Minutes North East People’s Assembly Coordinating Group Meeting Tuesday 12th November 2013

See minutes from previous meeting here.

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Chair Tony D

Minutes Tony P


Present: Matthew G, Steve, Pat, Malcolm G, Martin L, Mark T, Joan H, Fran P, Tony D, Tony P


Apologies: Alex S, Theresa E, Silive F Lilliana G

Ed W Sally C, Mark H


November 5th Bonfire of Austerity Protests


Feedback 5th of November was given, all present contributed, agreed that the event in Newcastle  was a great success and appreciation given for Mark T’s leadership.  Joan H gave feedback from North Tyneside PA regarding outside individuals attempts to undermine the protest with their own banners. Ideas about how we might assertively challenge this were discussed. Group agreed that we need to prepare to deal with disruptive influences in future.


Martin drew attention to problems relating to shouting about not paying tax outside of Marks and Spencer’s. It was agreed that more research and preparation was warranted in regard to future events.


Overall view was that the media coverage was a good as we might have hoped for. It was agreed our delegates propose a similar event on the national meeting on the 7th of December.


Steve reported from Middlesborough PA that events there on the 5th were also felt to be successful.  He reported back on events that included a ‘sing a long’ assembly in the shopping centre and a group entered a council meeting at the Town Hall to distribute leaflets.



Mark Steel Gig


The overall event was felt to be a successful night.  A financial breakdown of ticket sales against expenses was shared as follows.


Tickets sold:  £320


Gross Profit: made £1060


less expenses  £ 381


Total profit £ 679


The group wished to express special thanks to Sally Cooper and Joan Hewitt in recognition of their sterling work.


Discussed future similar events Matthew suggested an event production working group


Recent strike actions


In higher Education by NAPO  FBU and Probation Services


Next strike by higher education staff is planned for 03/12/13


Public consultations with the fire service were discussed and dates venues for local meeting.  The dates will be circulated through usual outlets.



Collective letters to the press 


Tony D raised a discussion re:  joint peoples assembly letters to press for example in opposition to recent proposals for cuts and closures.  Tony D will draft letter and agreed would circulate for added signatures


Other Matters


Pat discussed that she has a anti bedroom tax petition with 1000 signatures, the group discussed possible recipients for such a petition.


Martin raised that south tyneside council have underspent on their budget for  bedroom tax discretionary payments and felt this may be the same in other local councils which might be something we could promote access to. Pat raised her concerns that sometimes tenants have been know to be asked to agree to unacceptable terms to qualify for these payments such as stating they are willing to give up their property to the council. Further research needed to clarify policy on this matter.


Financial report


It was discussed that we spent £345 for flyers for Nov 5th this was more expense due to late printing, we could save money with better planning in future.


We currently have £400 left in the regional bank account.  Discussed issues around use of National PAA eventbrite site, which had led to some confusion regarding our available funds.


Tony Dowling agreed to chase up Unison Northern Region for a previously promised donation.


Spirit of 45 Film Tour


Ideas were shared regarding possible showings of the spirit of 45. Currently there are some plans for local PA group showings. There were differing views on a possible film showing in Newcastle and whether this would attract a large enough audience to cover costs of hiring a venue.  The use of Northern stage was discussed as a good venue for larger arts events and conferences and a positive relationship has developed.


Matthew and Mark have started a sub group to develop this idea and invited anyone interested to join this.


National meeting on 7th of December


We currently have 5 delegates attending from local groups from the North East region it was agreed that travel costs could be 50% funded by NEPA. It was suggested that Matthew attend on behalf of the Region.


Martin introduced a discussion that there might be potential issues of conflict between the role of the People’s assembly within University sites and the role of tradition trade union.


Tony Dowling raised the possibility of a further anti austerity march similar to that taking place last February in Newcastle.


Up and coming events


Matthew has agreed to attend the Stand Comedy Club’s `ask the activist’ spot on behalf of the North East peoples assembly.  Event to take place on Monday 25th November doors open 7pm Show starts at 8.30pm. Tickets £4 Concessions £2


Joan raised that The National Pensioner’s association also have an event organised for the New Year. Details to be clarified.


Next:  Meeting  provisionally booked for 5pm Tuesday 3rd December. To be confirmed following room booking.


About farmerg13

22, Media Production Graduate (Sunderland Uni) from Hebburn, South Tyneside. North East Peoples Assembly and Coalition of Resistance Media & Communications Officer. Active in Hebburn South Labour Party. Admin of this blog, opinionated is putting it mildly. NUFC fan. Follow me @farmerg13
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2 Responses to Minutes North East People’s Assembly Coordinating Group Meeting Tuesday 12th November 2013

  1. snapemedia says:

    ‘Matthew suggested an event production working group’

    I totally agree with this suggestion and would gladly become involved. Joan mentioned that someone at Northern Stage was interested in the People’s Assembly putting on events on one of the smaller stages?

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