Dr Spencer Pitfield is the National Voluntary Director of the Conservative Policy Forum (CPF).
Since its re-launch in January 2011, the Conservative Policy Forum (CPF) has gone from strength to strength. With less than a year to go until the general election we wanted to take the opportunity to highlight some of our achievements from the last three years:
- Groups in every region. We now have groups active in every region and area across the country. These nearly 250 different groups are helping us draw out the crucial issues that we must tackle for the success of our country.
- Over 30 discussion briefs published and nearly 3,000 written submissions received. Our discussion programme has been at the heart of our activity and we have made sure to cover topics from almost every government portfolio. Over the course of the past three years we have published over 30 briefs and received 3,000 written submissions from members and supporters.
- A Minister has replied to each of our summary of responses. All of the submissions we have received in response to our discussion briefs have been summarised and sent to the relevant Conservative Minister. These, in turn, have all received a response from the Minister addressing the ideas put forward by Members.
- Five Sectoral Groups giving us expert insight. Complementing the discussion programme has been the work of our Sectoral Groups which are made up of, and chaired by, experts in each of the following fields: Productivity; Home Affairs and Justice; Public Services and Infrastructure; Learning and Culture; and Foreign Affairs, Defence and Aid. Over the past three years each of these groups has examined a range of policies within their remit, giving the Party direct insight into the views of their sector.
- Three successful Winter Conferences. The CPF has held a successful Winter Conference in January for the past three years. A Conservative member of the Cabinet has joined us at all three.
- Praise from David Cameron. The Prime Minister recorded a message for CPF members ahead of the 2014 Winter Conference in Leeds emphasising the great value that the Party places on the work of the CPF. In his message the Prime Minister said: “I also want to take this opportunity to thank CPF members for your vital contribution to the Party’s national discussion on policy – a contribution which be in no doubt will have a direct influence on the outcome of the vital 2015 election.”
- A packed programme at every Party Conference. We have led a robust programme at each of the past three Party Conferences. Always well-attended, the CPF has hosted fringe events ranging from policy ‘Dragon’s Dens’ to lively topical debates. These events have been held alongside our ever-popular Annual Lecture given by a senior member of the Party.
- A direct line between volunteers and Cabinet members. The CPF remains volunteer-led with a direct line to Oliver Letwin ensuring that Members have a real say in the direction our Party is taking.
- Committed Regional Co-ordinators. Our network of Regional Co-ordinators (RCs) are crucial to the CPF’s success. Our RCs work tirelessly to foster, support and grow the CPF in their regions. Each year since 2012 we have hosted a development day at CCHQ for our RCs so that we can all come together to reflect on the CPF’s progress so far, reaffirm priorities for the future and share best practice.
- Feeding into the 2015 manifesto process.In 2011, Oliver Letwin gave the re-launched CPF the specific remit of facilitating a national discussion on the key themes which we will need to address in the 2015 manifesto. The CPF National Team is now working on feeding the results of this discussion into this process.
As you can see, the CPF has been incredibly active over the last three years and we are excited to continue to contribute to the formation of the Party’s policies as we head in to the 2015 general election and then throughout the next Parliament.
If you would like to learn more about the CPF’s past and ongoing activities please visit our website at www.conservativepolicyforum.com. Thank you to everyone who has helped make the CPF such a success!