Committee news

This page shows the minutes of our most recent committee meeting.

Friday 14 May 2021 (online)

Present: Rob Colwell (Chair), Richard C, Jane, David Patey (Treasurer), Sarah Patey (Secretary), Alan and Anthea

1. Meetings: frequency/format and content

Frequency & format

It was agreed that we would aim to have one meeting per month. Most would be online, with in-person meetings at least every 6 months.

Meetings to alternate between Mondays and Tuesdays, in order to allow for people’s other commitments.

Invite speakers / panels in order to raise the profile of the group and reach out to interested people from outside our ‘bubble’ who are pro-EU.


Focus on positive topics and positive experiences:

  • another ceilidh once restrictions have been lifted sufficiently
  • topics designed to re-build hope and confidence
  • possible speakers: David Allen Green? Gavin Esler? Clive Lewis?
    Does anyone have other suggestions and/or, ideally, contacts?

We need to build ourselves up so that once lockdowns are over and covid starts fading into the background, we’re ready with a narrative to address the non-covid issues that will inevitably arise.     

2. Funds

Some of these activities will require funding. David reports that we have over £1.7k in the bank at the moment.

It is possible to identify paying members of  Norfolk for Europe in the EM database. We’ve not asked for membership fees while we’ve been inactive during the last year or so, but we should think about doing so again soon.

Clarification: As a group we are affiliated to the European Movement, and we feature on their website as a ‘local group’ However, our funds are and will remain our own.

3. European Movement Action Day: Stories of Brexit

As at Saturday 3.30pm, 51 people in the Norfolk for Europe section of the European Movement database have signed up to take part in this on Friday 21 May. We contacted the dozen who had signed up by Monday 10 May. Information about the Action Day is coming out of head office very slowly.
Rob is planning a social media blitz on the Action Day, so please look out for his posts and share / repost / like / support.

4. Grassroots for Europe

We are affiliated to GfE as well as EM and March for Change.

Rob had attended a Zoom meeting on Wednesday, and has been asked to approach George Freeman MP to find out his current views on EFTA, which he promoted heavily during all the Brexit debates. Maybe invite GF to be a speaker at one of our meetings, if we promote it heavily in his constituency and do our best to ensure a constructive atmosphere.

5. Make Votes Matter

We can ask to feature on the MVM website as a member of the PR alliance. The only other group featured in this region is MVM Beccles. It was decided this was appropriate as we had recently taken the decision as a group to support and promote fair votes.

MVM has a wide appeal, including some groups that aren’t natural allies, e.g. Reform (formerly Brexit), but this is not unusual, and is not a major problem, in countries where fair votes are the norm.

MVM provide leaflet templates. Once we are able to campaign on the streets again, we may be able to draw in some who see the need for fairer votes and include them on our mailing lists.

Rob requested permission from the group to spend up to about £60 on 2 banners (1 for KL, 1, for Norwich) highlighting MVM but not Europe. The meeting agreed.

6. Progressive Alliance

A more nerdy aspect of fair votes, less suitable for street stalls.

Good news of progressive alliances being built in the region, in Cambridge and Milton Keynes. In Cambridge the mayoralty was won for progressives by a combination of Labour and LibDem votes. In Cambridgeshire Labour candidates stood down in 10 seats, which LD won, so that Tories lost overall control.

Compass news:

  • Local groups are being set up in our region, to provide a safe space outside tribal party groupings, and in due course constituency groups will be set up.
  • Compass are setting up infrastructure to enable groups to communicate internally without always having to go through HQ.
  • Clive Lewis due to address next Norfolk Compass meeting. Details will be circulated when available.

7. Social media

Our FB page is largely managed by Rob, and is hugely successful. It has 6k followers, and our posts during April were viewed by 35,000 different people. Our messages have been getting ‘out there’ in spite of the limitations of lockdown. Please like, share, etc.

8. Website

This is currently being updated and refreshed by Clive Mabey and David White.

The meeting closed at 7pm.