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New Branch blood sought!

THE LONDON Freelance Branch meeting on Monday 10 January 2022 is our Annual General Meeting (AGM) at which LFB elects its Committee for the next year. We encourage full members of the Branch to consider standing for the Committee.

A show of hands at a London Freelance Branch meeting

Democracy in action at the 2018 Branch AGM, in the pre-Covid, pre-Zoom era.

At the time of writing, we expect this will be a face-to-face meeting at a venue yet to be determined. Watch the LFB meeting page for updates on the venue.

For the Committee posts that are up for election, and what they entail by way of commitment, see here. (Some posts are remunerated. See the link for details.)

While Committee posts are open to full members only, LFB now also elects at least one Student Representative - a student member of LFB attending Committee meetings as an observer, providing outreach to the Branch's numerous student members.

The Committee includes Members without Portfolio (also known as Members at Large) to take on tasks as they arise, which also present opportunities for new members of the Committee to gain experience before perhaps moving on to other posts.

As we begin to return to a "new normal" during 2022, we'll need Committee members to help in finding suitable venues for face-to-face meetings again, as well as possibly needing members with the skills to help make "hybrid meetings" work. These meetings would be part face-to-face and part virtual. The Committee is discussing having face-to-face meetings alternate with "Zoomers" for at least part of the year. We'll need volunteers on the Committee to help organise all this.

If you're hesitating, there may still be vacancies for Members Without Portfolio after the AGM, creating opportunities to stand for these posts at subsequent Branch meetings.

Job-shares in all posts are encouraged. This year there are several Branch officer posts that used to be job-shares or whose current post-holders are standing again, but in the hope that they will be joined in their post by a job-sharing co-pilot. In most cases, they'd be happy to continue taking on most of the work of the post, with their job-sharing co-pilot just offering a bit of support when needed.

Our current Chair, Matt Salusbury, does not plan to stand for the post again. He may be persuaded if a reliable candidate for a co-Chair can be found to share the workload, who's committed to staying in post throughout the year.

Current Membership and New Members' Secretary Phil Sutcliffe is putting himself up for re-election for next year, although some help sharing the post as a job-share would be much appreciated

We currently have one Welfare Officer, Tim Dawson. He is also on the Union's National Executive Committee. Tim has also been flying solo this year. Given the volume of requests for assistance in the post-furlough, post-SEISS aftermath of the pandemic, another Welfare Officer would be appreciated. Due to the very personal nature of a lot of issues about which members approach Welfare Officers for help, LFB has traditionally tried to have one female and one male Welfare Officer.

The current LFB Committee contacts are here. Feel free to get in touch with anyone on the Committee if you are thinking of standing and have questions. The LFB Christmas Party on Monday 13 December would be an opportunity to approach Committee members should you have questions.

If you are considering standing, please contact the Branch Secretary via the Committee contacts link above, or come along to the AGM in person (or the Zoom equivalent of "in person" should Covid circumstance still preclude actual in-person meetings.)

The Committee meets every third Monday of the month, currently via Zoom. In the event that Committee meetings become face-to-face again, the venue remains to be confirmed. It will probably in London WC1. Committee members can be reimbursed travel expenses for meetings.

We also need to elect two auditors to scrutinise LFB's annual accounts. These will not be current Committee members. One candidate has come forward already.

For Branch motions for the AGM, see here nearer the time. These may include proposals for amendments to LFB's Standing Orders (its constitution: the current one is here.)