There has been considerable enthusiasm for a regular newsletter to be distributed to all members of the Association so let’s make a start with what is intended to be a monthly bulletin. Let me begin by wishing each of you a Happy and Prosperous New Year.
This edition covers candidate selection, campaigning, major topics for the AGM, an update on our main developments in 2016 and concludes with a calendar of events for the first six months of 2017.
Review of 2016
Much effort was devoted to closing down the shop and office at 495 Norwood Road in April. The shop was soon occupied by a cycle sales and repair firm called Bon Velo, which is trading successfully. The residual office functions were transferred to Heather Neale and based on her home, the address of which is above. This arrangement proved robust enough to process 120 new members, who joined following the EU Referendum, as well as coping with the basic routines of membership and even administration.
Work on refurbishing the flats also commenced at the end of April and was completed on 4th November. A new tenant moved into the first floor flat on 15h December and the upper flat will welcome its first tenants this month. The effect of these changes has been to minimise costs and boost rental income, thus freeing resources for campaigning.
At the urging of Central Office the Lambeth and Southwark Associations have commenced the process of candidate selection for the borough elections in May 2018. Candidate screening for Lambeth wards took place in November. Jack Kelly and Kelly ben Maimon were successful and it is hoped that they will be selected as candidates for Thurlow Park Ward.
A similar process is envisaged for Southwark candidates with a meeting planned for Saturday, 18th February at Canada Water Library. Association members wishing to be considered as candidates, particularly for the new Dulwich Wood ward (ex College) should let me know as soon as possible.
Our DC Campaigns, Michael Johnson, has produced a leaflet in conjunction with our councillors for Village ward, which was distributed to all households in December. It is intended that this will be followed by similar leaflets every two months. A similar leaflet is being printed for distribution to Lambeth wards.
Michael has been revising the database for advising members and friends of campaign plans and this should launch soon. Rachel Wolf is reviving our websitehttp://www.dwnconservatives.com which will now be regularly maintained.
Philip Virgo is spearheading campaigning in Thurlow Park. His plans will be developed at a Ward meeting scheduled for 26th January and include regular social events and policy discussions.
Annual General Meeting
The AGM will be held on Tuesday 28th March at 7.30 for 8 pm in St Barnabas Parish Hall. As ever officers will be elected but this year members are urged to stand as several officers are approaching the end of their three year term of office. The office of treasurer is a particular concern as I have been acting in this role for the past year and, whist is allowable it is not desirable. So any one who wishes to consider it please let me know so I can explain the current requirements.
We discussed the effect of the Boundary Commission proposals on our and neighbouring parliamentary constituencies at the Open Meeting last October. Further discussions will take place at the Borough Liaison Committee on 16th January. Following this firm plans should result to establish a multi constituency association (MCA) for consideration and resolution at the AGM.
Calendar for 2017
A calendar of events from January to July is attached. Some gaps will have to be filled later. The important points to note are that there will be three fundraising events, one of which will be a summer party, and a regular series of policy discussions. A further innovation is the Film Night on 16th February.
The calendar will be rolled forward every month and flyers for the fundraisers will be attached. Heather Neale will process flyer replies. Members and guests wishing to attend the policy meetings or the film evening should notify Heather by post or email at firstname.lastname@example.org Rachel Wolf has agreed to co-ordinate attendance at the policy meetings and Heather will give her the details of those wishing to attend.