge.

I have also worked with both Lorna Dupré and Chris Williams, our gallant Regional Returning Officer, to deliver a set of elections that will, when finished, be rather more efficient than last year's. I should, at this point, say how much the Regional Party owes to Lorna, and to Chris, for the phenomenal amount of work they have put in, and to Tim Huggan and Ian Horner for contributing their time and energy to make sure that the ballot mailing went out as quickly as it did.

I have also successfully delivered the elections for Regional vacancies reserved for Parliamentarians and Principal Authority Councillors. In case you had missed these, the results were as follows;


There were no nominations forthcoming.


Regional Executive – Belinda Brooks-Gordon

Regional Policy Committee - Lucy Nethsingha, Andy Pellew and Anne Turrell

I probably did some other things, but they haven't come to mind as I've typed this report, so I'm guessing that they weren't interesting/important/life changing. If there was anything else that you particularly remember, do let me know – I'm getting older and my memory increasingly plays tricks on me. In fact, it reminds me of…

My other key roles have been to buttress the sanity of our Regional Chair (job done, I think), to liaise closely with our Vice Chair (that seems to have gone fairly well this year), and occasionally tell people that they can't possibly do that (I think that you'll find that Article 5, paragraph 3, sub-section iii is on my side here).

As an aside, I should note that the job of Regional Secretary in the East of England is a rather odd one, in that virtually all of the tasks defined by the Regional Constitution as the responsibility of the Secretary are currently carried out by our Regional Administrator. It does make the job rather more ethereal than actual, and can lead to a sense that one should do something if only to be seen to have something to do. Luckily, Lorna has done a superb job, often under quite trying circumstances, and I 'bequeath' her to my successor in the total confidence that the administration of the Regional Party is in the safest of hands.

Whilst I am thanking people, I should thank my fellow colleagues on the Regional Executive for their patience and good humour over the past two years. On being elected, I swore fealty until my Chair until death (it's a Regional Secretary thing, this being my second Region in which I've held the post). The fact that all five Officers saw fit to bow out at the same time should not be taken to indicate a 'Kool-Aid moment'…

Finally, you have not necessarily seen the last of this (actually not very) faceless bureaucrat. As the new Treasurer of the Suffolk County Co-ordinating Committee, I expect to find good reasons for keeping the incoming Regional Treasurer on his toes and to ensure that you all continue to provide good value for money. I'm sure that you will.

Mark Valladares
Creeting St Peter
9 December 2011 

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