Author Archives: Greg Foster

Internal party elections – revised timetable

Given the tragic news of Her Majesty the Queen’s death, the Returning Officer has decided to alter the planned timetable for our Internal Elections.

The original timetable was based on the idea that it would enable candidates to collect nominations as part of the planned Conference in Brighton. Now that this has been cancelled, we are faced with both an increased workload for the staff team, as well as there being no conference at which to collect nominations.

Consequently, the Returning Officer has decided to delay the opening of nominations by 1 week, to the 20th September at 5pm.

In addition, the period in which candidates can collect nominations has been extended by 1 week.

Candidates now have until 6pm on Monday 10th October to collect the necessary nominations for roles they wish to stand for.

The new timetable is as follows:

  • Publication of the notice of elections: Monday 29th August, 17:00
  • Opening of nominations: Tuesday 20th September, 17:00
  • Close of nominations: Monday 10th October, 18:00
  • Deadline for submission of candidates’ manifestos: Friday 7th October, 17:00
  • Dispatch of ballot papers: Tuesday 25th October c13:00
  • Deadline for return of ballot papers: Tuesday 15th November, 17:00
  • Counting of votes and declaration of results: Wednesday 16th November 14:00

The remainder of the relevant information can be found in our Internal Elections hub here: https://beta.libdems.org.uk/internal-elections

People wishing to stand for election can submit their consent to nominations form in advance of the opening of nominations here: https://beta.libdems.org.uk/consent

Ed – Note that the following places are up for election: 

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Tagged | 6 Comments

Liberal Democrat Technology Project: Update

This is (hopefully) the first of many regular updates on the project. We’re aiming to update every two weeks.

We’ll also be posting more regular updates on our newly unveiled Technology Blog which is hugely exciting – because it’s been built on our brand new website platform, Fleet.

Fleet is intended to replace both Nationbuilder and Prater Raines FOCI for the party.

We’re building it in collaboration with the team at Prater Raines and it’s based on the open source Typo3 framework – which is widely used by organisations with a federated structure (like us!). We’ll also be heavily customising the default version of Typo3 to make it easier for Liberal Democrats to use.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | Leave a comment

Getting our technology and tools right: get in the know.

Campaign Technology is one of the most important things for the Liberal Democrats to get right.

Whether it’s canvassing apps, websites or even data entry, we can’t campaign effectively without the right tools and the right data.

Over the last 18 months, the LDHQ technology team has been reviewing our data, technology and tools. We’ve also been gathering feedback from the people who use them to help us understand where the problems are at the moment.

That process has identified a number of problems with our current setup, including:

  • We aren’t getting value for money from our campaigning technology
  • Our data quality is low and it is scattered across multiple systems
  • Our websites are expensive, hard to maintain and out of date
  • We can’t give volunteers easy and high-quality information on how their teams are doing and their campaigns are going
  • Our tools aren’t easy for activists to use

I think there’d be few Liberal Democrat activists out there who disagreed with that list of big picture issues – so hopefully we’ve got the measure of the problems we need to solve.

Of course, solving those problems will take time and patience: there are no overnight magic wand fixes that will solve everything (sorry!).

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 13 Comments

Ed Davey added to range of pictorial membership cards

As of today, you can order an Ed Davey membership card.

The suggested donation for a replacement membership card is £2 but anything else you can donate on top will go towards helping the party fight elections next May.

You can order online here.

Posted in News and Party policy and internal matters | Tagged and | 33 Comments

Dispatch of Leadership Election Ballots

Postal Votes

Postal votes have gone to print on the 27th July 2020. The initial run was around 5,000 voters. These will be sent to Royal Mail on the 29th July 2020.

We expect paper ballots to land between the 30th July and the 2nd August in the UK. We expect this to take up to the 14th August for non-UK postal ballots.

People who haven’t received a postal ballot by 2nd August can request a replacement by emailing [email protected]

Postal votes have been assigned based on the following criteria:

  • No email present on file
  • Has been requested by member
  • Has an @libdems.org.uk email address
  • Has a role-based email address ([email protected] [email protected] etc)
  • Has a shared email address (ie 2 members using the same email)

In addition, any email addresses that cannot be uploaded to the email platform, or that hard bounce will be sent a postal vote in a second batch that will go to print on the 3rd August and we expect to arrive between the 6th and 11th August.

