Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Area Chair' role to be scrapped?

tBg understands there is speculation that the CF Area Chair' role is to be replaced with Regional Coordinators. Presumably by regional, they mean North West, South East, Scotland etc. How one person is supposed to keep everyone in such vast swathes of land happy is unsure. However, this shake-up could prove vital into bringing many branches together on a more national level, and in the end improve relations on a wider scale.

According to there are 41 area chair' positions in CF, but there are 12 regions in the UK. tBg could probably remember 12 chairs' off by heart, but he ashamedly admits he doesn't know all 41 area chairs' off by heart.

We all know there is a problem with national communication. tBg suggests being really radical and taking it to the next level for a real grassroots approach to national representation. Maybe each regional chair' should sit on the NME with duties appointed by the elected national Chair' (example: Joe Bloggs elected for North West - Appointed Duties; Social Action). So in affect a CF'er would have a vote for a Chairman, and a vote for Chair' in their region who they believe would best represent on the National Management Executive. Or maybe the careerists John Moorcraft talks about wouldn't be too happy with that? Just a thought.


Richard Lowe said...

I quite like this idea - at the very least it will mean there will be no, alleged or otherwise, London centricity!

Anonymous said...

It's Saddam politics

angry ac said...

As an AC it would be nice if Rock et al consulted me to ask me if I agreed with this new plan.

I agree that there are flaws in the current system but wasn't one of Rock's campaign pledges to 'give back power to the AC's and branch chairmen from the NME'?

Surely the NME and AC's should work together to change the current system? I admit that sometimes I find it difficult to run my area that has over twenty constituencies in it so giving a regional co-ordinator up to eighty constituencies plus before a general election will no doubt be ineffective.

It is also outrageous to sack all of the AC's across the UK- Rock is going to lose a lot of members over this.

I've also heard that Rock et al are going to appoint the regional co-ordinators which angers me even more.

Anonymous said...

If true. Members and Area Chairmen in particular should be told directly and not find out in this way. CF NME and CCHQ have been doing a drip drip suggestion of change, but nothing transparent. It is not good form.

Anonymous said...

This concerns me and many others like me!

The whole point of cf is to maintain a direct link to LOCAL members.By removing area chairs the NME are surely going to remove the opportunity to engage with people at the most local level.this is about European style regionaliastion for the sake of regionalisation.

Take for example the south east area which covers Oxford to Dover.what on earth have the two got in common?is the NME seriously thinking that Oxford will help in Dover for campaigning?like hell that will ever happen.their policy is not practical.

If the chairman is concerned about the lack of communication it would be wise to appoint regional chairs and they work with the area chairman.the area chairs can then work with the regional chairs who will then pass on that info.this will preserve the local links.

This is not about some libertarian axe to cut bureaucracy, largely as there is no cost to the system.surely the whole point of libertarianism is all about working at the most practical local level.the policy of subsidiarity.Area chairs preserve this link.

What do members think?

Alexandra Swann said...

There are so many problems with this idea.
1)As an area chair who works bloody hard I really do not know how anyone would manage 3 counties or so as a regional director without neglecting some parts. Whilst there are some brilliant branch chairmen there are not enough to cover all areas efficiently without being overseen by an AC.
2)Would the regional directors have to be from their region? If not then would they know the area well enough to oversee it and assist BCs? If so, then what about all the decent people who have moved to London for other careers - there would only be one job. And are there definitely 12 people of good ability spread evenly across the country or would some miss out because they are not from the right region? Furthermore, would they meet to discuss CF at a national level and if so wouldn't this be difficult to arrange?
3) If a system of voting were to be introduced were the BCs voted for a regional director couldn't a "careerist" area chairman see this coming and place their supporters into these roles?

It all sounds like a revival of CF4Britain to me.

There are many things to be said for these ideas but perhaps just making the NME more accountable to their areas would be more effective?

Alexandra Swann said...

I'd like to add I'm fully aware I may get attacked for asking legitimate questions against a prospective policy and being honest enough to put my name to it. So be it.

Julian G said...

Well Ms. Swann, u got cahoonas unlike most Annon' comments. And if politics isn't about progressive policy discussion, what is it about?

Alex Agius said...

I would like to see\hear the details of what is actually being proposed by Rock and hear him explain how he invisions this new system working. I hope we will take the opportunity at the right time to fully explain his plans.

I have 12 constituencies in my area and that it enough! AC's spend a lot of time travelling there area and putting in the leg work to try and support branches (who all want your help\time) often incurring expenses in the process. This is in addition to supporting national events and election campaigns all over the country. Without seeing the details of Rocks plans I do not see how one individual could cover a large region.

