There has been a two-week hiatus at the office as both Jon and I have taken long planned post-election holidays, and what time we have had has been taken-up with election expenses, Management meetings and general catching-up with all the small tasks that fall by the wayside during a busy campaign.
We are both now back, and with the three Management Committees all signing-off our summer development plans, our shoulders are well and truly back to the wheel. Here are just a few of the initiatives we are working on this week:
Tonbridge & Malling Recruitment Campaign: 18,000 residents will receive a personal invitation to join the Association in time to participate in the Parliamentary selection process later in the year. This is the largest recruitment campaign we have ever organised. The printer delivered the letters and recruitment leaflets yesterday - and in the last 24 hours we have mail merged and folded them. Supplies have now been delivered to Joyce Gadd who has brought together her team of packers to get the envelopes packed and in the post by Thursday! See HERE for more information.
Tunbridge Wells Local Government Selections: We started the process today for
re-interviewing our incumbent councillors for the 2014 local elections. This is the first stage of a process which will see us make significant efforts (in conjunction with Tonbridge & Malling and Chatham & Aylesford Associations) to widen and deepen the pool of potential candidates. This will involve newspaper adverts, mailshots to local voluntary groups and societies and a series of open days, where interested people can find out more about local government. I am confident that out in our communities there are hundreds of people who would make first class councillors - it's our job to reach out and identify who they are and make them welcome in our Party.
Tonbridge & Malling Conservative Future Launch: Having finally identified a good potential leader, T&M is now making good its commitment to invest heavily to get a CF group up and running. Working with our prospective CF Chair , Will Long, I have identified 250 18-20 year olds in and around the Tonbridge area who we are targeting for membership. In exchange for them joining CF, they will be invited to a complimentary launch party on Saturday 13 July - this will be a garden party and BBQ. Tracey Crouch MP has kindly agreed to attend and launch the branch. Having started my own political activism in the YCs nearly 35 years ago, I really do appreciate the importance of CF in getting the next generation involved in politics. They should be a vital and integral part of any Association, but their local success depends totally on the skill and ability of their leader.
Motorcycle Raffle: Today I wrote the publicity material and mailshot and signed off the proofs for an exciting new community initiative. One of our hard working Tunbridge Wells councillors, Chris Woodward, is raffling his pride and joy; a first edition 1100cc Honda touring motorcycle, with just 35,000 miles on the clock. The motorcycle is valued at £2,500. The proceeds from the raffle are being donated to the Trust which runs the Community Centre in the ward which Chris Woodward represents on the Council. The TW Association is contributing the cost of printing the mailshot to be hand-delivered to 2,000 local households plus the cost of the envelopes and reply postage. This is a super idea, and Chris deserves thanks and recognition for his generosity. For further information see HERE and this is a sample of the TICKET
On top of this, we have summer draw ticker reminders for three Associations (going out tomorrow), Q3 membership renewals, three Executive Councils to organise, a Powerpoint to produce for a Campaign Strategy Meeting, 20,000 calling cards to print for two MPs and the Kent Area Best Practice Training and Development Guide to produce ahead of the Kent Chairmen's Dinner in a few weeks time.
Oh yes, and I have received two phone calls asking if I am going to organise the Kent Reception at Harvey Nichols in Manchester during Party Conference, as they enjoyed it so much two years ago.