Tag Archives: aldc

Power for people and communities

I am very pleased to be presenting the policy paper Power for People and Communities at Conference, having chaired the group that developed the paper.

The proposals set out a strong agenda for devolution and localism within England. We are arguing for greater financial autonomy for local authorities, STV in local elections, making it easier to establish Town or Community Councils in urban areas, strengthening the powers of local government over issues from education to health to planning, and also reforming the Social Value Act to encourage the use of public or not-for-profit providers when commissioning local services.

Judging by the amendments submitted, a focus of the debate will be on devolution within England. The paper develops and strengthens existing policy on this since the last major policy debate in 2014. We set out a clear ambition to achieve a comprehensive devolved tier within England, while recognising that the appetite for devolution is different in different areas and we need to take people with us.

Our approach is to enact permissive legislation to empower groups of local authorities to come together to establish devolved governance in their areas. We will proceed by consensus as far as possible, but will not allow one local authority to veto a coherent proposal.

The geographical makeup of the devolved authorities should reflect local opinion. The decision should reflect local views, traditional boundaries and community identification as well as economic units, current council boundaries and travel-to-work areas. In some areas this could be city regions, in others sub-regions or a whole region as one unit. 

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ALDC Campaigner Awards 2018

The annual ALDC Campaigner Awards provide a way for us to recognise the outstanding work of local Liberal Democrat campaigners and campaign teams. And nominations for 2018 are now open (closing 26 August), sponsored by our print partners, Election Workshop. You don’t have to be an ALDC member to enter (but you can find out about membership here).

THE CATEGORIES:

Best local election campaign – We’re looking for local parties that have fought effective and strong 2018 local election campaigns – how did you win, what innovative new ideas did you use, …

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Could you be a future leader?

Last year I attended ALDC (the Association of Liberal Democrat Campaigners and Councillors) Kickstart weekend as part of their Future Leaders scheme.

15 or so young people in the party are offered individual mentorship to help them get to where they want to be in the party – whether that is an MP, a Councillor, or something else.

And then they attend their choice of wider training sessions on campaigning alongside the other attendees of Kickstart. There are a huge range of courses – such as on how to find volunteers, how to use data for your campaigning, and social media masterclass. The courses are also divided up into beginners, intermediate and advanced so you can go to the course that’s best pitched to you.

Our Future Leaders cohort was divided up into groups depending on how they wanted to be a future leader. I said I wanted to work for the party.

Having said this, I sat one-to-one with one of the trainers and discussed my current job, my previous experiences working for the Liberal Democrats, the different jobs the party offers, and what else I should be looking at doing to build up my CV.

Over the rest of the weekend – I was introduced to many brilliant people, especially brilliant women, and learned about their party roles.

I sat down with party staff in the bar one evening and talked through where I wanted to be – and got yet more advice.

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Martin Horwood standing for local council

FORMER CHELTENHAM MP Martin Horwood is putting on his rosette again – this time to stand for Cheltenham Borough Council. There’s an unexpected vacancy in Leckhampton ward following independent councillor Ian Bickerton’s recent resignation. That means the ward will be electing two councillors in the borough council elections on 3 May instead of one. Glenn Andrews is the other Lib Dem candidate.

Martin handed in his nomination papers at the council offices today – and the retiring independent councillor Ian Bickerton was one of his nominators. Martin stood down as Lib Dem …

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Want to run the best campaign you can? ALDC can show you how…

ALDC are running five training events this year, taking place over two weekends, and ALDC members need to act fast to book early-bird discounted rates, available on a first-come, first-served basis of £160 for a single room (usual price is £240) and £130 for a double room per person (usual price is £210).
The non-ALDC member rate is £280 for a single room and £250 for a double room per person. It’s cheaper to join us and then book our member rate. Find out more and join.

They are all taking place at Yarnfield Park in Staffordshire and the price …

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ALDC’s Local Elections appeal

Victor Chamberlain, standing as a candidate in the Borough and Bankside ward, Southwark Council in this May’s local elections, tells us why ALDC’s appeal needs your generous support.

The challenging set of elections taking place across the country on Thursday 3 May provide a fantastic opportunity to put the Liberal Democrats back on the map in local government.

