The CSI works by forming a team of candidates from the approved list to work with local party members and supporters to encourage those who are currently applying and other local people to get involved and work together for the Party. In Liverpool the team has been in place for twelve months and is making huge strides forward in building Party membership, raising funds, creating a higher and more positive profile for the Party in the city, and most importantly, in increasing support at the ballot box.
The Party fielded candidates in every ward in the city on May 1st and made huge inroads into the Liberal Democrat’s majority in the key target ward of Woolton, as well as making great progress in other wards including Allerton, Mossley Hill and Cressington. Across the city the Party’s total vote was up 37% on last year. The Party ran a positive and energetic campaign across the City and received excellent local press coverage for its alternative vision of change for Liverpool.
With a huge increase in membership (up over 50% in the last twelve months) optimism is high that in 2010, the date of the next local elections in Liverpool, the Party can take further giant strides forward. Richard Downey, the Party’s excellent candidate in Woolton said:
“It was a pleasure to meet so many residents whilst canvassing in Woolton and to discuss some of the problems we experience under a Liberal Democrat run council and a Labour Government. Our campaign team knocked on every door in Woolton and Gateacre and we discovered that an overwhelming number of residents share our views”.
Many of these residents had not heard from the Party for years but were receptive to our message of social responsibility and our ideas for mending Britain’s broken society.
As Liverpool-bred Nadine Dorries MP wrote at the time, in 2007 the five Conservative Associations in the city (Wavertree, Walton, West Derby, Riverside and Garston) amalgamated and became “The City of Liverpool Conservatives”. They elected a new chairman, the local entrepreneur behind the Caldeira cushion empire Tony Caldeira, and an executive to run its campaigning, all but two of whom are in their twenties.
Since that reorganisation, which breathed new life into the Party in Liverpool, the City of Liverpool Conservatives has been very busy. The team also has a hugely committed Shadow Minister for Liverpool in Chris Grayling MP, who is working hard on behalf of the Conservatives and the city; making monthly visits to promote the city, listening to local people and talking about key issues facing Liverpool. The team has also been offering support to local target seats such as Wirral West and Sefton and has held events welcoming David Cameron, George Osborne, Mark Prisk and Nadine Dorries to the city.
Following the May elections the City of Liverpool Conservatives are developing a campaign plan for the 2010 local elections and the next general election, under the umbrella of the Party’s CSI.
The City of Liverpool Conservatives will soon select their candidates for the next General Election but between now and then the group will continue to work as team taking on Labour and the Liberals across the city and the region.
The City of Liverpool Conservatives do not underestimate the size of the challenge- the first being to get a Councillor elected to the city’s Council- but they are committed and ready to meet the challenge and present a loud, relevant, and local Conservative voice on behalf of the people of Liverpool.
Author’s note: I am on the candidates list and the Liverpool CSI team, explains the progress being made by the Party in Liverpool. Picture: Some of the Liverpool CSI team campaigning in May with Chris Grayling MP and Den Dover MEP.
This post is also available at http://conservativehome.blogs.com/platform/2008/06/ben-jones-the-f.html