Monthly meeting notes 3rd May 2014

SSC Monthly meeting: 03/05/2014. La Vida Café

Those present:

  1. Sarah and daughter Layla.
  2. Mike
  3. Paul
  4. Laura
  5. Wendy (note-taker)

Apologies from Joss, Andrew and Gary.

  1. Report on Conference.
  2. AGM.
  3. Sharing new space.
  4. Geographical Society paper.
  5. Podcast.

1. Report on conference.

Attendance was about 36. Participants came from Southampton; Birmingham; Manchester; Glasgow and Edinburgh. Laura commented that it was ‘wicked’. The conclusion was in the form of two questions, ‘What are we for and against?’, and, ‘What are we going to do?’ Many people gave diverse and interesting feedback at the conference, especially the workshop session in the afternoon, on creating something new in our workplaces and dissolving power structures from within.

East Coast Lincolnshire to set up a new group centred in Grimsby College, working alongside SSC.

The question of whether education is too specialised to be a commons activity arose, but this was resolved by critical feedback. Group work worked well and all participants undertook to send feedback back to the SSC about what they would want to debate at the next conference.

The dinner on Friday night was enjoyable and gave some members a chance to meet and exchange views before the conference, but the lunch on Saturday was deemed not so good as the price was high (£216.00) and the food not especially good. Coffee had to be chased up throughout lunch as well. Next conference we will provide the food ourselves and Wendy and Laura offered to team up to organise the food next time.

A committee is to be organised to begin preparing for the next conference, which is to be in approximately 6 months. The first job is to decide the date, after consultation with conference participants. To be arranged who is going to ‘lead’ on this. Wendy offered to make the initial contact with conference participants to field dates. The place of the conference to be decided following this.

2. AGM.

The next AGM is booked for the 24th May next at the racing ground community centre in Lincoln on Carholme Road. Cost of the booking is £63.00. Joss is looking at certain procedural aspects of the agenda, but the content is as follows:


  1. Review of the SSC values and principles, aims and purposes.
  2. SSC Imagination class/course, the way forward. Some suggestions included Marxist work; production of an alternative Secondary Curriculum; the development of a core project or course, and we may want to run an earlier course or aspects of it.
  3. Who is the course for? Keep it public?
  4. Incorporating a programme clearly defining work that can be communally learned.
  5. Laura expressed great interest in learning about the Steiner view of education, examining the different views and developing an understanding of it at a critical level. This idea met with general interest by the group and appears to be a good idea. Mike encouraged Laura to turn this into a research project for herself, supported by the group learning activities.

3. Sharing space:

Summer picnic on the Common was discussed, and all want to go ahead. Various headings for the picnic were put forward, but Sarah’s daughter Layla came up with the most pleasing, calling it, ‘Simply Sharing Culture’. Sarah also suggested that it incorporate a walk between the two commons. We need to organise a date for the event and it should be public. We will bring food and music, and will identify ways of advertising it. Will discuss ‘chalk graffiti’ with David at the chair painting party on May 11th next. The theme is ‘The Commons’ and the meaning of the common. Reading to include Peter Linebaugh, to be prepared by Mike.

A review of the Hub, Hcak space, and Abundant Earth as potential accommodation for the SSC in future, was decided. The Hub may be expensive. The question of our relationship to the Pathway was raised, as we don’t see much of the residents there. It was suggested that we spend an afternoon with the residents. David could talk to the organisers and see what could be done. But are we forcing something?

4. Geographical Society paper.

Mike to prepare a paper, but it was decided that the cost of attendance is prohibitive and that given that Gary is going to be there in any event, it was proposed that Gary present. Mike will ask if we can attend for free. No harm in asking.

5. Podcast

Wendy to press ahead with this and will contact Richard at the end of May to arrange a time.

David asked us to mention ‘Our Place Our Priorities’ and perhaps this is a better way for us to connect with the people of the Pathway.


Sadly, Paul said he was taking a step down from the SSC for a while, as he needs to spend time on his own work, and partly due to ill health. It was recognised that Paul will be very missed by the group, but it was stated that we do respect individual needs, and Paul will join us again from time to time. We all look forward to that. Paul will attend the picnic party.

Wendy asked Mike for contact information for the Manchester College assisting secondary schools to become co-operatives. Much appreciated.

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