Advice for campaigners during coronavirus epidemic

ALDC (Liberal Democrat Councillors and Campaigners) has updated its advice for canvassers and campaigners in the light of the Government’s announcement yesterday.

CAMPAIGNING ADVICE

A lot of members have asked us for advice about campaigning in the light of the COVID-19 virus. This is our current advice. This may change if Government, NHS and professional guidance changes at which point we will issue new guidance.

DO – KEEP CAMPAIGNING

Our current advice is that we should keep campaigning the normal ways that Liberal Democrats campaign, including delivering leaflets and knocking on doors.

DO – TAKE SENSIBLE PRECAUTIONS

When campaigning you should take the same sensible precautions that we are all being asked to take in our everyday life:

  • Hygiene – washing our hands more regularly, making sure the venues we use have hand washing facilities and you may want to take hand sanitiser (at least 60% alcohol content) out when door knocking.
  • Social distancing – don’t shake hands with every resident, arrange a meeting point for activists that is outside (by a car or local landmark), rather than inside a members house.
  • Nobody should go out campaigning if they have good reason to self-isolate, or if they feel unwell.
  • Do think about if some activities should be done differently, e.g. clerical events and street stalls.

DO – REASSURE ACTIVISTS

Communicate this advice to our activists and to our delivery network volunteers. Reassure them that we are monitoring the situation and we will stop types of campaigning should the guidance say that we should. Tell activists and volunteers that they should not campaign if they feel unwell or have good reason to self isolate.

DO – TAKE ACTION AS A COUNCILLOR

Those of us who are councillors can use the opportunities we have to ensure that our local authorities are taking the correct steps to protect residents. We will be doing this anyway in the many places where we are running the Council.

Here you can find the LGA Coronavirus information hub.

  1. Are the Council and it’s partners meeting and working effectively in our area?
  2. Have contingency plans been discussed with schools and adult social care premises which are likely to be the major areas of problem development?
  3. Does the Council and its partners in the NHS and Police and other statutory services have resilience plans both for dealing with large number of sick people and possibly doing so at the time when some of their own staff are ill?
  4. What advice has the Council and its Partners given about foreign travel especially to schools?
  5. What advice has the Council and its partners given to venues from night clubs to football grounds about precautions to be taken with mass events?
  6. How has the Council and its partners reached out to the community and faith groups about their interactions with both healthy and possibly sick people?

DO – TAKE ACTION AS A COMMUNITY ACTIVIST

We are respected community activists and sources of local information. We will have opportunities such as our email lists and social media channels to communicate with local residents. (Given this is a fast changing situation, it is probably best to not use printed leaflets for this.)

  • Encourage residents to look after themselves and their families by following the current guidance from the Government and the NHS (hygiene and social distancing).
  • Encourage residents to think about people in our community who might need extra support – check up on vulnerable neighbours, are they OK, do they need anything getting.

WHAT ABOUT THE LOCAL ELECTIONS?

It is possible that the local, mayoral and police and crime commissioner elections planned for the 7 May 2020 will be postponed. We don’t yet know anything about this.

At the moment, we must assume that they ARE taking place on 7 May 2020, and continue campaigning as we would normally. One precaution you can take is not put the date of the election in early literature (so it could be used at a later date if needed).

If the election is postponed then we will issue new timetables and guidance straight away.

 

 

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This entry was posted in Campaign Corner and News.
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9 Comments

  • What a surprise- we are still putting our quantity over quality approach that has failed on multiple occasions ahead of the situation on the ground.

    I appreciate that canvassing is not a massively high-risk activity, but how can no one at HQ see that sending activists round to knock on thousands of doors is grossly irresponsible and grossly bad PR, at a time of national crisis when people have quite frankly more important things on their minds.

    The May elections will not go ahead, yet we still find it appropriate to ring doorbells of voters, many of whom will be self-isolating or simply worried about their loved ones and jobs.

    HQ need to get into the real world.

  • @John Smith. You may be right but please note that this is the advice from ALDC not Lib Dem HQ.

  • “Keep knocking on doors” ?????????????

    Highly irresponsible, out of touch with common sense and out of touch with public opinion.

    Guaranteed to get an unwelcome response.

  • @David Raw
    Guaranteed to get an unwelcome response.

    If you bothered doing any canvassing you’d know how erroneous that comment is.

    We were out canvassing earlier this week and we had NO “unwelcome responses”.

  • John Marriott 13th Mar '20 - 8:26pm

    I quit ALDC before I quit the Lib Dems and now I see why. For them, NOTHING must stop the campaigning. After all, that’s what they do, regardless of the potential dangers. You know, I really do think that those enthusiasts at Hebden Bridge need a reality check.

  • ALDC haven’t been based in Hebden Bridge for about 6-7 years.

  • John Marriott 13th Mar '20 - 10:08pm

    @Hywel
    Apologies for the mistake. I see that they’ve moved to Salford. However, it doesn’t change my view that now is hardly the time to be seeming to try to get votes out of adversity.

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