Report of Annual General Meeting

This was held in Chesford Grange Hotel, Kenilworth (near Coventry) on October 11th and 12th. The Branch was represented by Christine McGiveron and Wilson Macdonald (Executive Council members), Cherry Dolan (delegate) and Michael Kirby (sponsored representative).

The AGM was opened at 14.00 by the Deputy Mayor of the town of Kenilworth, Alan Chalmers.

The new General Secretary, Sally Tsoukaris, gave her first AGM speech in presenting the annual report. Then the statement of accounts was moved by the National Treasurer, Mike Sparham, and adopted by the AGM. After these a certificate of merit was given to the outgoing General Secretary, Lisa Ray, in recognition of her work for CSPA.

Next, we moved onto motions concerning recruitment and retention. Motions A2 and A4 were carried. Motion 7 was narrowly remitted (25:14) back to the EC instructing them to reconsider their recruitment strategy. Motion 8 (concerning the same issue) was lost 7,959:10,915 on a card vote.

Following those, Motions A9 and A12 were remitted to the EC. Motions A10 and A11 were carried and Motion A13 was lost.

Guest speaker Angela Saunders from the Lifeboat Fund (the Civil Service charity which raises funds for the RNLI), told us about their current campaign to raise £18,000 each for lifeboat stations at Whitby, Tower (London), Blackpool and Stonehaven and also help for crews on Lake Tanzania in Kenya.

On Thursday, Stella Humphreys from the Cabinet Office gave a presentation on what’s happening regarding the McCloud remedy for pensions after 2015 and before 2022. The legislation to deal with this was put in place 1 October 2023 and those affected will receive remedial statements in the year commencing April 2024.

The next part of the agenda covered pensions and related matters. Motions A14 (state pension age), A15 (triple lock), A16 (over 80s payment and £10 Christmas bonus) and A19 (pension administrators) were all carried.

In the section on digital exclusion, motions A20 (GPS/smartphones), A21 (financial transactions via apps), A22 (car parking apps), and A23 (alternative services to digital) were all carried.

We then had a presentation about the Independent Age campaign to get a Commissioner for Older People in England and Scotland (Wales and Northern Ireland already have one).

Turning to Health and Social Care, motions A24 (national social care system for the UK), A25 (increased funding for social care and prompt provision of services), A27 (reablement services), A28 (effective unified policies on health and social care), A30 (publication/location of covid vaccine centres) were all carried. A29 (NHS waiting lists) was remitted to the EC.

All the motions under Transport – A31 (demise of bus/transport services), A32 (improvement of bus services), and A33 (e-scooters) were carried.

In the last section (General) 6 motions were carried – A34 (price increases greater than inflation by utility companies etc), A36 (improving funding/resources for public services), A37 (photo ID at elections), A39 (speedier rollout of banking hubs), A40 (publicise scams/frauds that occur), and A42 (instructions to Welsh Assembly on 4 specific issues). Motions A41 (artificial intelligence – proper protection) and A43 (EC to request BBC to retain SD broadcasts on Freesat) were remitted to the EC.

The AGM closed with a Vote of Thanks given by Les Priestley, EC member.      


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