There are some AC's who do work hard, cover there area, support branches, work very hard to start up new branches and get new people involved and put there hand in there own pocket when needed. They do this because they care about the area and Conservative Future and want to do what they can to support both. I do not understand why you would want to get rid of these people. Although I am happy to work hard and support my area I would not want to be responsible for a large region and wouldn’t be interested in this new position. I think the will be others who feel the same and there is a risk of alienating these people.

I also agree with and fully endorse my good friend Alexandra Swann's previous comments and feel she raises some excellent points. She is a very good, hard working AC and deserves to be thanked for the work she puts in, not abolished.

Adele Douglas said...


I'm certainly not going to attack you for asking questions. I'll even try my best to answer them!

1) I agree with you on this point - it would be a lot of work and I would personally want safeguards to be put in to ensure that the RC doesn't just concentrate on one part of the area. I would also like it to be a requirement that the RC meets with all his BC's regularly - maybe break the area down into 5 or six smaller areas, and meet with the BC's from each area one month, the next area next month etc.

2)there are always going to be more than 12 people throughout the whole of CF who are good enouch to be an RC - same as there are currently more than 41 people who are more than good enough to be an AC. People will ALWAYS miss out - its life I'm afraid. Some areas (London, South East, North West) will be more heavilly contested than others, but I would hope that if people have enough commitment to stand for a position, they weould stay involved if they didn't get the position. All these concerns exist under the current system anyway. Yes, the RC's would meet in the same way as the NME now meets. I don't think it would be hard to organise - I live in Manchester and still manage to turn up to NME meetings.
3)Yes. Yes they could and I think some SERIOUS safeguards would need to be out in place to stop any allegations of cronyism.

Your final point about making the NME more accountable to their areas is a very good one. I certainly try to concentrate firstly on my area before taking on my other responsibilities.

There are flaws with this plan, just as there are flaws with the current system. Certain aspects of CF do need reforming, but I think that anything that is done needs to be only pushed forward with the consent of the membership.

However, can we all remember that NOTHING is set in stone yet and speculation of this kind on blogs (no offence to tBg, TB etc) will always be slightly different to the final proposals.

By the same token, no-one should think that they'll be attacked for asking questions. Any questions or fears that members may have should be addressed openly. I will happily commit myself that I will answer ANY question to the best of my knowledge.

Anonymous said...

"There are flaws with this plan"

really selling it to us adele aren't you?

"but I think that anything that is done needs to be only pushed forward with the consent of the membership."

i hope that this happens but i doubt it somehow.

Adele Douglas said...

Anon 3.19 - I'm not trying to "sell" anybody anything - I was responding to Alex's concerns

I certainly won't put my agreement to any reforms that the majority of the CF membership is against. I knoe that you can't please everyone, but I would like to think that the majority of my NME colleages agree with me that if this is going to happen it should be with the minimum of upset to the running and membership of Conservative Future.

Mark Clarke said...

This is an interesting idea, which has been mooted before - and rejected.

More relevantly, such a change would require a change to the CF constitution. All changes to the CF constitution need to be agreed by the CF Constitutional Committee and also by the Party Board.

Having just seen the recent constitutional changes submissions to the Party Board and having spoken to members of the CF Constitutional Committee, I have seen no sign that this process is underway. So until then, it is an interesting idea but no more than that.

It is very important that all those involved in CF act constitutionally and within the Party rules.

Andy Peterkin said...

This was tried iin 2002 - it failed then as well, after it was met with non-cooperation by both ACs and BCs in the North.

I hope the current Exec/CCHQ won't be silly enough to try it again.

