One of our great strengths in Tunbridge Wells is the Ladies' Group. For years they have been the mainstay of the Association - at low times in the Party's fortunes their work has held the Association together and provided a base for our recovery. As well as raising money, spreading the political word, acting as a platform for Conservative discussion and a catalyst to bring together hundreds of like minded people, they are also the most formidable envelope packing machine imaginable - and the one big advantage between the Ladies Group and a modern envelope packing machine, the Ladies don't require an expensive annual maintenance contract (other than constant cups of tea and an odd packet of digestive biscuits).
It is unfashionable these days to have groups based on gender, but my philosophy on such matters is live and let live. CF limit people by age, Women2Win and Emily's List promote female Parliamentary candidates, the Conservative Christian Fellowship probably wouldn't welcome an agnost. If a group of ladies who all share a belief in Conservative values wish to meet, organise events and form bonds of friendship, what right does anyone have to stop them? There has been talk amongst the "men folk" of forming a "Curry Club" - but nothing has come of this suggestion (and probably won't until the Ladies Group get them organised!)
Tonight the Ladies Group held a recruitment evening which about 20 potential new members attended. The event was hosted by Mr and Mrs R Davies Knight at their house in Calverley Park. Greg and Helen Clark were the guests of honour. From the 20 attendees, I imagine 8 or so will join the Party and get involved in our work. If every association in the UK recruited 8 new members, that would equate to 5,000 across the UK.
So, a big thank you to Mrs J Bullet (Chairman of the Ladies Group) and her committee, who do so much to support the work of the Conservative Party in Tunbridge Wells.