Political Party Conferences

Almost any membership organisational structure requires some form of Annual General Meeting (AGM) at which those running the organisation can report back to the members, agree accounts, and possibly be held to account.

In the case of a political party the AGM is often held as part of a Party Conference at which the membership have some degree of say over the policy and direction of the party.

When PEOPLE was founded in 1973 the founders were explicitly NOT trying to create a new political party, they were trying to create a 'movement' to fight elections. Lesley Whittaker discovered that you did not have to be a formal political party to contest elections with a common group name (this was changed by the 1998 Registration of Political Parties Act which specified that if a candidate was not standing for a registered party then he/she could only be described as "Independent").

Despite their best efforts PEOPLE was consistently referred to by the media as a "party", and by 1975 he gang of four bowed to the inevitable and the name was changed to the Ecology Party.

Although they initially eschewed having a formal constitution or an AGM, they did see the need for holding conferences at which the membership could engage with the running of the party.

There were various other earlier meetings and gatherings, for example the September 1972 London meeting organised by the ecologist for Movement for Survival and the public launch of PEOPLE in February 1973, but the first official conference of the political green movement in the UK was held by PEOPLE in June 1974 in Coventry.

In November 1975 the Ecology Party National Executive Committee (NEC) degreed that "a formal AGM to be held at each annual conference." thus effectively formally introducing annual conferences.

The 1979 Conference  held in September decided that a second annual conference primarily to discuss policy matters would be introduced in the Spring. Thus the pattern of two conferences each year was established - a spring conference to focus on policy and an autumn conference to be the AGM and hold elections for officers as well as debating and approving policy.

The Green 2000 Constitution in 1991 made provision for delegate conferences rather than all paid up members being entitled to attend and vote. This was overturned in 1999 and once again any member could turn up and vote.

A table of locations of conferences from 1974

  The venues for conferences during the 1990s have not yet been found - if you were there and remember where you were then let us know at the usual address - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Year Spring/Only Notes Autumn AGM Notes
1974 Coventry (June) 70 attended. First Manifesto ratified  
1975 Coventry (June) Name change agreed. First MfSS ratified  
1976 Sheffield  Only 27 attendees  
1977 Birmingham  Constitution ratified  
1978 Birmingham (Sept) 100 attendees  
1979 Keele (Sept) 200+ attended. London office agreed but elected leader rejected  
1980 Manchester (April) Policy Conference, also genesis of the Gatherings Cardiff  First autumn AGM
1982 Bridlington   Bridlington  
1984 Southport   Southport  
1985 Dover combined with Euro Green Congress Dover Name change to Green Party 
1986 Malvern      
1987 Newcastle   Aston  
1989     Wolverhampton  
1990    (also Coventry EGM on constitutional issues)    
1991     Wolverhampton adopted Green 2000 constitution 
1993       GPRC strategy doc approved
1998     Weston-super-mare  
1999 London   Southport  
2000 Scarborough   Weston-super-mare  
2001 Chesterfield   Salisbury  
2002 Scarborough   Lancaster  
2003 Llandrindod Wells      
2004     Weston-super-mare  
2005 Chesterfield   Lancaster  
2006 Scarborough   Hove  
2007 Swansea   Liverpool  
2008 Reading   SOAS London  First Leader Election
2009 Blackpool   Hove  
2010 Finchley London   Birmingham  
2011 Cardiff   Sheffield  
2012 Liverpool   Bristol  
2013 Nottingham   Brighton  
2014 Liverpool   Birmingham Aston University
2015 Liverpool   Bournemouth  
2016 Harrogate      
2017 Liverpool   Harrogate  
2018 Bournemouth   Bristol  



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