The Citizens UK Council meeting on Thursday was very productive, in spite of the snow! We had a record turnout of leaders with all eleven chapters represented in some way. It was a challenging meeting (starting late, finishing early and a delayed lunch) but everyone was disciplined and we got through the agenda (mostly).

Tim was chairing the meeting (which was fun!)

From the MK perspective there are a couple of things to note:

a) Voting Age Campaign: We approved a campaign around lowering the voting age to 16. Some of our Secondary schools will be keen to get involved in this.

b) National Organising: We had presentations from the five National Organising teams: Fair Deal, Welcome not Hate, Refugees and Migrants, Mental Health, and Housing and Homelessness. There will be paper reports from the teams in the next two weeks and local chapters (like CitizensMK) will be asked to look at them. On June 29th there will be a national assembly at which we will be asked to vote to approve the national campaigns. We will also have a public action on one of the campaigns – probably refugees and migrants, since Council voted this as the top priority for this occasion.

c) Refugees and Migrants: The Refugees and Migrants campaign will probably be the focus of the June 29th action. Although Refugees Welcome is not a core campaign for Citizens MK this year, we did set up Refugees Welcome MK (which is now a CIO in its own right). Key themes are likely to be: 1) maintaining the levels of refugees welcome under VPRS and Community Sponsorship, 2) Cutting the costs of citizenship for children to cost price, c) ensuring that ESOL provision is available at local level.

It’s great to be involved in big national issues like these, and MK people are very involved!

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