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Horsham Liberal Democrats

Objectives of the English Party for 2019

October 6, 2019 11:01 PM
By Tahir Maher
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

This has undoubtedly been a great start to the year. Thanks go to all the local campaigners who over the years never gave up and continued to deliver Focuses, campaign and push the Lib Dem message in their communities. When the opportunity came following Tory mismanagement of Brexit, we were ready and prepared to secure gains in the local elections. Over seven hundred local council seats gained - fantastic!

The success in local elections was followed by the best MEP election results we have ever achieved - by having sixteen MEPs elected.

Recently, we have elected a new Leader - Jo Swinson - who I would like to congratulate and believe that she will take us to the next level (as they say). I would also like to thank Vince (a visionary) for all that he has done and is doing for the party. Moreover, all this has been done against the background of us consistently polling high with the electorate after many years.

My faith in the Lib Dems never wavered, and that's because our principles of equality, the individual, internationalism and opportunity (to name a few) was right and is still right going forward. The English Party is there to support these principles and support the English members who campaign on these values.

All this has helped the EP to focus on what they wanted to develop and start to deliver in 2019. These goals can be summarised as:

The three priorities are discussed in more detail below:

1. Campaigning

Objective:

Gain an additional 2500 councillors in England over the next four years (to May 2023).

Where Are We?

At the start of this year, we had just over 1800 councillors in England out of approximately 17,000. After May's election, we now have just over 2,500 councillors. Consequently, we are focusing to gain another 1,800 more councillors by May 2023 (the gain of 700+ councillors has already started us off on a positive note). Even last May we were only able to put up 53% of candidates for available council seats (the Tories managed to fill 97%).

What Are We Doing

ALDC will work with the regions to develop a plan that will focus on the next four years to win 1,800 additional council seats. The idea is to build campaigning capacity, identify training to skill up activists and produce good campaign plans. The English Party will (if possible - budget permitting) look to support regions to appoint development officer where they don't have one and provide more funding to G8.

I am hoping we will have the initial plans agreed with the regional parties by the end of October 2019.

2. Communications

Develop a platform to enable better communications with members and stronger messaging.

Where Are We

Our web presence current has been challenging, and that limited the interaction between the English members, Council and the English Executive. Moreover, there is little communication with the wider English members.

What Are We Doing

3. Membership

Objective:

To increase the English members in the party from the current 85,000 members to above 100,000 by the end of 2023 and for the same period to have over 20,000 signed up friends of Lib Dems.

Where Are We

Currently, we have achieved this objective for England. We have therefore looked to increase the target to 130,000. The party has also been successful in signing up Friends of Lib Dems (for which I do not have the numbers at the moment). Again, we will support and work with the initiatives that LDHQ have been successfully implementing.