Saturday, 22 August 2015

Fantastic in Fant - almost 50 activists on the doorsteps of Madstone today

A great day on the doorsteps in Fant today as friends and activists came not just from Maidstone but across the South East to support Matt Boughton's campaign.

First task was to deliver Matt's latest newsletter to 4,200 homes.  It was a full-colour A3 newsletter expertly designed by The Talented Mr Ripley Stephen Ion. I asked Stephen to leave the bottom left hand corner blank (see below). I then set-up a simple database of local issues on a street-by-street basis (the issues having already been identified on the doorsteps and via our Residents' Surveys and online polling) and used variable paragraph mail merge to produce separate editions of the leaflet for each road in the ward. (see photo 3 below). This gave the leaflet a truly local feel and ensured the issues being raised were specific to those receiving the leaflet.

After we had delivered the whole ward we went out canvassing, knocking on doors for a third time (in some cases a fourth and fifth times) in search of pledges from the last remaining residents who were 'out' on previous visits. The depth of our canvassing is so good that we have about 20% of the roads in the ward with recorded VIs for every resident. 

This has all been made possible by a small army of supporters who willingly give up their time to assist. Our core Ward Campaign Team of Stephen Paine, Alan Chell, Alan Bartlett, Joe Mamo were supplemented today by additional helpers from Faversham & Mid Kent, Tonbridge & Malling, Chatham & Aylesford, Sevenoaks, Hastings & Rye and teams from Kent CF and London CF. In total we deployed almost fifty activists in Fant ward today. a big thank you in particular the Conservative Future team who travelled from London; Peter Cuthbertson, Stephen Canning, Alexandra Paterson, Michael Vivona, Ed Roseff, Marie Walker, Luke Springthorpe and the organiser-in-chief, the lovely Thea Dickinson.

Each and every person today made a valuable contribution, but I want to say a special thank you to Liam and the team from Hastings. A couple of months ago we took a few carloads down to Hastings to help them with a by-election.  Hastings is a bit like Chatham & Aylesford, a small Association who have to fight like lions to keep their constituency Conservative. Today, as a 'thank you' for the help we gave them, they came to Maidstone. West Kent are major providers of mutual aid, and rightfully so. When we help another constituency we do so not expecting anything back in return, which is just as well.  So thank you to the Hastings members who made the effort to help us - a true example of 'mutual aid'. 

Finally, if any campaign team comes to help in Kent and want a 'selfie group shot' taken, don't ask the agent. Here is the hard working team from Chatham & Aylesford.

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