Local Green Priorities, New Officers, New Plans: What happened at our AGM

* Members decide local campaign priorities
* New officers elected
* Get involved!
It was great to see such a good turnout, including some of our newest members, at our AGM on the 20th of July.  The winning combination of food and political discussion made for a fantastic atmosphere, as officers delivered positive annual reports.

Sarah Finch talked about relationships built up with local media, with Councillor Jonathan Essex making regular appearances in both local press and radio.  Our social media following has also grown significantly, although there is more work we can do.  The AGM saw us elect two new members as Assistant Media Officers to help us spread the Green word.

IMG_20150720_213400Derek Smith gave a brief Treasurer’s report, our accounts showing great support during the election campaign.  Seeing our £500 deposit for the general election returned for the first time raised cheers and applause!

Jonathan Essex, County and Borough Councillor, gave the annual Chair’s report, including some of the events we’ve been involved with this year- our own quiz and comedy night, joining Mole Valley Greens at the Horse Hill drilling site walk and picnic, and our presence at national events such as the People’s March Against Austerity on the 20th of June.

Feeding back on the election, Jonathan noted that it would be easy to feel disheartened given the national result, but emphasised the significant achievements we made.  We stood more candidates than ever before in the local elections, and, although we did not manage to retain our council seat previously held by Sarah Finch with our keen new candidate Steve McKenna, we did increase our number of votes and came a close second to Conservatives, leaving the other Parties far behind.

IMG_20150720_212333AGMs are when officers are elected, and, as well as an expanded media team, we unanimously elected a new Secretary, Trevor Jones, and new Co-Chairs of Reigate & Banstead Green Party, Sarah Finch and Nicola Dodgson.  Jonathan Essex and Derek Smith have acted as Chair and Secretary respectively since 2011 – thanks to both of them for all their hard work over the last 4 years!  There are a number of other roles to fill to help us grow in the coming year, so if you were thinking of getting more involved with your local Greens, now is just the right time.  If you have skills to offer or want to get involved in other ways,  please get in touch by e-mailing info@rbgp.org.uk or using the links under this post!

Perhaps most importantly of all, we put direct democracy into action at this AGM, asking members to take on an interactive task to decide our campaign priorities for the coming year.  It was great to see such a range of ideas on both the most important local and national issues.  Reigate & Banstead Greens decided that local planning controls including housing issues, greenbelt incursion and inadequate transport planning, along with the risks of fracking and airport expansion, were The drawing boardthe most important local issues, whilst climate change and energy, opposing austerity and protecting our public services, and emphasising mutuality principles in our policy were the national issues which should take top priority in upcoming campaigns.

 Why not join us at one of the discussions and debates we are planning on these topics over the coming months, bring your ideas to one of our regular meetings, or volunteer to get involved?  We hope to see you soon!

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