Saturday, 20 July 2013

Campaigning with Greg Clark and the team in Tunbridge Wells

This mornings enthusiastic campaign team in Tunbridge Wells
From left: Margaret Smith, Ed Hastie, William Rutherford, Dr Linda Hall, Bob Backhouse, Greg Clark MP,
Bill Hills, Julian Stanyer, David Scott, Alexine Bullett, Susan Potter, Judith Bullett, James Tansley & Bryan Potter

I was up at 7am and on the road to Tunbridge Wells by 8am to meet-up our weekly campaign team. We had a group of fifteen out this week, including three doorstep virgins, who enjoyed it so much they are looking forward to next time!  We are developing a new style of survey questionnaire; rather than simply asking people about their voting intention, we enquire about a whole range of local and national issues. Respondents have a laminated show card to guide them, and the canvasser has a personalised script for each voter. It does take longer than the old style canvassing, but the quality of the information is much better than before, and it also enables Greg to feed back into the policy discussions far more detailed analysis of voters' local and national priorities.

We have also a new calling card which we leave with outs or those too busy to chat. This enables them to participate in the survey, with a handy perforated section for the resident to retain, containing Greg's contact details. Click on image below to enlarge.

After spending some time on the doorsteps taking the local temperature, I drove to the lovely parish of Ashurst on the Kent / East Sussex border to meet with Graham Riddick, our outstanding Patrons' Club chairman. (More about Graham Riddick HERE). The Patrons' Club is a fund raising organisation for the local Party, organising two events each year (a summer garden party and a winter dinner at a prestigious London venue) each with interesting guest speakers. Graham is keen to grow the club, so I joined him for coffee to discuss recruitment ideas, including offering a discounted trial membership fee to encourage people to join to see if they enjoy it.  For the duration of the trial we have reduced the annual fee by 25% with any Party membership fee already paid also being deducted. For example:

Patrons' Club Standard Membership: £200
Less 25% reduction                            -£50
Less Party sub already paid (say)      -£50
Balance to join Patrons Club:         £100

New Patrons have sadly missed the excellent Summer Garden Party with Michael Fallon MP as guest (hence the reduced rate), but if they sign-up now they will receive complimentary ticket(s) for the autumn dinner at the Athenaeum Club in Pall Mall with Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Education.

Finally, back to the Constitutional Club in TW to regroup and debrief the team; a super day with 600 points of contact.  

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