As a candidate, I wanted to help promote ALDC’s Local Election Appeal, knowing first-hand how important this financial support is for teams fighting to win this May.

HOW YOUR DONATIONS WILL HELP

In Southwark, we’re up against a well organised Labour party who can call on more activists than we can. As a result, we need to do everything to ensure our supporters’ voices are heard and we know they’re far more likely to vote if they have a postal vote.

Most residents in my ward lead very busy lives and are rarely in when we call round to speak to them. And the majority live in blocks of flats that we struggle to gain access to.

This is where ALDC’s Local Election Appeal is helping to overcome these problems by targeting postal voters in key battleground wards across the country.

HOW YOU CAN DONATE:

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ALDC launches its Election Law Helpline

It is vital that everyone in the Liberal Democrats stays on the right side of the law throughout the forthcoming election campaigns, and ALDC are on hand to help you do this through our Election Law Helpline – launching on Thursday 1 March 2018.

The team at ALDC are providing free election law advice to campaigners in England for their forthcoming local elections, regardless of whether you are a member of ALDC.

They can provide practical issues around election law – nominations, DNOs, imprints, expenses, etc. as well as detailed queries about election …

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ALDC’s Kickstart Weekend: my experience attending as a newbie

Adam Bambrough, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Clock House, Bromley Council in May’s local elections, has shared his experience of attending November 2017’s Kickstart Weekend.

I am fairly new to the party and I’ve been fast-tracked to be the candidate in May for the Bromley Council seat of Clock House in Beckenham. I have always been full of determination and drive, but before attending Kickstart, I was unsure whether my instincts in this new environment were correct. I also lacked the knowledge, strategy and technique to win my ward.

However, the training delivered everything I had hoped for and more. I left the weekend feeling more enthused than ever; knowing that my hard-work could now be channelled in the most effective ways.

I learnt to trust my instincts, which I have begun to do, and it helped me write my ward’s campaign plan and develop a coherent message to send to voters. The weekend also taught me to know my ward, which although seems obvious now, I had neglected a little at the time and have spent the months since getting to know every road!

My two mentors were so knowledgeable and went above and beyond the call of duty to help me and my team. I also met so many lovely fellow attendees over the course of the weekend. People I will be friends with and support for a long time.

I cannot speak more highly of my time on the course and I’ll certainly be recommending that other people from my local party go along this year. So don’t delay, if you have elections in 2019 and beyond, book on today to ensure your campaigns have the best chance of being successful.

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ALDC’s by-election report 2 February 2017

February’s bumper set of by-elections started with a bang for us last night with a quite frankly ridiculous swing in Sunderland, as well as a tie for second place in Cornwall. It gives me great pleasure to inform you all that as of last night we are up 32.7% on previous corresponding elections.

A huge thank you to last night’s brilliant team of volunteers who make calls for these campaigns. ALDC’s grants are available to help in vital by-elections and are funded through vital fighting fund donations. If you can help us fight in even more wards, please donate here.

underland MB, Pallion – Lib Dem gain from Labour

LD Martin Haswell 1251
Lab 807
Con 126
UKIP 97
Green 39

Can the rest of us have what you lot are having in Sunderland please? Almost exactly a year after the stunning success in Sandhill, Martin Haswell proved himself the be the best local candidate with the best local campaign focusing on:

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Lib Dems GAIN another Council seat in Sunderland

Only two by-elections tonight and we are off to a good start.

And we did kind of hammer them.

LD Martin Haswell 1251
Lab 807
Con 126
UKIP 97
Green 39

When we stood in the ward in 2016, we got 91 votes.

This is becoming a habit!. Last year, we gained another seat in Sunderland with a 33% swing.

Well done.

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ALDC’s by-election report – 25 January 2018

A solitary by-election this week to round out January, as head across the Solent to the Isle of Wight, a former Liberal/Lib Dem stronghold which provided us with a very pleasing result considering we hadn’t had a candidate in the ward since 2009. Overall in January, we stood candidates in 8 out of 10 by-elections, giving us a total vote of 13.2% (up 5.9% on previous corresponding elections), although this rises to 21.6% (up 9.9% on previous corresponding elections) if you look at the by-elections we fought. Proof, in case any of you needed it, that you should always stand a candidate!

