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The Working Party
By: Bill Osborne
BEFORE a supporters trust can be created, it has to be established if there is a need for one, how much support it will receive and who will get it off the ground etc. That is the role of the working party.
Supporters Direct who have considerable experience in creating and assisting in the creation of trusts and will provide the finances and support in creating the trust will also assist the working party and they do in fact have a start-up kit for working parties.
However, Supporters Direct will only assist if the full democratic process is followed and that affects the creation of the working party.
The usual procedure is to call a public meeting of supporters using a great deal of publicity to bring as many people as possible to the meeting. Supporters Direct will also have a representative at the meeting to inform people of trusts and the proposal to create one for Grimsby Town.
It is at that meeting that people are elected to the working party. But there needs to be a group of people who are willing to serve previously to that and organise the meetings etc.
Therefore, although we are initiating the first moves, we cannot create a working party. We can only create a committee to take the first steps in the creation of the trust by promoting the concept, gaining support for it and organising a public meeting with the aim to have the principle of the trust accepted and appointing a working party to create it.
It would be hoped and indeed sensible if members of the organising committee who are willing to serve, be elected to the working party and experience has shown that is usually the outcome.
But the working party will not be the trust committee. Once the trust is formed a meeting is called to elect the directors. Again it makes sense if members of the working party where to join the board but that decision is made by the members.
So you can see that from day one that the full democratic process must be in place. A trust is one member one vote and protects the trust from being controlled by individuals.
I would also point out here that the working party should have a majority of local representatives on board. I, for example, would assist and provide a website if required, but as I live in Australia, it would be silly for me to try to take an active part in organising meetings etc. It really does require people in the community.
That does not rule out people who are not local. The working party will require a great number of different skills and people who live outside the area can provide those skills in say, publicity, PR, promotions and a host of other needs. But it is imperative that the people who organise the community involvement and meetings etc should be local. There will be numerous meetings and events and local people should be very much in control of those events.
One of the very first things needed is an address in Grimsby that can be used as a home base where mail can be sent and perhaps meetings can be held although meetings can be arranged anywhere. But the committee must have an address in Grimsby.
People who would like to assist and be a member of the organising committee should understand that the work is not easy and a commitment of time will be required.
The new message board on the Fishy for people to offer their services will also be useful in answering people's enquiries and providing information etc. Once the committee is in place a mailing list will be created for communicating with each other. I will also create a website for the committee if the committee wish me to do so but that is their decision not mine.
It is important to point out here that we are talking about people who have access to the internet. There are many people who would be willing to help and support who are not on the net so that is another reason why it is so important to have an address in Grimsby.
Every person should be given the opportunity to help or join and the committee's job will include making sure that opportunities apply to ALL supporters and not just those on the internet.
If you would like to help or have any comments or suggestions to make please either email me or post your message on the message board. Unless it is confidential information, please use the message board as this will allow everyone to see what is happening, it will also create attention and help bring in support and volunteers.
Nominations are therefore sought from people wishing to serve on the organising committee.
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