Make your views count

All CSP members should be thinking of how they can influence the Society’s Annual Representatives Conference, regardless of whether they are attending the event.

That’s the message from one representative, who is calling for members to find out more about ARC and to get more involved. Iain Loughran, CSP north east regional steward, said members should have more input into ARC 2009 – to be held in Manchester on 25-26 February – in order to ensure its outcomes reflect the broadest spread of views and experiences. Representatives are nominated from delegate groups, which are: safety reps and stewards; clinical interest and occupational groups; and students and assistant members. Many members are therefore potentially eligible. However, those not attending can still influence the agenda by approaching their nearest delegate and letting them know their views on the topics on the agenda. Mr Loughran said delegates often found it hard to get debates going among their peers before the event and would welcome members approaching them. ‘It is happening, but not to the extent that it could be,’ he said. He believes it’s also delegates’ responsibility to canvass their colleagues’ views and encourage discussions of the subjects coming up for debate. The motions are published in Frontline a month before the conference and are also on iCSP, the Society’s interactive member networking website. Last year for the first time iCSP hosted an online discussion forum for the motions. This year the motions will be written in a more engaging language which, it is hoped, will do more to trigger debate. Summaries of the motions will also be emailed in batches to those registered with iCSP, with links to the full text, so that members can pick out and respond to the topics. For a second year running, members will be able to vote on the motions through iCSP, and for the first time, these results will be included in the delegate packs. While the iCSP votes will not be counted in the official proceedings on the floor at ARC itself, delegates will be able to use the information to inform their debate and their decision-making.
Louise Hunt

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