The National Federation of 18 Plus Groups - Enquiries about 18 Plus
This year's ANC in Coventry was one of the biggest in years - the results of the National Restructuring Forum were under the spotlight, and with them the possible future shape of the National Federation.
After two days and a lot of weighty (and passionate) discussion, the NRF's proposals were accepted with one exception (changing the Federation's name). Overall it was a massive success for all concerned.
Excerpt from "Northern Lights" April/May 2003
ANC 2003 report
Its OK for delegates they only have to roll up Saturday Morning: not us Area Chairman, oh no. We have to be there on Friday, and so it is that Bekki, Martin Berry (Midland) and myself are the first to arrive at the Britannia Hotel midafternoon following a very long drive down. After decanting our belongings into our rooms, its off for a shopping expedition (sweets, alcohol etc the top tables no fun without some sweets!).
Fully laden, we return to meet the Office staff and ANC committee, who rope me into preparing the Delegate Packs, including making the badges with a piece of equipment almost as old as the Federation. We get there eventually, only braking one Swiss Army Knife in the process. By now the pull of food is too great, so a small gang of us set forth to enjoy the delights of the local Weatherspoons (great chilli) before coming back for social drinks (by now, a fair few have arrived), finally retiring about 12:30am.
Saturday breaks clear and sunny, but no rest for us breakfast, a pre-ANC NEC meeting, the first chance for the entire top table to get together and discuss the weekend, and then lunch with the Deputy Mayor. I know what youre thinking dull. . . wrong! Hes a really interesting fellow (from Barnsley) and we have a very pleasant meal discussing, well, everything. And then into the Conference Room and away we go.
After all the dry stuff (addresses etc) and election of tellers (thanks John), the fun starts when we decide to muck the agenda about. Put a simple proposal first, we think, that no-one will argue about boy, are we wrong! After TWO amendments (thanks Solihull and Thurrock) it finally passes
For 44 (89.8%), Against 2 (4.1%), Abstain 3 (6.1%),
and were thinking were going to be here until Tuesday at this rate! Still, we have to go for it, so its the biggie up next the Membership Structure, and surprise, surprise, after some very spirited debate, theres no amendments and a straight vote and it passes
For 42 (84%) Against 5 (10%) Abstain 3 (6%).
Next up is the name change again, an extremely lively debate (Banburys speech against the motion is both impassioned and well-thought), but when the vote comes, a bit of a surprise -
For 27 (55.1%) Against 21 (42.9%) Abstain 1 (2%),
the majority in favour, but it still fails thats democracy in action. The other motions are less problematical, although the debate on local references in Group names only passes after an amendment and some confusion
For 41 (83.7%) Against 6 (12.8%) Abstain 0,
deleting the 15-mile limit for Direct Membership also passes after some strong debate
For 40 (81.6%) Against 7 (14.3%) Abstain 2 (4.1%),
the voting in of National Officers at ANCs goes through quite easily
For 42 (85.7%) Against 4 (8.2%) Abstain 3 (6.1%),
and then its me luckily, no one can tell how nervous I am as I speak about including National Officers on the NEC. It doesnt seem to matter as it passes (almost too easily)
For 48 (98%) Against 0 Abstain 1 (2%).
Saturday Night, and we can finally relax, put our glad rags on, and enjoy the fruits of our success, along with a really excellent Dinner (the food is much better than previous years) before everyone begins the serious business of, well, drinking, while the Area Chairmen try to extract money off everyone for the Raffle, and Dot and Tina go collecting for Comic Relief (raising a serious load of money). The Disco goes on till 2am, the drinking (at £1.25 a pint) goes on till the bar shuts, and Bekki and I retire about 3am to recover.
Sunday is grey and misty, though for others its blurred and peppered with, What happened?, How much did I drink?, and for one Area Chairman, This isnt my bedroom (note not me!). Breakfast for many is leisurely, with Rice Crispies NOT on the menu. We eventually get under way with a lengthy discussion on Risk Assessments, and debates on one member one vote, buying a B&B, and terms of office. Bekki is then re-elected for a second term as National Chairman (who are the two votes against?) before the trophies are given out. I already know Rothwell have the Charities Trophy, so imagine my immense surprise when Northwich get the Gold Trail Trophy two trophies after not even getting a mention last year! And yes, North Thames and Chiltern do get an Ice Bucket for Best Area, as the actual trophy is in someones hall in deepest Essex.
And thats about it for the delegates at least, as the ANC closes and everyone makes their ways home. For me, its sitting in on the Midland Area AEC Meeting (yes, straight after the ANC, thats keen) while Bekki deals with a Midland Area matter. A McDonalds eventually follows this, before dropping Martin back in Halesowen, and then its the small matter of back up the M6 for us. Do you know what time we make it to Northwich? 12.30am, and Im working Monday morning still, no rest for the wicked!
Excerpt from "Northern Lights" April/May 2003
The Britannia Hotel is situated in the middle of Coventry, next to the Cathedral. The hotel has excellent conference facilities and is well used to hosting events such as our ANC. The hotel has 190 en-suite rooms.
There's plenty to do in Coventry to occupy your time before the Conference starts. Both the Cathedral and the National Motor Museum are within easy reach, as are the shops! For the more energetic, the sports centre is next door, offering swimming, badminton, squash and a gym. Within easy travelling distance are Cadbury World and Warwick Castle.
The National Facility for Debate allows for a wide range of topics to be discussed.
A minimum of one hour will be set aside during the Conference to discuss topics of National importance which have not been submitted as motions. Full and associate members (including the N.E.C.) may introduce topics, which must be notified to the Honorary General Secretary in advance of the debate. No single topic will last longer than thirty minutes and no single speaker will address the Conference for longer than five minutes. Each speaker may only raise a maximum of two topics.
The topics can be an 18 Plus issue or idea that your Group has. You may feel that you would like to get the Federation's opinion, which could lead to a motion the following year.
The theme for 2003 was 'Diamonds Are Forever'. Everyone dressed up as their favourite Bond character and there will be prizes for the best dressed man and woman.
The winners of the trophies awarded this year were:
Created by John A Smith on Monday March 31st 2003
18 Plus - The National
Federation of 18 Plus Groups
Enquiries about 18 Plus
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