Report from Yorkshire CND’s Annual General Meeting

Report from Yorkshire CND’s Annual General Meeting


5.05 Dave Webb welcomes participants

5.10 – Discuss the minutes of last year’s AGM

5.20 – Treasurers’ Report

5.30 – Questions to workers’ reports

5.40 – Group reports

5.55 – Election of officers & co-ordinating group

6.00 – Increasing group interaction & involvement in strategy planning

6.15 – Look back at last year’s strategy goals – next strategy day

6.30 – End


Summary points:

    • Minutes of last AGM were approved.

Treasurer’s report

    • As a result of the Covid crisis and the inability to host public events and attend festivals, YCND faced a serious financial crisis earlier in the year. We managed however to curtail the worst of these losses through a combination of furlough, staffing readjustments, appeals and fundraising. The practical effect of all of this is that we have had less campaign time and we, hopefully temporarily, lost Cath to other work. We are now in a more stable financial situation though.

Questions to workers’ reports

    • Jonas (YCND worker) mentioned webinars and events he’d organised. He answered a question about the Peace & Craft Fair, saying it was absolutely right to organise online in lieu of the physical event, but it didn’t translate well online. He thanked workers and co-ord for support in strange job start.
    • Matt stressed that the Bradford 75 event showed that despite Covid and lockdown, there is still an appetite for street campaigning. He also mentioned that webinars provided YCND a greater opportunity to talk and discuss without travelling far. Matt also works a day a week for GCOMS
    • Richard Outram discussed his work trying to get local councillors individually pledging and voting as a council to support the TPNW. He also mentioned his work – which has now taken a national shape – in getting pledges in support of the TPNW from faith leaders across the country.

Group reports

    • Kathy Pitt from Calder Valley CND mentioned opening up a Greenham Common exhibition, but unfortunately because of Covid it was closed down. In order to allow people to see the exhibition, they made a video about it and this served as an inspiration for how they navigated lockdowns and Covid throughout the year. They subsequently made scores of videos. As well as this, they did actions for Hiroshima & Nagasaki, white poppy wreath laying, the TPNW, and NHS not Trident. They have also been working on Parish & Town council pledges.
    • Colin Archer mentioned that the highlight of the year for Leeds peace campaigners was getting the Leeds City Council to support the TPNW and ICAN Nuclear Ban Communities pledge. They managed to get a peace tree planted in honour of the TPNW as well as a UN flag hoisted from the City Council building. Leeds CND have hosted a number of online events to commemorate dates like the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. Their plan now is to prioritise divestment as a strategy.
    • Sylvia Boyes mentioned her work organising vigils until Covid spread. After March, her and other Keighley peace campaigners had been busy trying to get the Town Council to support the TPNW, as well as hosting a Hiroshima & Nagasaki vigil. They also had a UN flag raised from Keighley Town Hall in honour of the TPNW.
    • Lindis Percy from Menwith Hill Accountability Campaign (MHAC) mentioned that it has been difficult to do their usual activity because of Covid-19. They have been raising concerns about the behaviour of the military police. Dave Webb also discussed the research that is being undertaken on Menwith Hill. It is currently in the drafting process. There will have to be some thought paid to how some noise is made about this research and the subsequent report. Lindis also mentioned working with Alex Sobel in putting questions to Parliament.
    • Sylvia Boyes mentioned the importance of NukeWatch and the important work it does in tracking nuclear convoys.
    • Dave Knight and Grassington Peace group are pushing that they get pledges and resolutions in support of the TPNW from faith leaders and councillors. The group has also been working tirelessly around issues such as the NHS, the arms trade and Palestine.
    • Val from Sheffield Creative Action for Peace (SCrAP) mentioned their creative craft work in aid of the City of Sanctuary. Olivia Blake MP had become the third Sheffield MP to support the Nuclear Ban Pledge. Once Covid struck, SCrAP started meeting on Zoom. They did actions for the Build Back Better campaign, NHS not Trident, with XR Peace, and marking Hiroshima and Nagasaki day. SCrAP also commemorated Remembrance Day with white poppies, and crafted 50 pennants and hosted an online event to mark Ban Treaty Day. This received much press coverage and online sharing.

Election of officers & co-ordinating group

    • YCND is an Unincorporated Association, and Co-ord is the legal entity for the organisation. This means that Co-ord and its elected participants are responsible for legal deeds, insurance, contracts, etc. The elected co-ordinating group has however been in discussion about how to make Yorkshire CND more regionally diverse. In order to encourage the latter aim, and without people being compelled to attend to the administrative duties of YCND, Matt (YCND worker) proposed that we introduce regular regional strategy meetings that can involve as many people from across the region as possible without everybody having to attend the administrative duties of Co-ord as a legal entity.
    • Colin Archer affirmed this by making the point that the current Co-ord is too Leeds-centric and is too bogged down in administrative duties to discuss our broader campaigning work.
    • Dave Knight proposed that the Co-ord invite a representative from each group to a strategy meeting and get the ball rolling.
    • There were two new nominations to the Co-ord, the rest continued to stand and the Vice Chair Alasdair Beal stepped down. With these changes, the Co-ord was unanimously elected.
    • The AGM formally recognised Alasdair Beal’s contribution and thanked him for all that he has done for YCND and the cause of peace.

Elected Co-ordinating Group:

Chair: Dave Webb

Vice Chair: Catherine Bann

Treasurer: Hugh Hubbard

Colin Archer

Sylvia Boyes

Martha High

Johnathan Wallis

The AGM passed its condolences onto the family and friends of Frank McManus, Robert Blomfield and Jim Deegan who all passed away this last year. As well as being trenchant peace campaigners, all three lived full and active lives in their communities and beyond.