A few weeks ago I hinted at a new and innovative campaign that we would be launching in West Kent; another example of our determination to reach out beyond our core membership, to encourage participatory democracy and welcome new people into the heart of the Conservative Party.
Tomorrow (Friday 12 July 2013) the following full page advertisement will be appearing in the Kent & Sussex Courier newspaper. It is an invitation to residents to attend a Open Day to find out more about the work of a local councillor and to consider if they would like to become a Conservative Local Government Candidate. If we receive a good response we will run the same advertisement in the Kent & Medway Messenger Group, which covers the Malling part of Tonbridge & Malling plus the Chatham & Aylesford Constituency.
In addition to the full page ad in the Courier, copies of the leaflet have been sent to over 300 community groups (such as Rotarians, WIs, Neighbourhood Watch Groups, Round Tables etc) as well as to 1,000 Conservative Party members. We will also be handing the leaflets out at railway stations and delivering them door-to-door in some our target wards.
The press release (printed below) explains why we are doing this, and what we hope to achieve. Not only is it another example of how we are trying to reach out to the wider community and involve them in our work, but to send a message that the Conservatives are open to all, inclusive on pour approach and unafraid of innovation.
I am also keen that we widen and deepen the pool in which we fish for our candidates and councillors. Some of our most outstanding councillors were not party members and had never before considered standing for election until a chance meeting planted the seed. I want to bring in new people, with new ideas and enthusiasm; both to renew our organisation and bring fresh thinking into local government.