ALDC had a busy Spring Conference in Newcastle-Gateshead, with three new staff members (and one staff member in a new role), an exhibition stand, and two Fringe events. 

In addition, we were glad to see a packed room at our ‘thank you’ event for members, where party President Tim Farron welcomed attendees, including our new recruits, to the fold!

Training and Publications

ALDC’s training schedule was full, packing in eight separate sessions into the two main Conference days. Training sessions on offer included, ‘Winning in the Last Week’, ‘Winning the Postal Vote’, ‘Elected Mayor Referendum’, and ‘Promoting Local Growth’. Conference also saw the launch of ALDC’s new Campaign Toolkits, with the first toolkit ‘Operation Clean Streets’ being made available to all members and publicised at the exhibition stand. 

Nick Clegg joined ALDC Chief Executive Tim Pickstone and Membership Services Officer Emma Hall at the stand to discuss the wider local elections picture and promote ALDC’s joint publication with Mark Pack ‘Top Tips for Local Campaigners’.

ALDC officers also attended the LGA Local Government Awards, and CentreForum’s ‘Community Politics Reloaded’ event.

Development Officers

ALDC’s three Development Officers, Mike Bell, Neil Fawcett, and Mark Alcock, held introductory meetings with Lib Dem teams from the areas that they will now be assisting. 

These short briefings were a valuable opportunity for Mike, Neil, and Mark to get a feel for each local campaign before visiting each team in the run-up to the local elections.

Communications Officer

Communications Officer Craig Whittall met with a number of keyfigures in the world of Lib Dem communications, including Helen Duffett and Mark Pack.

He also spent time at ALDC’s exhibition stand discussing developments in social media and the MyCouncillor website platform with members. 

Fringe Events

Demand for our Friday evening Fringe Beating Labour Locally left the event ‘standing room only’, as Mark Pack, Mark Alcock, and Shaun Roberts discussed how to fight the Labour Party effectively in May’s local elections.

The Q&A afterwards was lively, as the full-house shared their stories of what has worked in their areas.

Our Saturday lunch-time Fringe event was a panel on Public Health, Local Control, with Paul Burstow MP, David Buck from the King’s Fund, and Baroness (Sal) Brinton. The Q&A kept the focus of the debate on Health &?Wellbeing Boards and the role of local government in the new NHS structures. The meeting was well-attended and conversations continued well into the afternoon.

Newcastle-Gateshead was a fantastic event, and we would like to thank all of our members who were able to pay us a visit and discuss events in their area.

Our next major event is the Local Government Conference in Bedford. With new training modules, special guests, and local government exhibitors, it will be a valuable opportunity for local campaign teams to build momentum going into the summer.

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