This year’s Delegates Assembly, including delegations from Oxford and Reading for the first time, voted on campaign goals for the Police & Crime Commissioners Assembly on 29th April (see PCC Campaign_2019-20 plan).
Hosted by St. Frideswide’s Church in Water Eaton, south Milton Keynes, the assembly was co-chaired by Rob Paton of MK Quakers and Hala Afify of Truby’s Garden Tea Room, and attended by 43 people from 11 Citizens:mk member institutions.
It was agreed to support the following four campaign goals and focus resources on the two which got the most votes (in brackets):
- Action on Climate Change, led by Kirsty Forshaw of MK Green Alliance: Commit to declaring a climate emergency across the Thames Valley Police Force, meeting quarterly with us to prepare and present your action plan at next year’s Citizens Accountability Assembly for going carbon neutral by 2030 (48).
- Police & Schools Together, led by Tony Berwick of Jubilee Wood Primary School: A Thames Valley Police contact and backup team attached to every school so that Headteachers can confidently expect communication throughout the school year and a shared understanding of local issues (40).
- Real Living Wage, led by Rukhsana Malik of MK Muslim Association: Apply Real Living Wage to every employee and contractor in Thames Valley Police (21).
- Misogyny As Hate Crime, led by Jane Whild of The Open University: Classify misogyny as a recordable hate crime within a year and publish quarterly sex disaggregated data for all hate crimes within 6 months (21).
In group evaluation immediately after the assembly, delegates in MK scored the event 8 out of 10; in Oxford, 7.5 out of 10.
- The venue was very good (much better than the Guildhall at Christ the Cornerstone, where MK’s Delegates Assemblies have been held previously).
- The campaign leaders had prepared well, with clear presentations and clear goals.
- Business was successfully completed to the satisfaction of most delegates.
- Turnout below usual ‘5 delegates per institution’ target and several MK institutions only had one delegate.
- Effective participation of Reading and Oxford.
- Technology not perfect. Difficult to read what was on the screen at times (text too small). Some hiccoughs in the communication with Oxford and Reading. Hard for speakers not being able to control their powerpoints.
- The voting was a bit confused. Would have been better if we’d known how the votes would be used before deciding on our scores.
- A delegate from one of the Catholic Churches had said she was uneasy about speaking on behalf of her organisation because she was there on her own and said she would vote mainly for the Green campaign, because the Pope had spoken out strongly on environmental issues. Someone then shouted out ‘and what has the Pope to say about misogyny”, to which there was some laughter – not in the spirit of how Citizens works.
- Partisan cheering and clapping by campaign teams also not in the spirt of how Citizens works.
Turnout pledged for the PCC Assembly was 185 as below:
|Church of Christ the Cornerstone||15|
|Jubilee Wood Primary School||12|
|MK Green Alliance||15|
|MK Muslim Association||5|
|MK Quaker Meeting||15|
|St. Augustine’s RC Church||5|
|St. Frideswide’s Church||15|
|St. Paul’s Catholic School||10|
|Truby’s Garden Tea Room||5|