Posted in Leadership Election and News | Tagged | Leave a comment

An update on Lighthouse – our new Local Party Management tool

Happy New Year!

Over Christmas and New Year, a team of HQ staff and almost 60 volunteer testers from across the party as well as the team at Prater Raines have been hard at work testing Lighthouse, the party’s new Local Party Management tool.

The feedback from those users has been really encouraging. They’ve found the system really intuitive and easy to use.

It’ll also work for all parts of the party – from branches up to state parties and will solve a number of other long standing issues as well (thought not all on day 1!)

Of course, launch day is fast approaching – and you’ll all soon be able to get your hands on it.

This is how we’re planning to roll out Lighthouse:

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Tagged and | 6 Comments

Voting is now open in the 2019 internal elections

Moments ago, voting opened in the elections for Party President, and Federal Committees (including English, Scottish and Councillor Representatives).

Yesterday, I visited the (very secure) printer in Scunthorpe where the 13,000 postal ballots are being printed and I’m happy to confirm everything is very much on track and I’ve spent the morning triple checking the online ballot and emails. 

Fingers crossed, everything should go off without a hitch.

But I’m sure many of you have questions about how this last and most important part of the process works, so here’s everything you need to know!

How the process works:

If the party has an email on file for you, you’ll be voting online.

You’ll get an email today between 1100 and 2330. The emails are being sent in batches of 5,000 to try and ensure as many as possible get through.

Please don’t panic if you’re not in the first batch, the rest will be sent through the day.

The email is coming from [email protected], the sender name will be Nick Harvey and the subject line will be “IMPORTANT: Your ballot paper”.

It’s worth checking your spam/promotions folder if you can’t find it, as it may have gone astray in there.

If we can’t deliver to your email address for any reason, we’ll dispatch a postal ballot as soon as possible on Monday.

Posted in News | Tagged and | 8 Comments

News from the Membership Department – 60k people joined us this year – and how to get a replacement membership card

There are now (as of the time I’m typing) 120,995 members and 17,083 registered supporter of the Liberal Democrats.

That’s a record high – and means that just shy of 60,000 people have joined the Liberal Democrats as either a member or supporter this year. Most of them have joined, since fantastic local elections in May.

This latest membership surge comes after six months of extensive work to try and make membership better for everyone.

This all started with the implementation of the Supporter’s Scheme – which enabled us to do some really extensive work on the party’s membership database and fix a lot of long standing issues with how memberships were managed.

There’s still a lot more work to do (more on that further down) but we have made huge improvements to how the system works and it’s far more reliable and accurate than ever before.

Of course, the supporter scheme itself has proved both successful and popular – even without some of the more generous rights originally proposed.

The team have pulled together a report on the first three months of the scheme, which you can read here: www.libdems.org.uk/registered-supporter-report 

One of the big things those database changes enabled was to allow us to introduce a lot more automation.

Some of you will have already had it – the vast majority of our renewal communications happen automatically and members new get a confirmation when they’ve renewed their membership.

We’ve got big plans for where we want to take this next year – especially when it comes to supporting Local Party Officers and making sure they get support and advice on their new roles.

The next set of improvements will be a bit more visible than everything that’s been done so far.

We’re planning to replace the existing Salesforce interface local parties use with a user-friendly web interface we’re developing in conjunction with Prater Raines.

Prater Raines (as many of you know) are long-time suppliers to the party and almost all of their staff have been local party officers – so they’re the ideal people to help us build this.

The new interface won’t replace Salesforce – that will still be there in the background and be used by HQ, but local parties will enjoy a tailor made way to handle their donation reporting, manage memberships and their local parties.

We’ll also be able to implement a number of long asked for improvements which have not been possible in the current system – like knowing who your moved out members area.

The development timetable is tight but is intended to deliver access to the new portal from the start of January 2020. 

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 14 Comments
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