Monday, 4 April 2016

Post-AGM thoughts

CAMRA logo from 1972
The CAMRA National AGM in Liverpool is now over and done with. It was well-run in organisational terms, the credit for which goes to the many local CAMRA volunteers as well as the full-time staff. The AGM itself was, however, highly controversial; the main anger came from the belated realisation of the consequences of giving non-attending members a proxy vote to be exercised on their behalf by the chair. The end result is that several special resolutions which had been overwhelmingly rejected by the AGM were passed when the proxy votes were included. Bearing in mind that the special resolutions needed a 75% majority, this meant there was an unbridgeable gap between those voting in person and those by proxy. For info, the chair exercised the vote as the proxy voter indicated - for, against, or abstention - and not as he personally wanted, as some people had assumed. I've already heard mutterings that it's no longer worth turning up, and I suppose that if the only reason you turned up was to vote, that may be true. However, the weekend is more than that and, despite the grumblings, I fully expect most of the familiar faces to be in Bournemouth next year. I'll probably go.

Other than the debates, it was good to catch up with friends, some of whom I haven't seen for some time. One of the pleasures of being at the AGM is exploring new pubs in a different town, but as I live in Southport only 20 miles away, with a regular and (for me) free train service to Liverpool, I'm often in the city centre. We decided to go to the Baltic Fleet on Wapping, near the Albert Dock, which I haven't been to for nearly a year. This is Liverpool's only brewpub, and we were drinking one of the house beers, Summer (4.2%). It's a pleasant, pale beer, but with a fairly mild flavour, with subtle hops and citrus that don't "challenge" your taste buds. It's nice to sit, drink good beer and look out the Liverpool waterfront on a sunny day; there are worse ways of spending a Sunday afternoon.

11 comments:

  1. Whadya mean next year?

    Us retail CAMRA members are voting via "revitalization" to wind CAMRA up, sell off assets and pay out a one off final dividend.

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  2. How come you get free rail travel?

    I hadn't realised there had been such a bust-up, but that's inevitable if you open up the franchise.

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  3. Okay, CL: in the unlikely event that CAMRA still exists next year after your lot have plucked the carcase clean, I'll be there. Probably.

    In Merseyside, Curmudgeon, when you reach 60, you get a travel pass valid off-peak on buses, trains and ferries throughout Merseyside, plus trains only to Chester, Ormskirk and Ellesmere Port. It's a significant (but not the only) reason why I don't want Southport to be transferred into Lancashire.

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  4. Who subsidises free public transport travel in Merseyside, for the over 60’s? Here in Kent, we now have to wait until we reach 66 before we qualify for free, off-peak travel; and that’s buses only and NOT trains.

    ps. It’s quite amusing to learn that us arm-chair voters managed to upset the apple-cart, so how about giving us some details of the bust-up.

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  5. This is a very sore point. Not the bust up, but the free loading Merseysiders.

    Yours Jealously.

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    1. Perhaps we should term them the “Merseyside Moochers”, or the “Merseyside Mumpers”?

      A free-spending local authority using other people’s hard earned council tax to subsidise free public transport for the over-60’s? And I thought Derek Hatton had disappeared from local politics years ago.

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  6. And here was I thinking I was a local resident, income tax payer and council tax payer - so it's my money too. Do I detect a whiff of jealousy here?

    Under the last Labour government, national passes were issued to everyone over 60. They were valid in whichever country you lived in - England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales - but not across the whole UK. The Coalition government raised the age of the national pass to state pension age in England only, but everywhere else in the UK, people over 60 still have a free bus pass for their respective nation to this day.

    All Merseyside councils decided to continuing issuing a local pass at 60. It is the rest England that is out of step with Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Merseyside.

    For info: Hatton was on Liverpool City Council; this is an initiative by Merseyside which comprises Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral.

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    1. I am jealous, Nev, and also slightly miffed as to why the majority of over-60’s, in England should be discriminated against, compared to residents in the rest of the United Kingdom.

      When English taxes are being used to subsidise the residents of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, I am double miffed!

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    2. I take your point entirely, Paul. While I do like having my pass, I consider it extreme cowardice for the UK government to make savings in the UK budget by penalising English residents only. It is extremely unfair, and I bet many English residents don't realise it.

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  7. I admit to jealousy! As for the AGM, you missed the vital point that there was a chance to vote this down, following a proposal to adjourn the AGM, which, oddly, as the attendees had overwhelmingly rejected the proposals in the special resolutions, they promptly reversed that decision by voting against adjouirnment later on. It seems that very few in attendance actually understood what was going on.

    Sadly.

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    Replies
    1. You're right, and thanks for mentioning that. I was simply wondering into how much detail I should go, but that is a highly significant point. I agree entirely with your last sentence.

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