Welcome to the first of what will soon be regular updates directly from your co-chair team! Once our term properly starts in January I will try and get one of these out quarterly as a minimum, to ensure that our members are kept up to date with everything we’re doing here at Liberal Reform.
As most will know by now, I was chosen by my fellow board members to serve as co-chair for 2021/22. I’d first like to thank the previous co-chair team Andy and Alan for encouraging me to run, if they hadn’t done so then I probably wouldn’t have taken the plunge and volunteered!
I’d also like to thank both of them along with Dan Carr (who served as co-chair before Alan) for all the work that they’ll done over the past two years. In that time we’ve created a formal membership scheme which didn’t exist previously, created the Facebook group where we’ve been able to engage directly with members, hosted some great events at conference and on Zoom, and more besides. They’ve laid a great foundation from which I hope to build upon, and my intention certainly is not to flip the table over and start from scratch.
That said, I do intend on making a few changes. Under my leadership I want Liberal Reform to think bigger, to think longer term, and to really get things done within the Liberal Democrats. I have already set out a bold set of policy plans for 2021/22, which includes establishing a long term vision, collaborating with other Lib Dem organisations and producing a new LR publication. My main task as co-chair over the next 2 years, will be to implement these plans in full.
In order to get all of this done though I will need help. LR is only a part-time venture for me, I also have a full time job in the financial sector which is a huge commitment, so it’s simply not going to be possible to do everything myself. If I want to make plans like more long term campaigns and Orange Book 2 into a reality, then support from the new Liberal Reform board is going to be absolutely crucial.
However the role of the board at the moment is a bit vague. It’s essentially a group of 10-12 NPOs, that divide up tasks on an ad-hoc basis. No successful organisation that I’m aware of, be it in the private, public or third sectors, operates in that way. So what I’ve been working on for this past month or so is a new structure for the board, that (at least in theory) will allow us to operate more efficiently, improve accountability and allow us to utilise the skills and interests of each board member in the best way possible.
I’m planning to split the 10 person board into 5 teams as follows:
- Co-chairs (Me and Alan)
- Campaigns team (2 members)
- Comms team (2 members)
- Policy team (2 members)
- Ordinary members (2 members)
I’m still in the process of fine tuning the exact duties of these roles, and finalising who will occupy each one, but members will know the final make up of the board soon after Christmas. So for example, if you want to specifically get in touch with the policy team and share some ideas, you’ll soon be able to do so (and please do!)
In January this new board will formally take office, and shortly we’ll be announcing the start of our first long term policy campaign, which I hope to tell you more about very soon. There’s a lot of exciting stuff in the pipeline, and they’ll be plenty of opportunities for ordinary members to get involved with this too over the next few months, so stay tuned!
I believe that the Lib Dems are currently lacking a serious intellectual foundation, and that the principle goal of Liberal Reform should be to provide (at least in part) that foundation, by advocating a liberalism that champions opportunity for all, internationalism, and personal freedom. That’s basically my goal for the next 2 years.
I don’t imagine for one second that it’s going to be easy, but with the support of the slightly re-worked LR board as well as the wider membership, I think we can do it.
Thanks for reading everyone, and have a great Christmas!
Co-Chair Elect – Liberal Reform