Cllr Matthew Palmer represents Queen’s Gate Ward in Kensington and Chelsea
As Conservative councillors may be aware some elections for the Conservative Councillors Aassociation are being contested this year.
One of the seats is for the position of London representative, a job that requires the holder of the title to attend six meetings a year, and that’s about it. That sounds like a perfect role for someone whose aim in life is to sit on committees. That is not for me and that is why I have decided to contest this election: It is my view that a change is required. I believe the London representative should be just that – representing the Conservative councillors of London.
I have been a councillor for eight years and not once have I been contacted by our London representative. So my first election promise is (with the agreement of each Leader) to come to each Conservative group at least once, introduce myself and start a proper communication exercise about local Government and the Conservative party.
Secondly, we then have to ask the question what does the CCA offer?
Well they do offer quite a lot, but it is not as well used as it could be or indeed should be, so part of my communication will be to publicise details of those services.
Perhaps the question should be: “What skills should the CCA be providing?”
I can think of two training courses which need addressing: first, a course for new councillors and those in marginal seats. There are some excellent councillors campaigning in London, but their work tends not to be known beyond the boundaries of their own Borough. Can we get their experience and share it with newcomers and those of us who are fighting a marginal seat?
The second group which could make good use of a training course would be identified with this question: “What differentiates us, as Conservatives, from other parties”. I would suggest that cutting out waste and keeping costs down is a good start. Which of us should be doing that? The answer is EVERY member of the CCA, but who actually does it effectively? Yet again better sharing of experience might be a way forward.
I could write a great deal spelling out my plans here, and perhaps I might next week, but for the moment, I will keep my targets to a minimum, but hope you agree there is a need for change at the CCA.
If you have a vote in this Election, the ballot papers should have been sent electronically and already arrived in your Inbox. As we say “vote early”!