Incorporating the Variety Artistes' Federation
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Yorkshire Ridings Branch Newsletter May '13

2 May 2013

Your Branch is Coming to Doncaster !

The next Branch Meeting will be a joint meeting with South Yorkshire Variety Branch in Doncaster. Kully Thiarai, Executive Director of Cast, Doncaster’s new performance venue will speak on ‘Artists as place makers’ - Building a cultural home for audiences and artists in Doncaster. Please come along on:

Monday 13 May

2.00 pm

Doncaster Community Arts
The Point, 16 South Parade, Doncaster, DN1 2DR

The copper clad Cast building, due to open later in 2013, will include a 600 seat theatre, a 200 seat or 400 standing flexible space, drama and dance studios, rooms that can be used for meetings, teaching or rehearsals and a café bar. We look forward to hearing more!

Nigel Jones, our Regional Organiser will also speak about how our branches can further the ‘My Theatre Matters’ campaign ( We will also consider motions supporting the Coalition of Resistance People’s Assembly and the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign (more about these inside).

For travel and parking information go to:


Your Branch Needs Money !

Your Branch Committee wants to fund the expenses for Committee member Yvonne Okyere-Whalley to attend Equity’s Annual Representative Conference in London as an observer later this month. We estimate these could be as much as £400. While half of this can be met from Equity’s national funding for branches, we need to raise the remaining £200 ourselves.

We hope to be able to obtain some sponsorship towards this. However, Branch members can help too. What ideas do you have for fund raising? Could you help organise a fund raising event for the Branch?

While we appreciate times are hard, would you be able to help by making a donation, however small, towards this? Donations would be gratefully received at Branch meetings. Alternatively cheques payable to ‘Yorkshire Ridings General Branch of Equity’ can be sent to the Secretary. If you would prefer to make a donation by Direct Bank Transfer, please contact the Secretary for the Branch’s bank details.

We hope you can help us to raise the necessary funds.


Coalition of Resistance People’s Assembly

The People’s Assembly Against Austerity will bring together campaigns against cuts and privatisation with trade unionists in a movement for social justice. The aim is to develop a strategy for resistance to mobilise millions of people against the government's austerity policies. The assembly will provide a national forum for anti-austerity views which, while increasingly popular, are barely represented in parliament.

The People’s Assembly Against Austerity takes place at Central Hall, Westminster, on 22 June. The joint meeting with South Yorkshire Variety Branch on Mon 13 May will be asked to pass a motion in support of the People’s Assembly. A copy of the motion can be seen at:


More Frequent Branch Meetings

In order to sustain members’ support for the Branch, the Committee has decided that Branch Meetings should take place approximately once every month in future as distinct from the previous approximately once every 2 months. While many of our Branch meetings will take place in Leeds, we will continue to arrange some meetings in other parts of the Yorkshire area. After the success of our first ever meeting in York last November, increasing the frequency of meetings will enable us to return there more often. In May, the Branch will again break new ground by meeting in Doncaster for the first time.

Sadly, less than ten members came to either of the last two Branch meetings. After two successful meetings in November and February, this is disappointing. It also meant that we were unable to submit an amendment to a 2013 Conference motion or take decisions on several other important matters. We want the Branch to earn your support and to be relevant to you. If you think we could do things better or differently, please, please tell us how.


Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign

The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign includes ex-miners, Trades Unionists, activists and others who are determined to get justice for miners who were victims of police lies and cover ups at Orgreave in June 1984. Yorkshire and Humberside Regional TUC passed a resolution supporting the Campaign in March. The joint meeting with South Yorkshire Variety Branch on Monday 13 May will be asked to pass a similar motion. A copy of the motion can be read at:

Please sign the Orgreave online peition, which needs 100,000 signatures to trigger a debate on Orgreave in Parliament: Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign web site:, Facebook page:


Dates for Future Branch Meetings:

June Meeting – details to be confirmed.

Saturday 13 July12 Noon - Branch Meeting at West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds.

Mon 2 Sept 2pm and Sat 7 September Midday - Informal Meetings and socials at West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds.


Branch Resources:

The Standard Agenda for Branch Meetings can be read at A copy of the Standard Agenda can be downloaded at

To read the minutes of past Branch Meetings, go to and click on Documents. Minutes of Branch Meetings since Nov 2012 are now available. You will need to log in to the Equity Web site with your membership number and your password before the Minutes can be downloaded. Notes of the April 2013 meeting will be available soon

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A Large Print version of this Newsletter can be downloaded here 

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