CCHQ Guidance on meetings etc during the Coronavirus shutdown

CCHQ Guidance on Association Meetings and Business during the current Government restrictions on movement. Updated- 17th April 2020

We are constantly reviewing our guidance to reflect Government advice and instructions and to take into account the continuing restrictions on movement. We appreciate that there are now many areas beyond the Party where “virtual” meetings are taking place, but these are either for purposes of entertainment or where urgent decision-making is necessary. At the moment there are very few aspects of the business of the Party that can be considered urgent and it continues to be unnecessary to hold any form of meetings, especially any that would require decisions to be taken by secret ballot. Our current advice is based on where we are at the moment after four weeks of restriction. We are, of course, looking at contingency plans.

AGMs The Board of the Party has said that AGMs should be held before the 30th June. If the restrictions continue and we approach the point where it would be necessary to issue a notice of the meetings, further advice will be given in good time.   (This does not affect our Association as we have already held our AGM).

EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEETINGS A reminder that in an emergency only, an Executive Council may meet by video conferencing or take decisions by email. This would be to fill a significant vacancy that had arisen by the resignation or death of a principal officer (Chairman or Deputy Chairman) or to take a decision over a matter of obvious urgency in the current circumstances e.g. an Executive having to decide whether to give their office tenants a rental holiday.

SELECTION OF CANDIDATES FOR FUTURE ELECTIONS We have continued to receive enquiries about using videoconferencing, email and other software to approve or select candidates. This remains non-urgent in the absence of campaigning or imminent elections. Whilst it is technically possible to conduct online ballots and indeed the Party does so to a very limited extent, there are issues about the transparency of the process and the required anonymity if numerous individuals are setting up ballots using free software. We are looking at opportunities to amend our processes, should the need arise, and we will keep you informed about this. In the meantime, there are numerous ways in which preparation for selections can be made. Those who will want to be considered could be asked to write personal statements, complete forms, learn more about the local area they seek to represent and the work of the Council. Also, more work can take place to increase the number of potential candidates.

OTHER MEETINGS A number of Associations are successfully using online meeting software to hold more informal gatherings for members including policy discussions, quizzes, and virtual “coffee mornings”. We are also introducing various initiatives such as training and other events which will be promoted in the weekly Organisation Bulletin

FURTHER ADVICE This will be given as the situation develops.  Members with ideas for creative events at this time are invited to let the Association Office know via email or phone.   Please see our magazine for contact details.