SSP National Conference

SSP National Conference will take place on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd
April in The Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline.

Resolutions for Conference should be returned by branches to me no
later than Tuesday 1st March.

Amendments, branch delegations and nominations for elected positions
should be returned no later than Tuesday 22nd March.

I attach details from SSP Constitution detailing Conference
arrangements, office bearers and Executive Committee members due for
election.

8. Executive Committee

(b)              To ensure gender balance for the directly elected
positions National Conference will elect seven women by STV and seven
men by STV.

9. National Conference

9.1              National Conference is the sovereign body of the SSP.
National Conference should take place within 13 months of the previous
annual conference. Between times, however, the elected National
Council should conduct the party’s affairs with the elected Executive
Committee and eight elected Regional Councils supporting it.

9.2 (a)              National policy is democratically decided by a
National Conference. SSP conferences are organised on a delegate basis
from branches with one delegate for every three branch members, to be
elected by branch consensus, or, in the event of a contest, by single
transferable vote. Branches are not entitled to mandate delegates to
National Conference.

(b)              Branch delegations to Conference are equally gender
balanced, through the use of reserved seats. If a branch is entitled
to an even number of delegates, 50% are reserved for women, and will
be left vacant if no women members are able to fill the place. If a
branch is entitled to an odd number of delegates, no more than 50% + 1
of the delegate places can be filled by men.

(c)              Branches are expected to ensure that their conference
delegates are up-to-date with their membership subscriptions.

(d)         Branches should provide a full list of members to the
Membership Secretary/National Secretary as soon as possible after a
conference has been called and certainly no later than the deadline
for motions.

(e)         National unions would be entitled to 1 delegate per 1,000
union members or part thereof to the SSP national conference – all
delegates must be individual SSP members. The union would determine
how best to democratically elect such delegates. Each delegate would
have one vote at SSP national conference.

(f)           Union branches, Trades Union Councils and stewards
committees would be entitled to 2 elected delegates – who must be
individual SSP members – to the SSP national conference. The union
would determine how best to democratically elect such delegates. Each
delegate would have one vote at SSP conference.

(g)              All party members are actively encouraged to attend
National Conference as visitors. Party visitors can participate in
debates (including to move a branch, network or platform/tendency
motion) but they will not have voting rights.

(h)              Non party visitors to National Conference can speak
if invited to by the Conference Arrangements Committee.

9.3 (a) SSP branches, national trade union affiliates, union branches,
Trades Union Councils and stewards committees can all send 2 motions
and 2 amendments to national conference.

(b)              The Executive Committee can send two motions to
National Conference in order to initiate debates on areas of key
strategic and political importance.

(c)              National Council can submit the proposals of sub
committees, working parties or standing committees, as amended by
National Council, to National Conference in the form of motions.

(d)              Sub committees or working parties established by
conference motion may be charged to submit proposals directly to
National Conference.

(e)               National Networks have the right to send two motions
and two amendments to National Conference.

(f)              The national structures of Scottish Socialist Youth
and the SSP’s student groups each have the right to submit one motion
and one amendment to National Conference.

(g)              A platform/tendency whose platform is registered with
the National Council has the right to send one motion and one
amendment to National Conference in its own name signed by 10 members
of the SSP.

9.4                Each national office bearers and spokespersons is
expected to submit a written report to National Conference on their
activities (including the implementation of any relevant decisions
made by the preceding conference), and on developments over the
previous year in their field of responsibility. Reports should not
seek to develop new policy and will not be voted on by conference.
Branches may submit questions about any aspect of the reports.

9.5              If a motion or amendment seeking to amend, delete or
add to any part of the Aims & Principles section of the constitution
is agreed by conference by less than two-thirds of votes cast, a full
debate on the motion/amendment will take place throughout the party. A
debate and a vote will take place on the motion/amendment at the next
National Conference (or at a Special Conference) at which a simple
majority of votes cast will be required to ratify the
motion/amendment.

9.6               Branches/Regional Councils have the right to
determine local/regional policy on local/regional matters within the
framework of national policy agreed by National Conference and
National Council.

10. Social and Cultural Activities

10.1               A Social & Cultural Co-ordinator will be elected
and seek volunteers to organise a range of social and cultural
activities including family-friendly and non-pub based activities.

11. Office Bearers and Spokespersons

11.1              National Conference elects all national office
bearers. Office bearers are responsible for processing the decisions
of National/Special Conferences and National Council. Office bearers
are as follows:
•        National Joint Spokespersons (one male, one female);
•        National Secretary (preparation of agendas, dealing with
external correspondence & communications, liaising with Regional
Secretaries, reporting to the Executive Committee and the National
Council on progress etc);
•        3 National Assistant Secretaries (one for Minutes, one for
Membership records and one for maintaining the Website);
•        2 National Co-Chairs (presiding over Executive Committee
Meetings, National Council meetings, conferences etc. To liaise with
Secretary over agendas for meetings etc);
•        National Press & Policy Co-ordinator;
•        National Treasurer (to keep details of party income and
expenditure, preparation of quarterly financial reports to be sent to
all Branch Secretaries, and presentation of audited accounts to
National Conference, fundraising etc.)
•        National Deputy Treasurer
•        1 National Trade Union Co-ordinator;
•        1 International Co-ordinator;
•        1 Student Co-ordinator;
•        1 Youth Organiser (elected by SSY Conference – see 12.1 (a)) ;
•        1 Magazine Editor;
•        1 Editor – Scottish Socialist Voice;
•        2 Auditors – to, in cooperation with National Treasurer,
audit national accounts for presentation at National Conference.
Auditor cannot be a member of the executive or finance committee.

11.2               Should a national office become vacant between
conferences, the National Council shall elect a member to the office.
During the interim, the EC may appoint a member to the office in an
acting capacity. Should a vacant National Office have a depute, the
depute officer shall fill the office.

11.3               The National Conference/Council can also elect
members as Party Spokespersons to communicate with the media on
specific topics (eg on the Environment, Employment etc). The Executive
Committee can appoint Spokespersons between National Council meetings
but the appointment can only be until the appointment is ratified or
not by the next National Council meeting.

11.4 (a)              All national and regional office bearers,
including members of national committees, have a four year limit to be
introduced on a staggered basis from 2008. If at the end of the four
year period there are no nominees to take over the post, the
incumbent(s) may stand for a further temporary rolling term of six
months, during which time a replacement should be actively sought and
training offered as required.

These will be introduced on a staggered basis from 2008, to avoid a
situation whereby all national office bearers and experienced EC
members stand down together in 2012:

i.  National office bearers four years from 2008
ii.  EC, committee members (national) and spokespersons/office bearers
four years from 2009
iii. Regional office bearers four years from 2010.

(b)              After the maximum time limit has been served
continuously, a one year ‘lie in’ period will apply before comrades
are eligible to stand for election at that level (i.e. national or
regional) again.

11.5              All national and regional office bearers, including
spokespersons/policy co-ordinators, should ensure that in public, they
follow party policy. If a member feels that this is not the case, they
should refer their complaint in the first instance to the National
Secretary.

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