On Saturday 22nd August, the 5th Administration of Sikh Council UK organised a Sri Akhand Paath at Guru Nanak Gurdwara Smethwick for the chardikala of the Khalsa Panth and all Sikh institutions, including SCUK. President of Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Smethwick, Jaswinder Singh Banka and SCUK Secretary-General, Jatinder Singh addressed the Sangat at the bhog of Akhand Paath Sahib. Both speakers called for the formation of a collaborative and single SCUK to robustly serve the Panth.
Following this, SCUK held it’s 19th General Assembly Meeting for the first time via online video conference due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Provisions were also made for members to attend in person at GNG Smethwick. The Secretary-General determined the GA meeting as quorate with over 140 participants constituting of delegates from Gurdwaras and Sikh Organisations. Observers were welcomed from the professional community, media and wider Sikh community.
Preet Kaur Gill MP, herself a former executive committee member of SCUK, addressed the GA extending her appreciation towards the role of the present executive committee and their engagement with Gurdwaras and Sikh organisations. She highlighted the importance of political engagement by SCUK.
Secretary-General, Jatinder Singh gave an overview of achievements, endeavours and difficulties since the last GA (April 2019), including recent issues with the Board of Jathedars. In this respect, Sukhvinder Singh, Administrative Secretary of SCUK provided members with a timeline of communications between the EC and Board of Jathedars.
Sukhjeevan Singh, Spokesperson SCUK provided a concise overview of expenditure by the current administration. This totalled to £3,722.18. The main costs related to supporting the community during the early stages of the COVID 19 pandemic. The GA resolved that the expenditure should be reimbursed to individuals and organisations that had undertaken this cost.
The General Assembly approved the following special resolutions with consensus:
- Membership Fees:General Assembly resolves that membership fees for the sixth administration (2020-2022) alone is to be suspended (free) due to the COVID19 Pandemic.
- Process for the selection of the next Executive Committee:A selection panel of Five Amritdhari Gursikhs has been appointed by the General Assembly that will select the next executive committee. This panel will be supported by Sukhjeevan Singh.
Panel Members: Pervinder Kaur (Birmingham), Mankamal Singh (London), Harnek Singh (Bradford), Mandeep Singh (Willenhall), 5. Harjeet Singh (Sunderland).
The panel is to appoint the 30-member executive committee, including the five office-bearers.
Nomination forms will be sent on 24th August 2020 and deadline for submitting nominations will be on the 12th September 2020.
Each Gurdwara or membership organisation will be able to make one nomination to the EC.
The selection panel will announce the 6th Administration of Sikh Council UK at the next General Assembly Meeting scheduled for the 26th September 2020.
- Changes to the Constitution:
The General Assembly directs the next EC to make all necessary changes to the constitution. The outgoing EC welcomes suggested comments/changes which will be given to the next EC. The EC MUST present the proposals before April 2021.
- Assets and Property:
The General Assembly resolves that all assets and property that belong to SCUK are held in the name of the five office bearers in trust for the duration of their tenure and transferred to any new office bearers.
- Expert Body:
The General Assembly resolves to develop an alliance of expert individuals to work with SCUK in the areas of their expertise which includes education, healthcare, safeguarding, funding, technology, sports, legal, security and dharmic affairs.
The Executive Committee is still open to dialogue with the Board of Jathedars despite dissident members, however, as clarified in the General Assembly, that excludes the ‘steering group’ as all dialogue must take place within the SCUK constitutional framework.
The Executive Committee of SCUK announced to the General Assembly that in the spirit of unity, humility and transparency they are willing to meet any Gurdwara Management Committees or Sikh Organisations to address any concerns. We urge all Gurdwaras and Sikh Organisations to complete membership forms as soon as possible.
Sikh Council UK