Tag Archives: kickstart

One way to increase your chances of winning in 2022’s local elections

If you are standing in next year’s local elections, which include every Council seat in Scotland and Wales and London’s boroughs, you will want to give yourself the best chance of winning.

Elections are not won in the 4 weeks of the short campaign. They take long and careful planning and hard work.

One of the best ways to plan the best campaign for your ward is to listen to everything ALDC (the Association of Liberal Democrat Campaigners) tells you. They know everything there is to know about how to run a brilliant local election campaign and win.

If you want to be a councillor next May, I would strongly recommend you attend their Kickstart weekend from 2-4 July. It’s the first big in person event since Covid hit us and they will be sticking to whatever restrictions are in place at the time.

It’s really helpful to get inspiration and ideas from others so actually being there to swap tips with other campaign teams is going to be such an important part of our 2022 preparations.

It’s at he Yarnfield Park Training and Conference Centre near Stone in Staffordshire.

Here’s ALDC’s chief executive Tim Pickstone talking about the event:

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The ultimate campaigning smorgasbord: 1000 people at ALDC’s Kickstart

This weekend, ALDC’s Kickstart event is taking place online. Hundreds of LIb Dems have been taking part in panel discussions and training sessions. There are separate streams for councillors and campaigners, future campaign leaders and leaflet designers.  I have never actually been to a UK wide Kickstart event so it’s fantastic to be able to take part virtually in this one.

I have been there as a volunteer helping to deliver a training session (on good photos, used well) and to mentor a small group.

There has been training for agents, organisers and campaigners on everything from the finer points of electoral law to writing good copy for your leaflets and building your teams.  There were two slots of 8 simultaneous training sessions, an opening plenary session with Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper and a choice of two keynote speeches at lunchtime. And there is much the same tomorrow. And that’s not counting the 45 separate mentor groups and the panels for Councillors.

I understand that both of today’s keynote speeches have been recorded. My highlight of the day was Alliance Party Leader and Northern Irish Justice Minister Naomi Long. Her knights on politics and campaigning were fascinating – so grounded in making things better for people. She described how John Alderdice sorting out a problem for her when she was a student left a lasting impression and led to her joining Alliance and then standing for elected office. Her focus on being honest with voters and not trying to equivocate on issues that matter was for me really important. It is well worth listening to if you get the chance.

The other keynote panel event was with  former Lib Dem MEPs.

The amount of organisation that has gone into this event is huge. With over 1000 people expected to attend, spreadsheet Queen Abi Bell had organised every tiny detail and made sure that everyone had the right information to get to where in the ALDC Zoomiverse they needed to be.

This was ALDC’s back office where a tech team made sure that we didn’t break Zoom:

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Kickstart – and more

ALDC’s training weekend, Kickstart, is going online and completely free this year (28 & 29 November 2020). Sitting along side it are the Councillors Weekend and specialist training for Agents, Organisers and Affinity Publisher.

There are hundreds of campaigners across the country already signed up, and you can join them completely by signing up completely free before November 13th.

The event includes 30 hours of top quality training, amazing keynote speakers including our own President Mark Pack and the Leader of the Alliance Party in Northern Ireland, Naomi Long.

Kickstart also includes bespoke mentoring for you and your team. This year the team at ALDC are providing that same high level of support online.

If you’re not already familiar with Kickstart, it’s the party’s biggest training weekend, a top networking event and a great chance to hone your skills ahead of next year’s elections.

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An unexpected weekend of inspiration in darkest Staffordshire…

I’m on my way home from a weekend away as you read this, having spent the weekend in the fringes of the Winter ALDC Kickstart event. I say ‘fringes’ because I didn’t actually participate in any of the training, wasn’t either a mentor or being mentored, and indeed only attended the dinner and part of the final plenary.

So, how could I have been inspired by an event I was barely at?

It’s a funny thing, but being around a group of people, some of whom I’ve known for quite a long time, some of whom are complete strangers, but all of …

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Ros Scott President and Dave Hodgson Chair on new ALDC management committee

ALDC is the party’s organisation which supports Councillors and campaigning. We know that if you follow their extensive campaigning guidelines, you are more likely to win. They run the Kickstart training weekends which are intense but give individual support to candidates and campaign teams. There is still time to register for the one in November.

Being part of ALDC gives you access to lots of fantastic resources, so I’d recommend any campaigner joins here.

The organisation has announced the result of its biennial elections. The new Management Committee takes office on 25 November 2018 and serves for two years.

They are as follows:

President: Baroness Ros Scott – Suffolk
Chair: Mayor Dave Hodgson – Bedford
Vice-Chairs (2): Councillor Anita Lower – Newcastle
Councillor Steven Lambert – Aylesbury Vale and Buckinghamshire
Secretary: Councillor Sarah Boad – Warwickshire
Treasurer: Veronica German – Torfaen

English Rep: James Moore – Reading
Welsh Rep: Jonathan Pratt – Bridgend
Scottish Rep: Councillor Ian Yuill – Aberdeen

Committee Members

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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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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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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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