Scottish Party elections: Sheila Thomson: My pitch for Convener

I am seeking election as Convener of the Scottish Liberal Democrats because I believe Scotland needs a strong Liberal Democrat party at all levels of representation from our individual communities, local authorities and Scottish, Westminster and European parliaments. To achieve this we need to ensure our party here in Scotland has a strong team supporting our members and the communities we live and work in, including the Scottish Executive, political leadership and staff team.

I have been a life-time supporter of liberalism, and I have a track record of over twenty years of party activism, working at all levels within the Scottish Party. I joined the Liberal Democrats because they were and remain the only truly liberal party, where we believe in allowing individuals to make their own choices, whilst ensuring that there is a safety net to help those who cannot manage without support.

As your Convener I will use my leadership skills gained both outside and inside the party to assist me in the role. One area where I gained useful experience was as the Chairperson of Community Transport Scotland, where I worked to ensure the organisation supported community transport groups across Scotland. Like our local parties, these varied in size, financial stability and experience. At the same time I was Vice-Chair of Community Transport UK which operated in a federal structure similar to our federal party. I believe this experience will help me to represent our Scottish members within the Federal Executive, a role undertaken by the Scottish Convener.

Within the party for the last three and a half years I have gained invaluable experience as Convener of the Scottish Conference Committee and vice-convener of the Scottish party which will be invaluable to me as your Convener.

As your Scottish convener I will be committed to ensuring the Scottish Executive is open and accountable to local parties and members. I will work to ensure our party policies and procedures are fit for purpose, taking into consideration the reviews recently and presently being undertaken within the federal party.

I will work with our party leaders and members to ensure we become a more inclusive organisation and develop opportunities to ensure our representation at all levels is more in line with the make up our communities. I will also work with the other office bearers and the executive to ensure the party remains in a sound financial position and operates within the legal structures appropriate for a party in the 21st century.

As an experienced campaigner both as a candidate and campaign manager I will work with our political leaders, staff team, members and volunteers to develop both election campaigns and liberal campaigning for the benefit of our communities.

I am committed to our political fightback and I give our members my commitment to see Liberal Democrats policies strengthen the lives of the people of Scotland with in our local communities, Scotland as a whole, the UK and Europe.

If you have any questions, please contact me on [email protected].

* Sheila Thomson is a candidate for Convener in the Scottish Party elections 2015

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