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Matthew Richardson's sixth monthly report

Matthew_richardson The more perceptive of you will have noticed that I did not make a report last month, which was largely because nothing happened in April.


There have been no NME meetings since my last report.  I have attended several CF events, including the Tooting Campaign Day and Tooting CF launch, National Convention and Spring Forum.  I also visited with Greater Manchester CF for drinks and a “getting to know you” session.  I am astounded by the good work that GMCF is doing and I look forward to their summer ball.

Campaigning portfolio

In my last report I mentioned that it has been suggested that I should establish a brand for national CF campaign days in order to distinguish them from local action days. I would still like ideas from members of CF as to what this brand might be.

At the start of the year I was given a work plan which required me to run 6 days before the end of my term in office with a total of 200 people attending.  So far I have run 5 days with 265 people attending.  I do intend to run all 6 days and I hope that the total number of activists will be closer to 300.

In addition to this I am putting together a file of what I consider to be “best practice” for CF national campaign days.  I will be handing this file to the National Organiser before the close of nominations of the next CF election.  The quick turnover of CF officers often means that useful tips that are picked up in any given year are lost when the new batch of officers are elected. I will be encouraging each of the other members of the exec to submit such a file before the close of nominations.

Tooting campaign day

We had 78 volunteers at the Tooting campaigning day; delivering 20,000+ leaflets with the help of the association to many areas of the constituency.

I am told this was the most successful campaign day in CF’s history. It is especially heartening given that it was on the day of the FA Cup final and the Test Match and right in the middle of university finals. There was also a rival campaign day held by CF honorary vice-president Simon Jones in Dagenham and Rainham.

The volunteers included me, Mark Clarke, Karen Allen, Claire Palmer, Emma Waterfall, veterans Andy Strang and Ben Pickering (whose contribution should not be underestimated) and several new additions including first timer Lloyd Campbell.  I would like to thank OUCA for once again sending the largest team (although in future could I recommend that bow tie and tweed not be used for campaigning in London constituencies).

I would like to thank Mark Clarke the PPC, Rob Morritt the agent, and the Tooting association for the welcome they extended to us.


I am please to announce that the Worcester branch is now fully set up and ready to go on its own according to the plan the Chairman outlined at the start of the year, there are now 25 members and they have held 2 very successful events.  Whilst this branch has nominally been under my supervision it is fair to day that nothing could have been accomplished without Anne-Marie Bray.  I am sure that Worcester should be used as the model of a new CF branch.  The NME and I will be pleased to offer any help and support to Worcester but I have a feeling there will be nothing extra we can give that Anne-Marie and her team won’t be able to do.

In addition the Chairman has secured £2000 for Worcester in order to aide with the future running and branch development.  I understand that Robin Walker, the PPC, and Anne-Marie Bray are working on plans already.

Local Elections

Obviously the massive success in the local elections has been a tremendous boost for the party and for CF and I am very happy that there have been a record number of CF age candidates this year.  Should any CF member wish to find out more about how to stand in local elections as a conservative candidate then I am very happy to provide that information at the usual e-mail address.


I attended national convention and voted for Richard Robinson and Emma Pidding for the board.  I did not vote in the super annuity fund vote because I did not believe that sufficient information was available for me to make a reasoned judgement on the matter.

I was very pleased with the contribution of many of the CF delegates to the discussion, most notably Greg Stafford and Sam Coates.

Manifesto commitments

In my manifesto I highlighted the need for more events for young professionals, more policy days and a decision on NUS involvement.

At the last NME meeting we made a decision on our NUS policy; that there would be no official candidate for any NUS position, or indeed any involvement in the NUS this year beyond an official stall for the distribution of literature and signing up at a total cost of £150. However despite (or possibly because of) this lack of engagement CF member Sam Rozati was elected to the Block of Twelve, which I am told is the governing body of the NUS.  Well done to him.  I have yet to find out about the success or otherwise of the sign-up stall.

Karen Allen’s committee have been working very hard to put together the CF Working Life Conference 2007 and I am pleased to advise details of the campaigning session to be held in Egbaston in the course of the weekend of 20th July.

Deidre Alden will be leading a team of campaigners into Edgbaston on Sunday 22nd July. Edgbaston is a marginal seat; based on the 2005 result we only need an additional 2,349 votes to take it.  While this will be a largely CF based group it will not fall under my portfolio and Karen Allen will be the NME member in charge.

I urge you to sign up to the Conference. Places are limited and bookings made before 1st June can benefit from the early bird discount. You'll also see from the website there are some excellent speakers hosting a variety of sessions during the weekend.


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