It’s been a big few weeks for ALDC in Wales! On the 25th and 26th September we hosted a successful Motivate weekend in Llanelli (more on that later!), and on the 7th September members of ALDC in Wales came together and agreed on a constitution in order to form ALDC Cymru and so to represent Welsh members within ALDC.
It’s great to have a dedicated team on the exec for ALDC Cymru, and I’d like to let you know a little about them:
Sam Bennett – Chair
As a former Constituency Organiser now working in marketing, Sam has a wealth of experience to bring to bear in implementing winning ways. Cutting his campaigning teeth in Ceredigion, running campaigns in Brecon and Radnorshire and as a candidate in Swansea, Sam has experience of rural and urban campaigns against Labour, Conservatives, and Plaid Cymru. Keen to see the Welsh Liberal Democrats thriving once more, focusing on community politics is Sam’s passion.
Cllr Jackie Charlton – Vice Chair
Jackie Charlton is a County Councillor in Powys in what is one of the smallest Wards in the county. Jackie values the ethos of the Lib Dem family which embraces many of the causes that have shaped her political views finally coming home to the politics of equity and inclusiveness.
Cllr Richard Church – Secretary
Richard is a Welshpool Town Councillor. He was a former councillor and opposition leader in Northamptonshire and cabinet member on Lib Dem controlled Northampton Borough before it was ruined by the Conservatives. Looking to win in Powys in 2022.
Mike O’Carroll – Treasurer
Mike is an activist and campaigns coordinator for the Swansea & Gower Local Party. He was the parliamentary candidate for Swansea West in the 2017 and 2019 General Elections, and has been an agent in local and Senedd elections. He chaired the Welsh party’s review of the Thornhill recommendations following the 2019 General Election, and is also the Wales representative on the ALDC Management Committee.
Ceri Meechan – Ordinary member
Ceri was born in Welshpool, and currently lives in Montgomeryshire. I have a degree from Aberystwyth university where I was Chair for the Liberal Democrat Society. I was also a Town Councillor for Aberystwyth from 2008 to 2012. Ceri is currently secretary of Mont Lib Dems, Welsh Conference Committee and Welsh Policy Development Committee as well as being an ordinary member of the Finance and Resource Committee.
Cllr Ashley Wood – Ordinary member
Ashley has been a councillor on Cardiff Council since 2017 representing Gabalfa Ward and is currently chair of the council group. He joined the Liberal Democrats in 2004 inspired by then leader Charles Kennedy. Cornish by birth Ashley moved to Cardiff in 2003 to train as an Optometrist, the topic on which he now lectures at Cardiff University.
We’re already working together on bilingual ALDC templates for Wales, as well as making sure that we support all Welsh by elections with a dedicated team of volunteers. We’re really looking forward to seeing what a difference the ALDC Cymru team makes!
Our Motivate weekend
On the 25th and 26 September, ALDC hosted a Motivate weekend for Welsh members, in Llanelli.
The remit of the weekend was simple – help Welsh Core team members and activists learn skills to help them build and win in the Welsh local elections 2022. We ran 10 training sessions, and a supported campaign plan session which helped attendees really focus on what their next steps were going to be.
We were joined on the Saturday by Jane Dodds, MS, who gave an excellent speech and took some questions (and brought chocolates – thank you Jane!). We also heard from Richard Cole on the reality of the political landscape in Wales, and from Nicola Clark on what ALDC can offer Welsh members, and how important it is to start now and build teams. We were also really lucky to be joined by the recent Council by election winner Thom Campion on how canvassing little and often can make a huge difference in a ward.
And finally, from the 5th October we are working with the Federal Party to host weekly campaign surgeries for Welsh members. Our feedback has been that Welsh members would much prefer bespoke sessions and the ability to get direct advice from staff, and we have listened! You can join us on Tuesdays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 12pm for advice on all things Campaigns in Wales. Find our more here – https://www.welshlibdems.wales/advice_surgeries