Notes from our last meeting held on 10 June 2017. Our next meeting is on Saturday 22 July at 11:00 at the Yard café. This is down towards the end of Fisherton Street as far as North Street, then down to where it crosses East and West Streets, turn right and it’s on the right up a passage (signed). Or down Dews Rd and left and it’s on the left.
The group met at the Market Inn in Salisbury on Saturday 26 November and we had a useful meeting. We are still at the formation stage and do not exist in any legal sense. We hope to have a launch event in the spring of 2017 and we spent some time discussing that. We discussed the following:
- Setting up a bank account. We will enquire at a Salisbury Credit Union to see if they can help but it may be an issue of cheque books and so on.
- Some progress was reported with likely help from Compass nationally. They will help with the premises cost of a launch, public liability insurance if needed and some other costs which will be of great help. They use Eventbrite and this service could be used if we needed to
- We discussed having a membership fee and the idea was positively received but we did not decide on an exact level
- Fundraising and we will look into having a stall in the market next year
- A trip to Godalming in Surrey is possible next year to meet another group to see how they are getting on
- The Web site is up and running and the webmaster will alter the banner soon. Content welcome and comments and likes gratefully received. Setting up Facebook and Twitter pages to happen soon
- Democracy café discussed and we hope to do this in somewhere like the Arts Centre or the Community Centre in Bemerton. There was some debate about how to go about this and a small sub-group was set up to discuss and report back
- There was a brief report on the Progressive Alliance. Key word is ‘democracy’. Left Foot Forward was mentioned. One of the key objectives is stopping the undermining of democracy by the ‘first past the post’ electoral system.
- Launch. We will probably launch in March of 2017 and we will investigate speakers and venues over the coming weeks. It will probably be a weekday evening. We need to clarify the purpose of the launch (eg getting established; attracting members; raising profile). As noted above, we hope to get help from Compass itself with this.
- There was some discussion about practical action. The worry is that we become a talking shop and achieve little. This is in the context of first past the post electoral system effectively disenfranchises many people. How would we change this? Change would only come probably if we changed the actual voting system and had something like proportional representation. However, the opportunity for achieving this was not taken when the coalition government was formed and the chances for it now are slim.
- Finally, we discussed a formal structure. Do we do this before launching or after?