Annual General Meeting 2008

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Socialist Health Association – held at Wesley’s Chapel on Saturday March 8th 2008.

Present: Edward Coyle; Huw Davies; Seton During; Brian Fisher; Tom Fitzgerald; Tina Funnell; Mair Garside;  Vivien Giladi; Dianne Hayter; Derek Marcus; David Mattocks; Doug Naysmith; Lawrie Nerva; Ruby Nerva; Roy Oliver; Suresh Pushpananthan; Martin Rathfelder; Margaret Rees; Jane Roberts; Mike Roberts; Gavin Ross;  Rosemary Ross;  Anna Shah; Tom Smith; Nigel Spearing; Ali Syed; CP Thiagarayah; Paul Walker; Patrick Vernon.

Apologies for Absence: Lesley Pavitt, Dame June Clark, Alex Sobel, Cllr. Judy Foster, Sheila Jones, Mark Duman, Prof Mel Chevannes, Jean Gaffin, Christine Hay, Joy Mostyn, Sally Young, Cally Harrison, Dr Peter Mayer, Ged Taylor, Melanie Johnson, Sylvia Hikens, John Lipetz, Dr Neil Goulbourne, Chris Bain, Lewis Atkinson, Ged Taylor, Dr Jacky Chambers, Lesley Pavitt, Dr Julian Tudor Hart.

Members were sorry to learn that Sir Richard Knowles, former leader of Birmingham City Council, and one of our most distinguished members, died in February.

Prior to the formal business of the meeting, Mario Dunn – political advisor to the Secretary of State for Health addressed the meeting on a wide range of issues relating to government thinking on the present and future course of health and the health services. This item was conducted under Chatham House rules and the content is not minuted.

Minutes of AGM 2007: Correction: Item 3: The decease of Hiren Roy was announced. Otherwise accepted as true record.

Chair’s Report: Paul Walker was pleased that the focus of the SHA and, perhaps, the wider movement was shifting from being predominantly on health services to include the determinants of health. (At the end of the report, members moved a unanimous and heartfelt vote of thanks to the Chair for his energy, vision and hard work on behalf of the SHA)

Annual Performance Report – moved by the Director:

The Director believed that the influence of the SHA was growing and that members were increasingly wishing to do things as well as talk about things. He believed, however, that the general quality of the debate about Health within the Labour Party membership was low and that the SHA needed to consider ways of changing this. He put forward various ways of doing this eg becoming a kind of clearing house of ideas. One proposal was that Central Council should investigate the possibility of a residential weekend to clarify its short, medium and long term aims. This was agreed.

It was noted that a submission for the Health Policy Commission was required by June 10th – before the next meeting of the Council. The Executive would need to agree on the final contents of such a submission.

Treasurer’s Report: The Treasurer presented the report as attached.

Auditor’s Report: The Auditors reported themselves satisfied with the accounts albeit that there was a very minor discrepancy which – in itself – did not warrant further investigation. The accounts have been circulated.

Constitutional Amendment: Insert 6 (g)Central Council may grant Honorary Membership or Life Membership to persons who have contributed substantially to the work of the Association and remove from 6(c) the words: “, and may approve a special subscription for Life Membership.” This was agreed nem con.


Chair: Dr Brian Fisher was elected Chair following a ballot of members. He expressed his thanks to members and spoke – amongst other things – of the need to look beyond just the UK to international and global issues.

Treasurer: Gavin Ross
Central Council: Dr Clare Bambra, Derek Marcus, Dr Paul Walker, Tina Funnell, Dr Brian Fisher, David Pickersgill, Gavin Ross, Huw Davies, Mike Roberts, Dr Tom Smith, Dr David Joselin, Sally Young, Dr Doug Naysmith, Dianne Hayter, Dame Jane Roberts, Seton During, Melanie Johnson, Ged Taylor, Suresh Pushpananthan, Vivien Giladi, Dr Elizabeth Barrett

West Midlands have appointed Dr Neil Goulbourne, David Mattocks, and Chris Bain

London have appointed Patrick Vernon,Tom Fitzgerald,Huw Davies,& John Lipetz

Scotland have appointed Dr Ali Syed and Dave Watson

Wales have appointed Dr Eddie Coyle and Prof Tony Beddow

North East have appointed Lewis Atkinson

Unison has nominated Christine Durance. Amicus has nominated Barrie Brown

Vice Chairs (4): Tina Funnell, Brian Fisher, Mike Roberts, Patrick Vernon
Auditors (2): David Mattocks Tom Fitzgerald
Delegate to Labour Party Conference 2007: Brian Fisher Tom Smith Ali Syed
Labour Party Treasurer: no nomination
Labour Party Conference Arrangements Committee: Tina Funnell
Labour Party National Policy Forum (3): Martin Rathfelder
Delegate to Socialist Societies Executive: Huw Davies


NHS Alliance,
James Lind Alliance,
Patient Information Forum,
Drugs and Health Alliance,
Smokefree Action
Keep Our NHS Public

It was agreed that if any national association of LINks emerged we should investigate affiliation.

The resolution received from Declan Harte was ruled out of order since it was deemed not to be a resolution.

Minutes of Central Council of 5th January 2008:

  1. Correction: Dr Doug Naysmith was present at the meeting
  2. Matters Arising: The Director reported that Dr Neil Gouldbourne had volunteered to give evidence to Socialist Societies Panel of MPs on March 26th. It was agreed that in future, such volunteer arrangements – with no implication critical of Dr Gouldbourne – would be subject to ratification by the Executive if no Central Council were due before any deadline for receipt of SHA nomination(s).

Future Meetings: Dates agreed except for Manchester meeting of 20th September. Change of date and location required because of clash with LP Conference.

The meeting concluded at 15.10.