Woking Labour – back in business!

Woking Labour’s first general meeting since June took place on October 26th with a well-attended get-together for members and supporters. Because of issues surrounding the leadership election, ‘business’ meetings had been banned over the summer except for events such as fundraisers or, as in our case, the celebration of the election of our three Canalside councillors on May 5th.

The agenda had included a Hustings to select a candidate for the Surrey County Council elections on May 5th next year. The Hustings itself was cancelled because there was only one candidate to be considered, Mohammed Sakhawat Khan, and Labour Party rules state that under such circumstances it is not necessary to hold a card vote, provided that the Executive Committee proposes and seconds the candidate.

Sakhawat was also strongly endorsed by Councillors Mohammad Ali, Tahir Aziz and Ilyas Raja, who felt that he would make a valuable addition to the team in Woking. As a result, he has now been confirmed as our candidate to represent Labour in the Surrey County Council seat of Woking North in 2017.

Sakhawat then introduced himself and spoke to the meeting about important issues for the campaign. He is already known to many of us as a previous Chair of the party in 2006 and candidate in the 2005 Borough elections for Maybury and Sheerwater.

The meeting provided a good opportunity to broaden and strengthen the Executive Committee. Some valuable offers of help have come in following the resignation of four members of the EC including, sadly, the Chair Barry Faulkner, who resigned in August due to personal and work factors. In his letter to the EC, Barry regretted that he had been unable to devote the time necessary to the role of CLP and that it was most unlikely that this would change for the better in the future.

It is also with regret that Ian Greatorex has decided he is unable to continue as Secretary and Agent due to pressure of work. The EC is immensely grateful for his time and energy in helping us through what has been a difficult year.

It is hoped to resolve the vacant positions at the AGM, which has now been scheduled for February 15th. In the interim, the Exec will be meeting on Wednesday November 16th to elect an Acting Chair, Acting Secretary and Acting Agent to tide us over. Any member interested in taking on any of these challenge, please contact Liz Evans on 07906 697180.

The EC has proposed a number of other members for co-option onto the Committee, subject to ratification at the AGM:

Peter Ford : Executive Committee. Previous councillor for Old Woking and CLP Chair in 2004.
Sabir Hussain : Executive Committee. Woking Parliamentary Candidate at 2004 General Election.
Gary Griffiths : Executive Committee
Dan Conquer : Trade Union Liaison Organiser
Keith Pullen : Skills and Housing Organiser
Will Sellers : Ward Organiser for a key seat
Dom Tweed : Campaigns Organiser and Joint Youth Organiser
Conor Bakhuizen : Joint Youth Organiser

The AGM is the opportunity for anyone else too to stand for the Executive. Even if there isn’t a job going vacant, help is needed with policy and forward plans. It simply needs a proposer and seconder and to be agreed by the meeting.

Finally, a proposal to hold regular monthly meetings was agreed by an enthusiastic majority. To be called Members and Supporters Evenings, they will take place on the 3rd Wednesday of the month at 7.30pm whenever possible, starting in January. Each will feature a speaker on a topic of special interest.