Over one hundred local people from across the Thornbury and Yate area met in Thornbury to celebrate a big influx of new members to the local Liberal Democrats.
Whilst the local party was disappointed to see Steve Webb narrowly defeated as local MP, the weeks since the election have seen the biggest surge in party membership since records began. The meeting was a chance for new members to meet more established campaigners and councillors and to find out more about how the local party operates. At the meeting they heard from the local party chair, Cllr Karen Wilkinson from Marshfield, and from Steve Webb. Cllr Wilkinson told the gathering that the rush of new members had been a great boost after the disappointment of the election and said that she looked forward to working with them to campaign for local people. She also encouraged those attending to think about going along to the annual party conference, this year in Bournemouth, where they would be able to debate and determine the future of the party and its policies.
Speaking after the meeting, Steve Webb said:
“It has been a great encouragement to see new people from across the constituency and of all ages joining the party in recent weeks. They were united in the view that they wanted to stand up for Lib Dem values such as standing up for human rights, quality public services and protecting the environment”.
Karen Wilkinson said: “It has been uplifting to see the determination of our existing members being strengthened by so many new people prepared to stand up for their belief in a liberal and democratic society.”
Ellie-Barrett-Rees, a 17 year old member from Frampton Cotterell, said: “I am so excited to be getting involved with local politics. I think it’s important that more young people engage in politics to understand how local parties work, and maybe even shake up the system. It was inspiring to see so many like-minded people and I hope to meet many more.” Ellie is setting up a local ‘Liberal Youth’ group which will have its first meeting in July. Anyone interested in finding out more can contact the Lib Dems’ local organiser, Cllr Ben Campbell by e-mail at email@example.com