Around 30 new members attended and heard from Association Chairman, Michael Payne, and Tonbridge & Malling MP, Tom Tugendhat MBE. In welcoming the members Tom spoke of the importance of political engagement and the need for active citizens who helped shape their communities. Tom said the membership was vitally important but should not be seen as an end in itself, but rather a means to achieving an end - that being to ensure a Conservative voice was heard at all levels of government. A large, vibrant and active membership was key to achieving that, but was also vital to ensuring the party had eyes and ears in every town and village, enabling it to truly represent the wider community.
It was encouraging for me to see so many younger new members, many in their 20s and 30s - and apart from one or two whose membership had lapsed in recent years, none of those attending had ever been politically active before.
Maidstone's welcome party is tomorrow and next weekend Chatham & Aylesford and Tunbridge Wells are hosting theirs.
Here are a few more photographs from the event in Tonbridge: