"Unfortunately I must advise you that the Greater London Region Council AGM and other service group AGMs, scheduled for Wednesday 4 February 2009, have had to be postponed.
This arises due to the severe weather conditions that have developed, resulting in continued Met Office severe weather warnings, Transport for London advice about passengers’ safety, delegates facing difficulties with childcare due to school closures and mounting pressure on delegates from Health and Utilities Branches over time off in these conditions.
A number of branches have advised today that delegates are anticipating these difficulties will continue into Wednesday and will therefore be unable to attend.
It is not possible to guarantee the proper functioning or quoracy of these AGMs in these circumstances, and therefore it is with reluctance that they are postponed in the interests of safety of delegates and the democratic participation of Branches.
I would be grateful if you would advise your delegates as a matter of urgency.
Staff are already working on securing room bookings for rescheduled meetings as soon as is practicable, and it is hoped information can be circulated as soon as possible once the Regional Office has fully reopened."
This is not something about which there was any consultation with the Regional Committee. I note that the message does not say that this was a decision of the Regional Convenor.
Whereas when football matches are postponed through bad weather the pools panel come up with notional results, the UNISON Regional AGM will need to be reconvened so that delegates can elect the Regional lay leadership.
The Regional Rule Book indicates that delegates are entitled to a minimum of seven working days notice of the meeting date (which is in any case common sense if delegates are to negotiate time off work).
If we are to avoid half term (the week of 16 February) and also want to meet before the deadline for motions to National Delegate Conference (noon on Tuesday 24 February) it will be fairly tricky.
Whether Wednesday's forecast sleet necessitated this unprecedented step, it is done now. Branches will need to be alert to the possibility of having to substitute delegates for a new date.
Update on Tuesday morning – the news is now online officially.