by Anita Graafland
Howard, our newly elected Chair, says: “The fight to remain has been done and now we have to look towards rejoining, this is not going to be easy or quick but we must consolidate our supporters and fight one campaign at a time, holding the government to account and gradually bringing the UK closer to the EU.”
Apologies. Minutes. Election of officers. Officers’ reports. Constitution. Plan for 202122. AOB. Easy-peasy, you’d think, right? Work through the agenda, pass the constitution, elect the officers, deal with a couple of remarks, field a few questions and comments and, hey presto, AGM is in the bag.
Now for the inside view. Your Executive Team had been agonising over the annual general meeting for like, well as long as I’ve been on the team. It was going to be held last year, of course, but then we lurched from despondency about Brexit having actually happened to being caught out by Covid-19. And how were we going to organise this whole shebang online? We were only just getting used to meeting on Zoom. What possibilities did it offer? How would we deal with anyone wanting to put themselves forward as future officers, how did polls work? And shouldn’t we first write the new constitution to get ourselves a new set of rules to play by?
The last few months in the run-up to the actual AGM, we spent trial after test running through the order of events, discussing a whole range of scenarios, testing polls that we never used, talking about muting or not muting participants, worrying about not being able to host the 2,000 members that would surely all want to attend (in the end we had around 30, including the entire Exec) and spending, as our new chair at one point despairingly said, “Way more time discussing the intricacies of this bloody AGM than we ever have preparing a march or ‘dark op’!”
When the day of the AGM rolled around, we were all nervous, we’d worked so hard to get it right, but would the technology blow up in our faces, would we remember what to do? Of course, it went very smoothly and although we were a tad disappointed by the low numbers of people joining us, we’re happy it’s all done and dusted. Onwards and upwards to the 2022 AGM!
For a blow-by-blow account of what really transpired at Cornwall for Europe’s AGM on 11 March 2021, please check out our departing and incoming secretaries’ minutes of the meeting. You can request a copy from Sue Winter at firstname.lastname@example.org.