Working together in North London

haringey lib dems

The campaign in Hornsey and Wood Green this year to keep the wonderful Lynne Featherstone as MP was the biggest we in Haringey have ever fought.  One of the really gratifying aspects of the campaign, despite the disappointing results was the way in which other North London parties came to help. Whether it was knocking on doors, writing blue envelopes or running fundraisers for Lynne, the support from our neighbouring parties was fantastic.

After Lynne’s defeat came the depressing task of closing down the constituency office and laying off staff. The local party looked hard at party finances and decided that the only way forward was for us to pool resources with other parties nearby. So we started discussions with Camden and Islington about sharing office space and an organiser. Three months later we have a new office, smaller but better located than our previous office and a new organiser who is shared between the three local parties.

During the course of the discussions to put this in place, all three parties have realised the huge benefits of working together.  We’ve already run our first joint event – a leadership hustings back in June. Between us we have over 500 new members and we have more events planned, including a “Women in Politics” evening and a workshop about getting more involved in the local party whether it be on the Executive Committees or running for council.

Having a single organiser will allow us to learn from each other’s best practices and be particularly useful in the campaigns that are common to us all including the upcoming GLA elections and the European Referendum. Many of the residents across the three boroughs have liberal values, they recognise the value that immigrants have brought to our city and are pro-European – we just need to persuade them that they are Lib Dems!

Several of the Exec members from the three local parties met on Monday evening to plan for the months ahead. Despite the whooping of the Corbynites (he was addressing the troops from the top of a fire engine below our meeting room!) we all felt optimistic. Camden have got a motion accepted for Autumn Conference, Haringey are ramping up campaigning for two forthcoming by-elections in Wood Green, and Islington are running a successful parking campaign and have a series of social events planned.

It’s early days, but it looks like our three local parties are all going to benefit from working together on the Lib Dem fightback!

* Cara Jenkinson is Vice-Chair of Haringey Liberal Democrats and PPC for Enfield North

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4 Comments

  • David Evans 10th Aug '15 - 1:10pm

    Great news, Our success in 2020 will be depend almost totally on local parties working together and fighting hard to rebuild and retain the trust their communities have in them.

  • I can only add to the comments from Cara, come and join the campaigning. I have already been out in Wood Green and Hornsey since May, regular campaigning is going on, come, old and new members, and join in. From past experience, campaigning now NOT just when GLA, Euro, Westminster elections are happening is worth much more 🙂

  • Chris Burden 11th Aug '15 - 4:00pm

    I happened to be in London for a job interview, so thought I’d join Lynne’s GE campaign team for an afternoon. What a jolly affair. Great meeting everyone.
    My task was to phone and try and round up the troops for a door knocking session. Next on my list was a certain Tim Gordon. (Could it be . . . ?) Phone rang. Answered. Silence for three or four seconds. Then terminated. Hmm.

  • Cara sorry to hear Lynne lost her seat in the election after all your teams hard work, but never mind Nick Clegg has flip-flopped and nominated Lynne to the unelected undemocratic House of Lords for all the good work she did in the Tory cabinet .

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