Dear comrades,

At its meeting on 23 July, the District Committee agreed the following arrangements for our District Congress.

The 4th District Congress will take place on the afternoon of Sunday 19 November 2017 in Exeter. The venue (opposite Exeter Central station) is:

The Burlington Suite

The Mercure Exeter Rougemont Hotel

Queen Street, Exeter EX4 3SP

This has been booked from 14.00 to 18.00, with the Congress taking place from 14.30 to 17.30. A short meeting of the newly- elected District Committee will take place at 17.30 to elect officers of the Committee and decide on the date of its next meeting. We urge branches to bring their branch banners to display around the room.

All delegates and visitors will be asked to ‘check in’ at a registration desk inside the Congress meeting room on arrival. A Congress pack (with a voting slip) will be available to each delegate at the desk. There will be a credentials check; the comrade responsible for this will be based at the registration desk.

Tea, coffee and biscuits will be available from 14.00 and throughout the Congress from a refreshments table immediately outside the Burlington Suite. The hotel charges £5 to park for the day but parking places cannot be reserved in advance. Free Wi-Fi is provided.

All CPB members of the District may attend the congress and are encouraged to do so.

Each branch may send a delegate for every three paid-up members. An extra delegate may be elected if, after dividing the branch membership by three, there is a remainder of two. In order to qualify as a delegate, a member must be fully paid-up to 30 September 2017.

CPB branch members who are not delegates may attend as consultative delegates. A consultative delegate may serve on Congress preparation committees, if any (none is currently planned), and speak at the Congress but they are not able to vote. Members of the outgoing District Committee who are not delegates may attend as consultative delegates.

Branches are asked to notify the District Secretary by no later than Saturday 4 November of the names of their full and consultative delegates. This is important for the confirmation of final arrangements with the hotel, preparation of documents, etc.

The General Secretary, Comrade Rob Griffiths, has agreed to attend and address the Congress. Other guests and visitors may be invited.

Resolutions and Amendments

The District Committee intends to submit a District resolution. In addition, each branch is invited to submit up to two resolutions of no more than 400 words each. Resolutions must be sent to the District Secretary in writing (by email if possible) no later than 22.00 on Saturday 7 October 2017. These branch and DC resolutions will then be circulated to branches to amend should they wish. Branches may submit up to two amendments of no more than 200 words. ‘Delete all’ amendments are not permitted. Branches may not amend their own resolutions. Amendments should be submitted to the District Secretary by Saturday 11 November.

Emergency resolutions of not more than 400 words, relating to circumstances that have substantially arisen after Saturday 7 October, may be submitted in writing to the District Secretary by 22.00 on Thursday 16 November. The text of any such resolution submitted will be distributed at Congress. Congress will decide whether or not to place the resolution on the agenda. Emergency resolutions may not be amended.

All resolutions must:

  • Conform to the Party’s programme, Britain’s Road to Socialism and its National Congress resolutions including the resolution of the 54th Congress, Block the Ruling Class Offensive and Win a Left-led Government

  • Conform to Party rules

  • Fall within the remit of the South-West England and Cornwall District of the CPB

  • Not risk placing the Party in legal jeopardy

  • Be competent and internally consistent.

The District Committee will be responsible for ensuring that submitted resolutions conform with the above.

The Agenda and Conduct of the Congress

The outgoing Chair of the District will chair the Congress, with the exception of the election of the incoming District Committee.

The agenda will be as follows:

  1. Welcome and opening remarks by the Chair. The Chair will also announce arrangements for photography during the Congress and for a group photograph.

  2. Apologies.

  3. Congress will stand in memory of comrades who have died since the last congress.

(Branches should notify the District Secretary by Friday 10 November of comrades to be mentioned by name and whether or not a comrade from the branch will say a few words in tribute. Any late notification can be given to the District Chair before the start of the congress.)

 

  1. Election of two tellers.

 

  1. Address by the General Secretary, Comrade Rob Griffiths.

 

  1. To approve the minutes of the Third District Congress of 18 October 2015.

 

  1. Matters arising from the minutes that do not appear elsewhere on the agenda.

 

  1. To receive a District Report of Work prepared by the retiring District Committee. (It is suggested that the District Chair collates contributions to cover all areas of Party work in the District since the third Congress. The Chair will suggest a timetable for receipt of contributions. The completed draft will be circulated by the District Secretary to members of the District Committee for approval and will then be circulated to branches/delegates no later than Sunday 4 November). Branch Secretaries are invited to submit branch reports, but this is optional.

 

  1. To receive the District Committee’s financial report.

 

  1. Resolutions

 

  1. Election of District Committee

11.1 To receive nominations

11.2 To determine the size of the District Committee

11.3 To elect the District Committee

  1. Collection for the Morning Star

 

  1. The Internationale (The words will be available).

5. Finance/Budget

Our Treasurer, Angela Hopkinson, has allocated £200 as a District contribution to the cost of Congress. In addition, a fee per full delegate of £10 will be charged. This will cover the central costs of the Congress (room hire, refreshments, and General Secretary’s expenses).

There will be no fee for consultative delegates, visitors and guests.

A pooled fare system will not operate and the travel costs of delegates and consultative delegates should be met by branches. The District Secretary should be informed as soon as possible if there are any difficulties concerning financial support.

Summary of dates:

Deadline for sending the DC’s report of work to branches: 4 November.

Deadline for submission of resolutions: 7 October, 22.00.

Deadline for notification of delegates; 4 November.

Deadline for amendments: 11 November.

Deadline for emergency resolutions: 16 November, 22.00.

Date of congress: 19 November.