A huge thank you to last night’s brilliant team of volunteers who make calls for these campaigns. ALDC’s grants are available to help in vital by-elections and are funded through vital fighting fund donations. If you can help us fight in even more wards, please donate here.

Isle of Wight UA, Central Wight – Conservative hold
Con 547
LD Nick Stuart 286
Grn 143
Lab 101
UKIP 24
And so we head to the south coast and to the Isle of Wight, where we thank Nick Stuart for a very healthy second place, after not standing a candidate in the last two local elections on the island.
For many years, the Island was a Liberal stronghold, electing a Liberal MP to Westminster from February 1974 to 1987 in Stephen Ross, and was Lib Dem again in 1997 with Dr Peter Brand. Throughout that time, the island also regularly elected Lib Dems councils, but our success story ended in 2001 with the loss of both the MP and the council.
Ever since we’ve gradually fallen away, to the point where in the face of an organised Independent group we went down to 1 elected councillor in 2013. A slight improved in the face of the national swing to the Tories last May did, however, at long last, mark an end to the slide, and the team on the island were given an opportunity to test the (Fresh)water as Bob Seely resigned his Central Wight seat after replacing Andrew Turner as the MP in the 2017 general election.
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ALDC’s by-election report – 11 January 2018

Since the start of the year there have been 5 by-elections, with 5 more to come in the rest of January. It’s been a quieter start to the year after some stunning gains at the end of 2017, so hopefully we’ll begin to build up some momentum in the run-up to May in short time.

Hertsmere BC, Borehamwood Cowley – 4th January 2018 – Labour gain from Conservative
Lab 709
Con 381
UKIP 57
LD Paul Robinson 20
Green 18

Starting off with last week, a big thank you to Paul Robinson to flying the flag in Hertsmere. Although looking like a thumping gain for Labour, in reality Borehamwood Cowley is a seat that Labour has won or topped the poll for at least the last 20 years.

Kent CC, Birchington & Rural – 11th January 2018 – Conservative hold

Con 2534
Lab 856
LD Angie Curwen 561 <
UKIP 357
Grn 169

Thanet DC, Thanet Villages – 11th January 2018 – Conservative hold
Con 620
LD Angie Curwen 313
Lab 206 <
Grn 66
Ind 52
UKIP 0 ]

Next to Kent and a double thank you to Angie Curwen for being our candidate at District and County level, with a particularly pleasing second place from a standing start the District by-election. Notable here is no candidate for UKIP in Thanet Villages. Whilst UKIP have repeatedly failed to stand candidates since the General Election, this is particularly notable as UKIP still have minority control of Thanet DC, so for them to not stand a candidate in a council they control shows what kind of state they find themselves in.

Lancashire CC, Wyre Rural Central – 11th January 2018 – Conservative hold<

Con 1745
Lab 925
Grn 237

Wyre BC, Preesall – 11th January 2018 – Conservative hold

Con 930
Lab 753

We finish this week by heading up to Lancashire for another two tier by-election double, where the Conservatives comfortably defended both of their seats in Wyre, in spite of a modest Labour increase.

Next week we have 4 by-elections, with a defence in Rochford and 4 Lib Dem candidates to report on! See you next week.

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Lib Dem Jobwatch: ALDC Fundraising & Sponsorship Officer

The Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors and Campaigners is this party’s foremost authority on local campaigning. They know how to win council seats and run councils like nobody else. A chance to work for them is a real opportunity.

ALDC, the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors and Campaigners, is looking for an enthusiastic new team member in this newly created role of Fundraising and Sponsorship Officer.

You will have the experience and enthusiasm to help us grow our income from various sources, with the biggest potential in major donor and membership fundraising. You

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ALDC’s bumper by-election report – 14 December 2017

A bumper set of by-elections for the last time this year, with 2 on Wednesday and 8 on Thursday. We continued our fine form of recent weeks with another gain off the Conservatives, along with 2 solid holds, ensuring that we finished December with 19.7% (+8.2%) of the vote, standing candidates in 10 of the 12 contests.

A huge thank you to last night’s brilliant team of volunteers who came to 23 New Mount Street in Manchester to make calls at ALDC’s By-election HQ. It’s always good fun with such …

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ALDC’s by-election report – 7 December 2017

A quieter night this week, with only 2 by-elections held across the country, but still room for a successful night with another gain from the Tories, making it 8 gains in 6 weeks since the start of November.

