This past weekend (5-7 April), CAMRA members travelled across the country to Dundee to debate a number of motions and elect the Campaign’s new board of directors.
Abigail Newton, known for steering the organisation’s Volunteer Committee, was elected CAMRA’s vice-chairman. She will be joining new national chairman Nik Antona in steering the direction of the campaign, with Jackie Parker and Ian Packham officially stepping down as chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, at the close of Conference.
In her address to members, Jackie reflected on CAMRA’s achievements under her tenure as chairman over the past year, including appointing a new chief executive and deputy chief executive, producing an equality and diversity policy and developing CAMRA’s Information, Education and Training programme. She also paid tribute to the Games and Collectables Committee, which has donated more than £1.3 million since 1991.
Jackie told members: “Let’s not forget that the name of our organisation is CAMRA: the Campaign for Real Ale, and let’s continue to do just that – campaign for pubs, real ale, cider and perry. It’s what we do best!”
Joining the national executive are four new members: Gary Timmins, Catherine Tonry, Hubert Gieschen and Jonathan Kemp. Nick Boley and Ian Garner were re-elected for a second term.
This was also the first CAMRA Members’ Weekend for Chief Executive Tom Stainer since beginning his new role in January 2019. Giving his first Campaigns Report, Tom looked towards the future of the organisation, saying: “Just as the beer landscape has changed, so has CAMRA, and so must it continue. Nowhere is this better reflected than in our campaigning.
“We should not be afraid of welcoming bold new thinking and new ideas. Your ideas are welcomed and they are encouraged. If you think CAMRA needs to change, it will only change with people like you involved.”
Members also debated a number of motions over the weekend, on topics including campaigning against large pub-owning companies converting pubs from tenanted to managed, campaigning for the introduction of Minimum Unit Pricing for England, and reducing the amount of single-use plastics used within CAMRA – all of which were carried.