Sunday, November 19, 2006
Back from Brum
Over 100 Liberal Democrat activists from around the country gathered in Birmingham to get their election campaigns “Kick-Started,” and learn more about how they can get the bes for their local communities. From a personal point of view I really do feel energised to go out and continue our good work, and campaign to win in Bury in May.
After Cllr Andrew Garner and I became temporarily lost in the centre of Birmingham looking for the hotel (that's the last time he'll let me navigate, I'll bet...), it was great to meet fellow Liberal Democrats from as far a-field as Cornwall, Swansea and Buckinghamshire, as well as colleagues from Manchester, Bolton, Trafford and others from the North. It was also great to have a hotel room with a single bed, as I have been fretting about my disappearing youth for quite some time, and that kind of sleeping arrangement was a throw-back to much younger days!
There were 16 training sessions available over the weekend, and because there were five of us from Bury, I think the local party got universal coverage. The sessions covered lots of canvassing and campaigning tips, as well as information on how to be more effective for local communities on a range of issues.
The evenings were of course given over to more sociable pursuits, and there were two inspirational speeches, one each from Lorely Burt MP and Andrew Stunell MP. I had heard Andrew Stunell speak before, at the NW Regional Conference in Blackburn. But I hadn’t hear Lorely before, and her tales of winning Solihull at the last election were just the tonic to get us all going prior to our own campaigns in May.
Well done ALDC (and its Chief Executive, our own Cllr Tim Pickstone). If the aim of the weekend was to invigorate campaigners, then it was well and truly achieved. And, on behalf of my colleague and Sedgley campaigner Steve Wright, who doesn’t have a blog of his own, let me compliment everyone concerned on the quality of the food. Steve’s second (and third) helpings were testament to that!
I want to go to bed now, but am forced by the BBC1 schedulers to stay up until midnight, when they have decided to show a Paul Simon live show. After three late nights in a row, I will start the week needing another weekend!