Minutes from general meeting 2nd May 2015

SSC minutes

Saturday, 02 May 2015

Present:  Sarah, Gracie, Joss, Mike, David, Stephen, Andrea, Peaceful, Laura

Apologies: Martha, Gerrard, Lucy, Andrew, Paul, Wendy

  1. Last meeting’s minutes
  1. Matters arising

London Met archivists can’t do date suggested.  Mike will email round to suggest alternative date.

  1. Plan for AGM  

Croft Street Community Centre booked, 11am-4pm


11am – business (look at constitution, business plan & financial report, discuss possible role for paid coordinator, agree what we will do this year to progress discussion around role of consensus and supporting new members, agree dates for new member welcome meetings);

12 noon – Bring & Share lunch;

1pm – Talks by Tony Jeffs,  Bob Cannell (Suma workers Coop), Andrew Jackson (Bishop Grosseteste);

Questions and discussion with speakers;

3:30pm – Reflect on implications for SSC.

Joss will record event and take minutes.

Mike will check that venue has a screen for Andrew Jackson’s presentation.

David will bring a projector.

Mike will send link to constitution for people to read beforehand and bring paper copies on the day.

Mike & Stephen will bring pens & flipchart.

Mike proposes Sarah as Chair for AGM, Joss seconded.

It was noted that we have three white men as speakers at AGM!  The women speakers we invited were unable to attend.   Peaceful suggested inviting Angela to speak.  Joss will email Angela to invite her to speak.

Members & Membership

Joss wrote a paper about SSC membership which was discussed and resulted in a working group. However, the working group has not yet met to develop better support for new members. We agreed to organise four meetings a year to welcome new members – dates and details to be agreed at AGM.

Statement of Values

Need to look at how we can deal with dis-census.  It was suggested we ask Bob Cannell about this at AGM.

Status & Role of monthly general meeting

We congratulated ourselves on being much better at organising our meetings, and increasing to twice-monthly meetings!

Andrew stood down as secretary.  Mike has taken this role over.  Need to record role & responsibilities of secretary in central place where new members can access it.

We had a discussion about how new members can get involved.

Business plan/statement doesn’t reflect SSC, and needs re-visiting.  Suggested to bring it to forthcoming Cooperative Governance workshop for discussion.

Childcare working group: we looked into it and we can do it! We need people to give advance notice of bringing a child to AGM so that we can make appropriate provision for them.

Curriculum design:  We agreed that we’re doing this much better now!

Accommodation:  Offered to join LincolnShare

  1. Paid Coordinator

Need to look at financial report to consider ability to pay a coordinator.  Add to agenda for AGM.

  1. SSC Independent Social Research Foundation Project

Joss has advertised it widely, to a few hundred people via email and also via twitter.  About 40 people have responded to say they would like to participate.

Mike & Joss working on June & July workshops (on Pedagogy and  Governance ) – soon to be finalised.

Funding will be used to enable experts to come who otherwise wouldn’t be able to.

Question over appropriate numbers – aim is to get a lot of work done in a day.

Ethics form went through – no problems.

Students For Cooperation invite us to hold a workshop at their National Meeting.

Request by a member for financial help to come to Workshops:

Should we use SSC funds to give Financial support to enable members to participate in workshops?  Agreed to invite donations for a solidarity fund – advertise before AGM.  Donate by paypal via website.

It’s an SSC project, but funding is via the university.  There is a conversation to be had around how the project relates to the direction of the SSC, and the (shifting) relationship between SSC and university.  Need to discuss in greater detail around how members can apply for funding.

  1. Report on Know How sessions

Final class next week; many sessions have been well attended; people have appreciated the structure; interesting to have each class focussed on a different person’s research – we’re all doing, or wanting to do, research.  Laura proposed a scheduled “emergent” session each month next term.

Curriculum Day – Sunday 26th July, midday-4pm at Mint Lane – Bring a picnic!

  1. London Met Archive & May Day Rooms – Mike continuing to arrange date for visit.
  1. Short courses/ scholarship workshops

Short courses on Marx & Marxism & Feminist Social Imagination in June/July  – to be advertised and people sign up.  Sarah will send out an email; David to share with Framework.

Darcy Leigh – Radical Higher Education & anti-colonial projects in the Canadian Arctic.  21st May, 7pm at Mint Lane.


Rent – Some emails haven’t got through to Stephen.  Stephen will email Mike so he can send an invoice.

Congratulations to Joss, who submitted his PhD this week!

Congratulations to Sarah who had her book published – celebrate Friday 26th June (Andrea to organise)

Sarah asked Gracie’s help to think of ways to make SSC meetings more fun for children.

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.