REPORT FROM TUSC STEERING COMMITTEE 24/02/16

IN ATTENDANCE: Sean Hone, Paul McDonnell, Lee Davison, Paul Shaw (RMT); Dave Nellist (Chair); Clive Heemskerk (National Agent); Paula Mitchell (SP); Pete McLaren (independent socialist); Charlie Kimber (SWP)

MAY 2016 ELECTIONS

a) Election Materials

A four page broadsheet outlining how TUSC councilors would oppose all cuts was approved. It was agreed to print 20,000 initially

b) Candidate Applications

National Agent Clive Heemskerk went through the circulated list of the first 82 Council candidate applications, one for Liverpool Lord Mayor and one regional list for the Welsh Assembly. He outlined how in each area Labour candidates had been sent the letter about supporting Needs Budgets, and, in every case, TUSC was only standing because Labour would make no such commitment. Charlie Kimber (SWP) asked for a further week for internal discussion as the list had only been circulated the previous night and members had not yet been consulted. He suggested it was important to check local circumstances given the situation post-Corbyn.

Following discussion, it was agreed:

§ To re-circulate the 84 applications with a deadline of 4pm on Wednesday 2nd March for any objections to be received. (NB – in the event, there were no objections and all 84 have been approved)

§ That if particular candidate applications are not accepted by a committee member they will be deferred for consideration at the next meeting of the SC on March 23rd.

§ That if no objections are received for a prospective candidature by the deadline it shall be deemed to be approved and posted on the TUSC website as an accepted application.

§ To avoid a bottleneck of applications at the March 23rd meeting, applications will be circulated on a weekly basis with the same procedure as above, namely that committee members will have a week to register an objection – so that the application is deferred to the next SC meeting – or, if there is no request for a deferment, the candidate is approved

TUSC PARTY ELECTION BROADCAST

It was reported that the ‘one-sixth’ threshold to qualify for a local party elections broadcast (PEB) is likely to be 457 seats (out of 2,742 councillors up for election), or 362 if calculated by wards that have elections. It was agreed to continue negotiations with the BBC but to establish a PEB sub-committee to begin the preparatory work, with representatives from the constituent organisations.

TUSC EU REFERENDUM CAMPAIGN

(i) The designation process and the TUSC petition campaign

Clive Heemskerk reported that, following the announcement of the referendum date as June 23, the Electoral

Commission (EC) is proposing to open applications for organisations to be considered as the official lead campaigns for Remain and Leave on March 4, with a March 31 deadline for applications to be received, and a designation decision for April 14. The two lead campaigns for either side will each be given a £600,000 grant, TV and radio broadcasts, Freepost for leaflets to every household worth £13m, free access to public rooms, and a higher spending limit of £7m compared to a limit of £700,000 for other campaigners. But if the EC makes no designation for one of the sides then the other side’s lead campaign will have just the advantage of a higher spending limit. This would give seven weeks for the initial TUSC EU referendum campaign, ‘Vote Against the EU, but don’t give taxpayers money to UKIP & Tories’, involving the petition to that effect and appropriate lobbying of the EC. A draft A4 leaflet to aid campaigning on the petition was agreed, and the next SC will discuss the date for a press conference, hosted at Unity House, and a lobby of the EC to hand in the petition.

(ii) Plans for the rest of the referendum period

Once the lead campaigns, if any, have been chosen by the EC, there will be ten weeks from that date (April 15) to the referendum. It was agreed to discuss TUSC campaign plans for that period at the next SC.

AMENDMENT TO THE ‘HOW TUSC FUNCTIONS’ RULE

An amendment to rule 3.(iv) on the approval of TUSC candidates and the consensus rule had been circulated before the meeting. The new rule was agreed, and now reads: “The SC will have the final say on all coalition seats and candidates. Once approved by the SC, a candidate will be issued with a Certificate of Authorisation which shall only be withdrawn if the SC agrees by a new consensus decision to withdraw its support”.

FINANCE

The finance report circulated to the meeting was agreed. It was agreed to discuss at the next SC what help could be given to those elections this year that have deposits – the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly elections and the Mayoral contests in Liverpool, Salford and Bristol

DATE OR NEXT SC MEETING – confirmed as Wednesday 23rd March, 4pm

Pete McLaren 08/03/16

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