How are you finding it recruiting your candidates?
The Liberal Democrat programme

Be a Councillor is a Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) project launched in January 2009 delivered by the Leadership Centre for Local Government for each of the three main political parties to assist YOU with the recruitment of a broader, deeper, and even more able pool of talented council candidates for future council elections. It is more about talent than about diversity but one leads to the other!

For each party, nine separate party meetings will be organised in regional venues. For the Liberal Democrats these will be in:

Birmingham Monday 30th March
Bristol Thursday 12th March
Cambridge Monday 23rd March
Leeds Tuesday 17th March
Newcastle Thursday 28th April
Northampton Monday 16th March
Eastbourne Monday 20th April
Portsmouth Tuesday 21st April
Stockport Wednesday 29th April

They will be evening meetings commencing probably at 7pm and ending soon after 9pm. Venues are in part chosen for ease of access for councils in neighbouring areas to also attend. Refreshments will be provided – after the meeting and travel expenses (for councillors) are refundable from your council because these are LGA meetings.

Further meetings will be held at the Federal Conference in Harrogate on 7th March (with Julia Goldsworthy MP) and at the LGA/ALDC Councillors Conference in Sheffield on 19th June.

All councillors will be invited. MPs and MEPs will be notified. But it is up to each of you to invite those people from your local party whom you think should be there. The optimum group of attendees from each council would include the Group Leader, at least two other councillors, someone responsible for the campaign, someone responsible for the candidate processes and a non-councillor candidate. All contact will be by e-mail.

Please register on-line.

The meetings are being held in March and April to be completed before the Euro campaign hots up. As you can see most of the venues are in areas where the Liberal Democrats control the council.

Your host is the Council Leader who will be introducing the event. It is unlikely and unavoidable that we’ll pick dates which don’t clash with meetings for some of you! That’s why we’re not issuing regional invitations but giving all councillors the chance to attend any of the meetings

The meetings are based on a pilot conducted in London which was very successful. The meeting is not an end in itself but each one will facilitate the identification of a substantial number of names of people whom the participants must then approach about becoming candidates.

There is opportunity for follow-up and support as well in the second phase.

Leadership Centre for Local Government has appointed Steve Hitchins to run this project for the Liberal Democrats with ALDC and the Lib Dem Group Office at the LGA.

More information will be coming out in the near future but don’t hesitate to contact me directly with any questions. My e-mail is and my mobile 07801106860.

Go on line and reserve your place NOW! Contact colleagues in your local party and make sure they go too. 

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