Minutes for meeting 27th January 2014

Present: Phil, Allan, Maurice, Martin S., Amanda, David L. Apologies: Graham, Neil 

1.Treasurer's statement - Martin Elliot's donation of £25 is gratefully received by the group. Bank a/c £571.76 Petty cash £9.10 Total funds: £580.86 – with £25 going in and 2 x £20 (meeting room costs) still to go out. - Allan also has an invoice to submit for business cards and domain name costs.

2. Collection for meeting £6

3. CRESC conference feedback - The group reported that it was a good, informative event with lots of networking opportunities. We will feed in our policy ideas through Mandi at the debrief on 12th February.

4. CLES meeting feedback - A very positive meeting between Neil, Allan, Maurice and Phil. A number of areas to explore were discussed: economic regeneration during austerity, using media to push our joint agendas (a film? Animation?) and the civic economy for Manchester (a new vision with new metrics). Phil was invited to attend the Poverty Commission on 10th Feb.

5. NEF talk feedback - A good event which was well received and well attended. A good connection was made with James Meadway at NEF. Allan has been in contact with James regarding ideas for utilising rental retail space. James said this could lead to a research project.

6. TET supporters event feedback - An enjoyable and informative day in London. Opportunities to meet local groups from around the country. Three interesting presentations from Richard Wilkinson (what do we want? Is the pendulum swinging back?), Kate Pickett (the psycho-social aspects to inequality / their next book) and Danny Dorling (the UK housing market). - They are working towards a manifesto for the 2015 election and all contributions are welcome. - TET has expanded significantly due to new funding. Four full time staff now.

7. TUC event feedback - Phil was pleased with the presentation (heavily influenced by Maurice) he made to the main conference. The Spirit Level talk afterwards went well and we have been approached to give further talks as a result. A good connection made with Lynne Collins at the North West TUC. - Maurice noted that the delegates were mainly female and that there was a lack of confidence regarding the basics of economics. We need to encourage greater inquisitiveness and confidence in this area otherwise they will be steamrollered in the future. * Allan reminded Phil to contact John Clegg to see what has become of the trade union equality initiative which was agreed at the conference held at the Friends meeting house.

8. Update on event with Post-Crash Economics - Unfortunately the students at Mcr University are not interested. They have been getting too much heat from their department after the high profile media last year and they feel that an event on finance and fraud is too 'political'. - They suggested we contact the Challenging Orthodoxies Society, which we have (no reply) - Delaying the event is actually better for Ian Fraser, who wants to wait until at least April when his book is published. We will return to this event later in the year.

9. European elections hustings? - The group felt that we did not have the capacity to do one on our own. As such Maurice will contact Martin Rathfelder and Manchester Friends of the Earth to see if they are interested in a joint venture. - The TET election pledges were reviewed and Manid has undertaken to send them to all the election candidates in the north west and feedback on their responses. 10, Chester Quakers welfare reform workshop 10th Feb (7pm)? - The group does not feel that this is ''our issue'' and so we will decline their invitation. We will however inform Martin Rathfelder about it since he has an interest in welfare reform.

10. Joe Taylor's event 22nd March - Maurice and Allan will help if Phil cannot attend.

11. Policies for greater equality - The group have decided that policy ideas are to be submitted to Maurice by Monday 17th Feb for review at the meeting the following day. We can't afford to let this process drag on otherwise we will waste half the year. - Phil will send out the framework Maurice designed and members can submit ideas in their areas of interest, for consideration either by local decision makers or national actors. Members can go into as much detail as they wish.

12. Feedback on Phil's proposed plan for 2014. - Feedback was positive. With regard to the suggestion for a generic 'Equality for business' event, Allan suggested a more tailored approach for specific areas of business / specific groups. - Allan also suggested a membership drive in September.

AOB - Phil (and others welcome) will be giving a talk to Altrincham and Sale Labour and Co-operative party on Weds 19th February (7.30pm). The £35 speaker fee will be submitted to the group less travel costs. 

Mandi sent a request for a speaker from Withington constituency Labour party. Date TBC.

East Lancs and Burnley Equality group are having a launch meeting on Monday 10th February. Bill Kerry will be attending. As it stands it doesn't look like anyone from Equality NW can make it.

The Rad Stats group (statistics for progressive change) are having their conference on Saturday 8th March at the Mechanics Institute. The theme is ''Is Britain Pulling Apart?''. Cost £30 / £50 (unwaged / waged). Phil will attend if he is in the country.

Next meeting: Tuesday 18th February

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