The difference your campaigning makes
Here’s my latest report for Liberal Democrat members and supporters. These reports also appear on the party website.
So many people depend on the help and love of unpaid carers, relying on them to get through essential day-to-day challenges such as washing, dressing and eating. Yet our unpaid carers are often without adequate support, having to juggle caring with their own work.
Which is why Wendy Chamberlain’s Carer’s Leave Act, steered through the Lords by Lib Dem peer Chris Fox, is such an impressive and important achievement. A special shout-out too for Wendy’s Senior Researcher, Kathryn Sturgeon, who did a power of work on the bill.
It’s an impressive achievement because the chance for any MP outside the government to get new legislation through is rare. It’s also an important achievement because the Act gives important new support to carers, allowing time off work to manage caring responsibilities.
The Act means an estimated 2.4 million carers across the UK now have a statutory right to take five days of unpaid leave per year. The law benefits employers too as those businesses which already provide such leave report reduced recruitment costs, improved retention and better staff well-being.
Wendy seized the opportunity when it came. But she was only there in Parliament to see the opportunity because of your support and campaigning. It’s the difference that getting Liberal Democrats elected makes. Thank you.
I know readers will want to join me in giving our condolences to Ming Campbell, after his wife Elspeth died earlier this month. As Wendy Chamberlain said, “Elspeth was a kind and generous person, known to and loved by many of us within the Scottish Liberal Democrats in North East Fife and beyond. I will treasure the memory of the time I spent with her both prior to and since my election.”
Could it be you?
Five keen and talented people are needed for a variety of roles in the Federal Party, ranging from membership and supporter work to finance and judging appeals.
Even if you’re not looking for a new role, please do take a look as you may well know someone else who it would be worth you sharing this information with and encouraging to apply.
Details are up on our website for:
Although all the posts require a strong commitment to the Party’s values and success, that doesn’t mean you have to have lots of Lib Dem experience. They are all roles where there is plenty of experience outside the Party that could be very relevant.
The closing dates are later this month (21 June) and the Board hopes to make decisions on them in July.
The Federal Appeals Panel post (only) will then also be subject to a confirmation vote at our September Federal Party conference.
Congratulations and thank you for his work on the FFRC to Oliver Forder whose recent election as a councillor has caused a vacancy due to his new council meetings clashing with the committee’s. It’s the very best sort of reason for no longer being able to be on a committee!
Preparing for the general election
No, we don’t know when the general election will be. But yes, we do know that the better prepared we are, the better we will do.
So as part of the May Federal Board meeting, we looked at a new general election planning dashboard, tracking how our plans are coming together across the full range of activities required for a successful general election campaign.
We also agreed a plan to boost our legacy fundraising, including launching a new ‘Future Fund’ and giving the Federal Audit and Scrutiny Committee (FASC) the task of ensuring its funds are used appropriately. If you are interested in leaving the Party a gift in your own will, please do get in touch.
A new set of priorities for our diversity and inclusion work were agreed, building on our recent progress in areas such as target seat Parliamentary candidates. For the next phase of progress, we’ll be concentrating on targets such as improving the diversity of our local government base and who we speak with on the doorsteps.
Both of these are important in their own right and also important for their knock-on impact. Who we have canvass data from and who our councillors are in turn affects much else that we do, such as who we then try to recruit as a member or who ends up on one of our committees.
Alongside planning our business for the autumn conference, the Board also looked at how our recent big technology projects have gone and what lessons to apply to the next stages of improving our technology and data. Those next stages include starting to have a roadmap/backlog shared across the Party so that people can better understand, and plan around, what is likely to be done and when.
Autumn conference registration is open
We’ll be meeting in Bournemouth on 23-26 September for the autumn Federal Party Conference. Registration is now open, for both in-person and online attendance.
Another way of attending Conference is to volunteer as a steward, joining the fantastic team of volunteers who give up some of their time to assist in the running of the Conference. In exchange, stewards receive a free conference pass, as well as contributions towards subsistence, travel and accommodation. More information here.
Answers to your questions
Each Federal Party Conference includes a ‘Questions to the Board’ session, and where there isn’t enough time to answer each question in person on the day, written answers are provided afterwards. Those from our conference in York are available on the Party website, alongside the written answers to questions submitted for other party bodies too.
Got any other lessons to add to this list? Or have questions on any of this, or other party matters? Then please drop me a line on firstname.lastname@example.org. Do also get in touch if you’d like to invite me to do a Zoom call with your local party or party body.