Lesley Whittaker has contributed these comments on the National Executive of PEOPLE from its inception until 1975:

"The first were just four, Michael Benfield, Freda Sanders, Tony Whittaker and Lesley Whittaker.

We split the work so that Michael was responsible for Campaigns and Elections; Freda was National Treasurer; Tony was Chairman and I was the National Secretary.

We were from the very beginning keen to have branches which were independent, so they would have a Secretary and Treasurer as well as a Chairman and eventually someone to deal with elections. We took things through to the first Conference in 1974, so the initial travelling and recruiting was all down to us and then of course, the first general election."

At the first conference the National Executive Committee (NEC) was formally appointed with the following six members:

  • Chair - Tony Whittaker
  • Secretary - Clive Lord
  • Treasurer - Lesley Whittaker
  • Election Strategist - Michael Benfield
  • Policy - Peter Allen
  • Fundraising - Ben Percy-Davis

The original typewritten list of 1974-5 NEC members is available in the document library (click on the thumbnail image)

This team carried things forward until the following year when the formal change of name to Ecology Party was ratified and a new team was elected.

The Whittakers stood aside at that time as they were moving to Devon to take on a small-holding and had no time to remain actively involved. Clive Lord, and Michael Benfield remained actively involved.