Yesterday evening I met with the new Deputy Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Tunbridge Wells Conservative Association, who between them have specific responsibility for Association-wide fund raising. And what a productive and positive meeting it was.
The people concerned are the Bulletts (Judith and Alexine) - a Mother and Daughter double act. Judith is Deputy Chairman Membership & Fundraising and Alexine is Vice Chairman Fund Raising. We have constituted Tunbridge Wells so each of the Deputy Chairmen has two 'assistants' as the roles are simply too wide ranging for one person to cover effectively. It works well.
The meeting was wonderful because for the first time in a long time, I wasn't making the running. OK, it's my job to suggest, encourage, empower, cajole and, when necessary, take the lead if others are unable or unwilling to do so. But it's not often that I meet people whose enthusiasm and vision is such that I am the one running to catch up. It was not only refreshing but also invigorating!
I got the impression that Judith was a bit nervous about how I would react, as she was suggesting changes to things I had introduced and which worked reasonably well. I think, much to her surprise, I not only accepted her changes but positively welcomed them. One of the reasons I always throw away the designs for election leaflets after an election is I genuinely believe that the following year's can be better, and I don't ever want to stand still and rely on doing what I had done previously This is as true for the annual dinner and the Christmas bazaar as it is for campaigning and design.
They're not planning anything outrageous or financially risky; just bigger and more ambitious.
It's all about expectation and aspiration, and if Tunbridge Wells cannot pull it off, where can?
So a big thank you to the Bulletts. Let's hope they don't shoot the messenger!