 
North Devon DC, Newport – Lib Dem gain from Conservative
 
LD Caroline Leaver 390
Con 373
Grn 159
Lab 83
Once again we find ourselves congratulating the team in North Devon as they pick up another seat off the Conservatives with Caroline Leaver the new councillor. Our successes in North Devon have wiped out the Conservatives-led majority on the council and continue the pleasing trend of results in our former strongholds.
Enfield LB, Enfield Highway – Labour hold
 
Lab 1619
Con 620
Grn 79
UKIP 0 ]
BNP 0 ]
No Lib Dem candidate as Labour comfortably hold this seat in North London. As well as UKIP’s ongoing slide into irrelevance (for the last month they have stood candidates in less than 1 in 4 of the contests, a far worse statistic than the appalling vote shares they’re getting) it is interesting to note that the Greens have fallen in the both the contests here too, something which has been happening pretty consistently since the general election.
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ALDC’s by-election report – 9 November 2017

Fareham BC, Stubbington – Lib Dem gain from UKIP
LD Jim Forest 1185
Con 769
UKIP 117
Lab 76
A massive congratulations to Jim Forest and the team in Fareham for a smashing gain, capitalising on UKIP’s continuedly rapid electoral decline. Having a popular local candidate always helps of course and this will be Jim’s third term in Stubbington. His campaign was largely based off his excellent record as a local champion and protecting the standards of the local area from Tory cuts.
Camden LB, Gospel Oak – Labour hold
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ALDC’s by-election report – 2 November 2017

Well that was pretty good wasn’t it? Last night there were 6 seats up for grabs in England, with a fantastic hat-trick of gains from the Conservatives giving us all something to cheer about as we head into the depths of winter. Across the night we took a mighty 39.0% (up 17.2%) of the vote, showing that like in much of last year if we stand candidates and fight hard we can win anywhere, in spite of our current Westminster polling! We stood candidates in 5 out of the 6 by-elections, which is 1 more than we did in the …

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ALDC’s by-election report – 26 October 2017

This week there were 7 seats up for grabs in 6 seats in England, with a mixed, although largely positive, set of results. Most pleasing is that we’ve continued our trend since the General Election of standing candidates in the vast majority of seats, standing candidates in 3 seats where we didn’t last time, leading to an overall increase of our share of the vote of 5.7% in last night’s seats and 6.0% over all of October.

Derbyshire Dales DC, Ashbourne South – Conservative hold

Con 495

LD Rebecca Goodall 334

Lab 242

Grn 0

Massive thank you to Rebecca Goodall for being the first Lib Dem to stand in this seat since it was created in 2003, and a massive congratulations to everyone in Derbyshire for taking home 31.2% of the vote. Not bad for your first result in a seat!

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ALDC Campaigner Award 2017 winners announced

The winners of the ALDC Campaigner Awards 2017, sponsored by Midshires, were presented at the ALDC AGM at Autumn Conference by Sarah Olney, celebrating the best campaigners and campaigning teams from across the country.

This year’s winners and runners-up are:

Best By-election Campaign
Runner up is Emmbrook by-election in Wokingham
Winner is the Brinsworth By-election in Rotherham

Best Online Campaign
Runner up is Westhoughton Lib Dems
Winner is Surrey Lib Dems

Best Community Campaign
Runner up – Bristol Lib Dem with the Save Jubilee Pool campaign
Winner – Oldham for the Defibrillator Campaign

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Let ALDC know if you are a candidate for next May

ALDC want to help your campaign but in order to do the best job that we can, we need to know who your candidates are for the forthcoming elections on the 4th May 2018.

ALDC gather and share relevant information about local elections across the country and coordinate various types of support that are available for candidates and groups in different seats.

The team at ALDC would be really grateful if you could email Jenny Lamb ([email protected]) with the details of any currently selected candidates in your area.

Please include the following details –
Candidate Name
Council
Ward
Address
Email
The clearer our picture of what is happening, the better we can target our resources.We produce election briefings, detailing all of the main campaign issues, advice on what to do on key dates and some extra templates. If you are a candidate, agent or key activist we can send out our briefing to you packed full of advice – just let us know if you are standing next May.

