Reading Paul Abbott's articles on Conservative Home was for me a real case of deja vu. I was struck by how closely his description of the Party’s membership management has matched my own experience. As a ward Association Chair and District councillor, trying to get hold of a single up to date member list was impossible.
I am pleased that Paul has diagnosed the issue publicly and accurately and I support his ideas of bringing member management into CCHQ. His ideas of giving greater power to local associations to self-finance and support their activities is also a very good idea.
Perhaps one other constructive suggestion that could be added to Paul’s ideas would be to introduce some reward, some kind of return on investment, so that when those Conservative voting non-members support the party and come along to socials there is some token of exclusivity that we (as an association) could offer. It could be a bond or dividend scheme, or just a revamp of our rewards and discounts offer. With this I would target he same sort of person inclined to be a National Trust of RSPB member – people who are already motivated to support a cause, but who rationally don’t see the benefit of paying extra money over to become a member when they may well already be supporting it in other ways.
I hope that Paul’s suggestions will feed into the outcome of Lord Feldman’s Review and help make the membership offer stronger and more coherent.
Cllr Charles Easton