UKIP WALES SECOND GRASSROOTS CONFERENCE
BUILTH WELLS – 21st JULY 2018
Introduction by Hugh Moelwyn Hughes,
Firstly: thank you all for coming to this second Grassroots Conference!
It’s a long way from the coast of North Wales, and so, those of you who have made this long journey are to be congratulated on your fortitude
Secondly: the fire exits are there —>>
And thirdly: we come to the point of this meeting, which is to restore democracy to UKIP in Wales.
On the 19th May 2018 we met here.
That was the first time in 5 years that ordinary UKIP members had met to discuss matters of mutual concern. We ran out of time, and that is why this second conference has been called to deal with unfinished business, namely the appointment of a Wales Committee.
A little background will set the scene:
In 1997 Clive Easton, Niall Warry and I helped to form the first democratic UKIP Wales Committee. We did not ask for anybody’s permission. We did it because it had to be done in order to further UKIP in Wales
I was its secretary for 15 years, but had to resign because if ill health. During that time the Committee organised all major elections to Westminster and the Welsh Assembly. Typically 5 or 6 volunteers would run the campaign. I was never one of them because I was not suited to it. But the volunteers acquitted themselves well, with little money, and all too few active supporters.
The 2011 Assembly Election was well funded after an appeal by Nigel Farage, and well organised by us so that UKIP members in each of the 5 D’Hondt Regions chose the list candidates and the order of preference. We narrowly missed getting David Rowlands elected in South Wales East.
Then the destructive interference began.
In the Autumn of 2011 the rule was changed to allow all members in Wales to vote on each of the 5 lists. Ignorance, incomprehension or sabotage or what? No one in Wales was consulted. It came back to haunt us in 2016.
In July 2013 (the date is the best as I can ascertain) Crowther attended the Annual General Meeting of the democratically elected Wales Committee and required that it be closed down. He replaced it with his Chairman-only scheme of governance.
It was conceived as a means of top-down control.
It deliberately excludes the talents of all other members.
It is barren, not because of the well meaning members involved, but because those well meaning members are trapped in a structure which is incapable of emancipating them and the rest of us.
Nothing has come of it.
He atomised the Party by requiring that if a County helped to form a Constituency Branch, that Branch would be so independent that details of its members would no longer be available to the County. The branches could no longer speak to each other.
Divide and Rule.
This Conference is a step on the way to overcoming the destructive Crowther method, by restoring democracy and the participation of grassroots members at all levels in Wales.
SUMMARY OF THE SECOND UKIP WALES GRASSROOTS CONFERENCE
21ST JULY 2018 – BUILTH WELLS
Hugh Moelwyn Hughes as convenor of the Conference welcomed those attending (see the the Introduction above).
The message from Gerard Batten was read to those attending.
Ian Williams presented the proposed structure for a Wales Committee and 5 Regional Groups, one in each of the 5 D’Hondt Regions. He proposed that a Wales Committee be approved comprising 3 representatives elected by each Region, the members so elected to elect a Chairman and other officers.
A secret ballot took place. The motion was approved by 33 votes, with 2 votes against.
The Meeting divided into 5 Regional groups, with the intention that each would in a secret ballot elect 3 of their members to the Wales Committee.
South Wales East elected Ian Williams, Stan Edwards and David Rowlands.
South Wales Central elected Liz Wilks and Andrew Abraham (there being no others present)
South Wales West elected Caroline Jones, Richard Pritchard and Stan Robinson
North Wales elected Warwick Nicholson, Cedric Lodge and Jeanette Bassford-Barton
Mid & West Wales decided to refer to their members before deciding on their representatives, but did not stand in the way of the others meeting to appoint officers.
Those elected as above met in a separate room to appoint Officers:
David John Rowlands was elected unanimously as Chairman
Warwick Nicholson was elected as Vice Chairman
Ian Williams was elected as Secretary
A member known to the Committee as a competent person will be approached to be Treasurer.
[Ed: an additional report and photos are going to be sent in.]