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Could you be a future leader?

ALDC are recruiting the 2017 group for the ALDC’s Future Leaders programme at our November Kickstart and are asking could you be a leader in your area?
Whether you are standing for election next May, a key member of the core campaign team in your local constituency and ultimately looking to be a leader in your area, this could be the ideal opportunity for you.

This is an excellent training and development programme for Liberal Democrat activist and Councillors who are hopefully going to be the stars of the future.

It’s a free programme (including transport, accommodation and food) thanks to G8 funding based at ALDC’s residential Kickstart weekend on the 24th-26th November 2017 in Stone.

The group have a chance to undertake training and development for themselves in their progression as key activists in their areas, potential ‘leaders’ of local campaigning. This year the programme has a particular emphasis on young campaigners (under 30 years of age) and BAME campaigners.

If there are people on your local party who would benefit please encourage them to apply.

To apply for one of the bursaries, please send in evidence of current campaign activity (such as what you already do to help your local party) along with 200 words about why you want to be considered for one of these coveted places to [email protected].

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Kickstart: ALDC’s campaign training weekend – 24-26 November 2017

If you want to take advantage of the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors and Campaigners’ (ALDC) early-bird ticket rates for their Autumn Kickstart 2017 campaign training weekend (24-26 November), then you need to act fast as they’re currently available on a first come first served basis.

If you’ve been before you’ll know all about the weekend’s benefits. And if you’ve not, you should go along to get tailored, professional advice; training and bespoke mentoring for your campaign team from experienced Liberal Democrat campaigners and councillors.

There’s something on offer for everyone; whatever your role in a campaign and regardless of your experience. You’ll go away having improved your campaigning skills and with a well-developed campaign plan ready for your next set of elections. If you want to win, Kickstart is the boot camp you need to win.

If you’re an ALDC member, you’re currently able to book to attend for £150 for a single room (usual price is £270) and £120 for a double room per person (usual price is £240).

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Reminder: ALDC’s Give It A Go – pizza and phoning TOMORROW

We’ll provide the pizza, if you come and make some calls… followed of course by a trip to the pub!

The phone bank makes a real difference, giving you the chance to encourage uncertain voters to make their voices heard, and provide real time feedback for the teams campaigning on the ground. It’s also really important after the General Election that we continue to be successful in our local government by-election campaigns.

Our next Give It A Go – Phoning evening is Thursday 3 August, between 6-8pm when we are focusing on gaining two seats from the Conservatives. We’ll provide a briefing on the areas we phone through to, so you’ll have all the answers to whatever the voters ask of you.

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Save the date: ALDC’s Give It A Go – pizza and phoning on 3rd August 2017!

We’ll provide the pizza, if you come and make some calls… followed of course by a trip to the pub!

The phone bank makes a real difference, giving you the chance to encourage uncertain voters to make their voices heard, and provide real time feedback for the teams campaigning on the ground. It’s also really important after the General Election that we continue to be successful in our local government by-election campaigns.

Our next Give It A Go – Phoning evening is Thursday 3 August, between 6-8pm when we are focusing on gaining two seats from the Conservatives. We’ll provide a briefing on the areas we phone through to, so you’ll have all the answers to whatever the voters ask of you.

If you’ve never given it a go before – I only made my first calls back in January and now I run the evenings – which just shows that anyone can get the hang of it! And we’ll be on hand at all times to show you how the system we use to record calls works, and answer any questions that you might have.

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Thinking about the next elections…

I know, I know. We still haven’t caught up on sleep from the last campaign and our families have forgotten who we are. We just want a break, right?

Yes, of course we do. But we also need to start thinking about the next steps. If you want to be involved in Lib Dem campaigning, joining ALDC (the Association of Lib Dem Councillors and Campaigners) is pretty much essential. They will give you access to all the resources you need and will help you develop the skills necessary for fighting a winning campaign.

They have two of their intense but incredibly useful training weekends coming up:

At Kickstart you’ll get great training, advice and bespoke mentoring for your team to help you build and improve your campaign plans and knowledge, looking ahead to your next electoral success. We have something to offer everyone whatever your role in the campaign, and regardless of your experience. Kickstart is the bootcamp you need to win.

