Stephen Lloyd MP writes… 100 Members in 100 Days: The Eastbourne Challenge

Just after I was first elected as MP for Eastbourne, some three years ago (crikey – doesn’t time fly by) I pledged to do everything I could to ensure Eastbourne would buck the economic trend; and it’s worked. We have had a tremendous success in keeping unemployment down locally – it’s actually 30% lower than at the General Election! A key part of that success was to start an apprentice recruitment campaign early on – I was the first new MP to do so after the general election.

Under the banner ‘100 Apprentices in 100 Days’, I set about contacting companies in the town to see if they could open a position for young people to become an apprentice. We worked together – my office, the town’s businesses, the local college, council, chamber of commerce, the Federation of Small Business – and we smashed the set total by getting 181 people into new apprentice positions in the 100 days.

Since then I’ve kept the initiative going on month in, month out, and the latest figure for Eastbourne is an astounding 2,500+ new apprentices. That’s more than the previous six years put together. A superb feat by Eastbourne.

I’m writing today, though, not about apprentices (although our Party has much to be proud about in our record of delivery in Government on jobs), but about membership – something we have heard of a lot recently in the press.

Locally, we have an excellent Lib Dem-run Borough Council, now in its sixth continuous year of control. We continue to have weekly bin collections, no core council services have been cut, and, through sound, financial management, we are in a strong position for the next general election. But in Eastbourne we don’t rest on our laurels.

100 daysThat’s why I’m throwing down the gauntlet and launching ‘100 New Members In 100 Days’ here in our constituency. As Lib Dems, we don’t just lie down and take the proverbial beating, we stand right back up and show that we are a successful, healthy, thriving party. We are in Government, making a difference, and I intend to shout it out from the rooftops – and not just in our Focus or local newspaper. We shall be saying it on the doorstep as a good reason to join us, and I’m convinced many people will hear and welcome our positive message.

So my recommendation to you is – do the same. Go out, knock on doors, approach your friends, supporters, everyone – because that’s exactly what we are going to be doing here. “Nothing comes of nothing”, and we have to work as a team locally, and as a party nationally, to achieve our goal – keep our seats and to keep growing as a party.

I’ll be reporting back in early January to let you know how we’ve done!

* Stephen Lloyd was MP for Eastbourne and Willingdon until 2015. He was chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Religious Education. In March 2013 the Group published a report called ‘RE: the truth unmasked’ on the supply of and support for RE teachers. In June 2013 Stephen tabled an Early Day Motion on RE’s role in tackling extremism.

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3 Comments

  • Liberal Neil 6th Oct '13 - 6:47pm

    Best of luck Stephen.

    Our current target is to reach 500 members by year end. although ’71 members in 86 days’ isn’t quite as catchy as yours’!

  • Jonathan Brown 6th Oct '13 - 11:28pm

    @Liberal Neil – it’s still a good one! Good luck!

    And good luck Stephen too!

  • Richard Fagence 7th Oct '13 - 8:07am

    I think the good folk of Eastbourne and Willingdon are incredibly lucky in having Stephen as their MP. I also have every confidence in his ability to reach his recruitment target. I know how long it took him to get elected and the tenacity with which he pursued his goal. This man is a force of nature – would there were more like him.

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