Christmas party and AGM in Westminster
Thursday, December 7th, 2023
The Network’s AGM, with the added bonus of Christmas drinks, was held on the evening of Tuesday 5 December at Verian’s premises just a stone’s throw from the Palace of Westminster. Despite some public transport problems and the inevitable last-minute health issues, about 35 people attended and enjoyed a lively event with wine, savoury finger food and mince pies.
The serious business – the AGM itself – heard a report on the last year’s activities from Chairman Adam Phillips, a financial report from Treasurer Gill Wareing, and a preview of next year’s planned activities from Events Coordinator Jane Bain. Membership has risen substantially, Adam reported, thanks to intensive efforts managed by Jane A’Court, and this in turn has improved our financial position and attendance at the Spring and Autumn Lunches.
As far as the latter are concerned, we have been able to mitigate the massive rise in restaurant prices (up 40% in four years) with sponsorship from a number of companies, for which the Network is most grateful, but our members are still clearly concerned about affordability. Much of the discussion focused on this issue. Adam promised that the Steering Group takes the matter seriously and will look again at a number of measures suggested from the floor, which included differential pricing (by age, duration of membership, working status, alcohol consumption, for example) and additional sponsorship.
Once the formal business was concluded the party resumed and was enjoyed by all.
We are grateful to Verian (formerly Kantar Public) for the loan of their spacious premises in a central location, and to Gill Wareing, Jane Gwilliam and Jane Bain for their hard work in organising the event. Photos of the party and meeting can be viewed in the gallery.