Having recently become a councillor, and been involved with the association for a couple of years, I attended my first SW conference, in Plymouth. A chance to meet people from all around the south-west region.
Two days of full-on activity followed, with much useful information gathered from the sessions run by the Campaign Academy, the many excellent speakers but most of all, the likeminded people. The best thing was the opportunity to chat with so many Conservatives from the South West, not only Devon and Cornwall, but also Somerset and Dorset, even a few from Wales and Glasgow.
My brain is still in overload mode! So much positive thinking, so many positive people.
But…………. the Conference highlighted that a lot of hard work is needed from all and that work starts right now.
We did a whole session on new ideas, which the five police and crime commissioners discussed afterwards. Nationally, the Conservative Policy Forum is a great vehicle through which to channel suggestions, which may eventually reach Number 10. It really gives you a reason to join in - to begin feeling like your opinion really counts. I look forward to being actively involved in our local Torridge and Tavistock CPF from the start. I hope others will join me, so we can make sure our ideas get a hearing and have our say.
Highlights? Too many individuals to mention by name but thanks to the organisers who did a brilliant job. One in particular really stands out, a big thank you to Mrs Marjorie Bayliss MBE, our regional chair ……….Well done Mrs B!
PS, hot on the heels of the Southwest conference, just a few days later I had the pleasure to speak in person with the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, who was on a Whistlestop visit to Plymouth. I managed to get both him and Jonny Mercer together and discuss the great work Geoffrey Cox has been doing for Devon and the rural economy assisted by myself as a new Torridge Councillor and Jonny commented on Geoffrey’s excellent talk to the SW Conference. On the doorstep people are not turning wholesale to Labour. We really may have a surprise on our hands.
If you would like your ideas to be considered by the Conservative policy forum, just get in touch.