More than anything, the weekend provides an opportunity to meet and network with like-minded Lib Dems who want to campaign hard to get the best deal for their community.

So, what do you get?

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ALDC’s General Election campaign kit – an essential part of your local campaign

We’ve produced a campaign kit for the 2017 General Election for activists new and old alike.

Included in the pack are more than 15 briefings, info sheets, ‘how to’ guides, a plan, an election timetable and a range of sources for more help, advice and guidance.

To receive your free copy in the post, register on ALDC’s website.

We hope you’ll put the campaign kit to good use getting your candidate elected on the 8th June. The kit’s contents have been developed by community campaigners during our 50-year lifetime and used to great success by activists over the past year, resulting in a net gain of 33 in local by-elections – our most successful year ever.

Help us get the pack to as many activists who could benefit from it by sharing the campaign kit registration link (www.aldc.org/ge2017-campaign-kit) with them. At ALDC, we want to make sure as many activists as possible have access to the information to help them campaign to win.

We’ll be mailing the campaign kit, as soon as we get it back from the printers. 

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ALDC membership tops 3000

With party membership heading towards 90,000 it is also pleasing to hear that ALDC has recruited over 3,000 members. ALDC – originally the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors – is open to Lib Dems aspiring to be local councillors and well as those already elected, so now bills itself as the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors and Campaigners.

ALDC provides comprehensive advice on campaigning in local elections, including its excellent, and intensive, Kickstart weekends.

On 6th April Susan Morgan won a by-election at Aylesbury Vale District Council with a massive 38% swing from UKIP. She is now …

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ALDC’s by-election review 23 March 2017

Last night there were three principal council by-elections. One of them produced an interesting ‘null and void’ declaration while in West Somerset there was an outstanding Liberal Democrat gain from the Conservatives in an election for the district council.

First to Blackburn UA. Higher Croft ward saw a by-election in December 2016, had one yesterday and is now set for a third in usual circumstances. Last night the Labour candidate won but the result was immediately declared null and void because he was employed by an external organisation on which Blackburn UA had places on the governing board of trustees.

The situation which occurred here is a classic nomination mistake and emphases the importance of checking work restrictions. Whether a teacher in an academy or someone working in a local museum can stand comes down to whether a local authority has any involvement in running the organisation and/or a role in making appointments. If you are in doubt talk to ALDC and ask the prospective candidate to check with their employers HR department.

Over to West Somerset District Council where, until last night, there were no Liberal Democrat councillors. We hadn’t stood in the lovely Exmoor town of Dunster last time but a great campaign was fought by the local team and newbie Peter Pilkington was elected.

West Somerset DC, Dunster and Timberscombe
Liberal Democrats 174
Con 115
Green 38
Lab 23

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Good vote share gains for the Liberal Democrats in last night’s by-elections

No seats changed hands in last night’s by-elections but there were some solid rises in vote share for the Liberal Democrat candidates.

The Conservatives may have held on to Walton-le-Dale East ward in South Ribbble but it was Liberal Democrat candidate Alison Hesketh-Holt who was the real winner, gaining 14.6% of the vote. We didn’t stand last time the seat was fought.

An even bigger vote, 15.1% was similarly won by Andrew Thorpe in the Saham Toney ward of Breckland Council.

And Chris Boyle got us an 11.5% rise in the South Heaton ward in Newcastle – another strong performance in that area.

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P-10: Legacy campaigning in a by-election

So the final straight approaches and we are looking at our campaign and putting in place the finishing touches and allowing space for some extra elements. We have been often asked by visiting helpers what can they do to make a real difference. So here today for the first time I think i have the answer, which is not as obvious as I expected.

I am a huge believer in having what I call legacy campaigning: that regardless of the electoral outcome that you achieve some positives, some learning, training and apply that to the future.  I spend a lot of time urging new members to attend by-elections, seeing them as training porgrammes, and suggesting that people go with clear objectives of what they can do, might learn and will leave with.

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I sit down to do some telephone canvassing on my own it is all too easy to get distracted, to put it off or to make just one or two calls and then do something else. So in place of that setting up a Phone Bank appears to be the solution to my lack of application.

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