Liberal Youth Elections 2013… Finance Officer: Tommy Long

Supposedly Liberal Youth’s funding is under threat. I’ve never seen anything official but I’m always being told by one person or another that our donors aren’t overly impressed with our performance and are seriously reconsidering whether to let us manage our own finances any more.

This has to stop. Uncertainty means that we cannot properly plan our spending. Perhaps it’s fair to say that we haven’t always done an incredible job with our money-management in the past but as liberals don’t we accept that people do their best when they’re trusted and supported to make their own decisions?

I strongly believe that we need to start showing a track record of competence. We need to prove that the money we are given is put to good use, that the best place for it is with Liberal Youth and that we deliver better value than other alternate projects.

I also think we need to engage in better communications with both our donors and our members. I don’t think our members want to be simple campaigning drones, we need to engage them better to discover their views on how they think our money is best spent. I am determined to conduct a thorough survey of our membership before any further spending plans are drawn up.

Once we know what our members want we need to chat to our donors about how exactly they perceive Liberal Youth. Why are they giving us this money? What do they hope to achieve? Expectations management is key to reconciling the needs of our members with the wants of our donors and to securing a firm financial footing that will help deliver great results that work for us all.

We also need to become more independent. We need to stand next to the national and federal parties as equals, not as subordinates tied to their purse-strings. We need to do more fundraising ourselves. This is something I think everyone is agreed on. Personally, I’d like to investigate creating a new category of membership, a “Friends of Liberal Youth”, costing around £15/year.

After all, who wouldn’t want to be a friend of Liberal Youth? Most party members have at some time been a member, either of us or the Young Liberals before us. Even those that haven’t should recognise the vital role we play in the future of the party. Anyone standing or hoping to stand for election would also want to be a FoLY (Friend of Liberal Youth) as, naturally, the membership of Liberal Youth will be more keen to support those who have in turn supported us.

Anyway, these are just a few quick thoughts off the top of my head. Elect me and I’ll show you how much more I have to give. I’m Tommy Long and I’d love to serve as your Finance Officer if only you’ll choose me.

Voting in the Liberal Youth elections opens on Friday 3 May and continues until 12 noon on Wednesday 29th May. All candidates for the contested officer positions have been offered a 500 word piece on Liberal Democrat Voice to be published by the opening of voting. You can find out more about the elections and read all the candidates’ manifestos on the Libertine and if you are a member of  Liberal Youth you can ask them questions on their National Liberal Youth Chatbox on Facebook. Discussion also takes place on the #lyelects tag on Twitter. 

* Tommy Long is standing for Finance Officer in the Liberal Youth elections.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds and Party policy and internal matters.

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