submit to reddit


2015 General Election alastair wilson alexandra swann amy atkinson anastasia beaumont bott Andrea Jenkyns andrew mitchell andrew pelling andrew thorpe-apps andy burnham andy coulson angela merkel Annesley Abercorn anti muslim anti-gay argentina assault austin mitchell back boris back boris 2012 backbencher ban banned barack obama barley mow-gate bath cf bbc ben howlett benefit cap benefits bnp bob crow bob lanzer boris boris island boris johnson boston boundary changes Brexit brighton british rail budget bullying callum crozier cameron brown campaigning cannabis cardiff catholic cchq cf cf east cf election cf london cf policy forum cf poll cf wales cfelection11 channel 4 channel five charlotte argyle child benefit china chris grayling chris heaton-harris chris huhne chris pain christine emmett christmas Christopher Harries clare hilley cllr stephen west CLWCF coalition conference conservative future conservative future chairman conservative party conservative party conference Conservative Way Forward conservative womens organisation conservativehome conservatives corby council councillors craig cox craig lawton crawley crimes criminal cross keys homes croydon cuts cyril smith daily express daily mail daily mirror dan hannan danielle fleet danny alexander darius laws dashtory data protection david cameron david davis david laws david miliband dean hyatt death death penalty debt defect deficit democracy democrats deputy chairman disabled dominic mcdonough donal blaney donald trump donations downing street drunk DWP east midlands eastleigh economy ed balls ed davey ed miliband ed vaizey edl education eimhear macfarlane einy shah election Ellie Vesey-Thompson Elliott Johnson energy england english defence league environment epsom and ewell cf equal rights eric joyce eric pickles essex eu eu referendum europe evening standard exeter expenses facebook falklands feltham and heston film food food banks foreign aid foreign policy fox news france francis maude free press free schools freedom friends of Israel fuel funding fundraising funeral funny gagged gareth shanks gavin barwell gavin cook gay gay marriage gaza GE2017 geoff brooking george galloway george osborne gerald vernon-jackson geroge galloway Gerry Adams gordon brown gossiptory grant shapps grant tucker greenpeace gregg barker growth guardian guido fawkes gulf war halloween hampshire tories harry aldridge harry cole hartlepool health care heathrow help for heroes henry smith hollande holmes_argyle home office homophobia homosexuality house of commons howard bloom hugh muir human rights iain dale iain duncan smith ids immigration india industry inflation international aid IRA iran iraq war islam israel italy jack buckby jack whalley jacob rees-mogg Jacob Wilkinson james cleverly james deighton james morton james wharton jasmine rahman jeremy browne jeremy hunt Joan Ryan jobs joe cooke john bercow John Ferrett john hayes john mccain john peck john prescott john pye john redwood johnathan levy josh geddes julian assange justine greening karl mccartney karl williamson Kavya Kaushik KCL Tories ken clarke ken livingstone knife crime labour labour party labour youth laura-rose saunders law and order leadership bid lee gilroy leeds legal len mcCluskey Leon French leveson lgbt lgbtory lgbtq in ukip liam byrne liam fox Liam Walker lib dem lib dem rebellion liberal democrats liberal youth liberty liberty league lincoln lincolnshire lincolnshire cf liverpool liza chantelle lobbying london london 2012 london cf london spin loony left lord oakeshott lords lords reform louise mensch louise powell louth louth & horncastle lynton crosby mahiki mahiki-gate mahyar tousi mail on sunday manchester margaret thatcher maria hutchings maria miller marijuana mark clarke mark hoban mark reckless martin shapland matt robinson matthew robinson matthew wilson mayor of london michael champion michael fabricant michael gove michael mates michael rock micheal heseltine middle east mike hancock milton spies mitt romney mo metcalf-fisher Morley & Outwood mugabe muheed jeeran muslim nabil najjar nadine dorries national union of students nationalisation nazi neil hamilton netenyahu nhs nick clegg nick de bois nick southworth nicolas clark nigel farage north east north korea north west northern ireland nottingham notts county council nus oliver cooper olly neville ollyshambles olympics OUCA oxford university paddy ashdown palestine parliament parliament street party patrick mercer patrick sullivan paul holmes pensions peter mandelson peter smallwood peterborough petition philip smith phillip smith phone hacking piers morgan plotting PMQs police police and crime commissioner policy political scrapbook poll pop charts portsmouth portsmouth south posh poster campaign president hollande prime minister priti patal private sector privatisation protest public sector putin quit R.I.P. racism racist railways re-shuffle rebekah brooks rebellion recession red ed red nose day reece warren referendum religion republican party reshuffle revolution rich people richard farnell richard holloway Richard Williams richmond cf rob comley rob manning robert manning robin hunter-clarke ross butcher royal mail rufford rupert murdoch russia sacked salford samantha hoy sanctions sarah harding sarah palin sarah-jane sewell saudi arabia sayeeda warsi schools scotland scottish independence scottish tories secret society sex sexism shane moore Silvio Berlusconi simon danczuk simon harley simon hughes sir george young sky news SNP social action socialism south east south east cf south-west cf south-west regional chairman Southampton spending stacey bott stephen canning stephen hoffman steve hilton stewart jackson stoke-on-trent strike surrey cf swansea cf syria tara hewitt tax tax cuts tax payers alliance tbg tbg tv teamjasmine telegraph terrorists the commentator the guardian the hoff the old lion the pope the queen the sun the times the wright stuff theblueguerilla theresa may thorpe-apps tim farron toby elliot tommy robinson tony blair tory tory bear tory chairman tory reform group trade union transport trolls tuc tuition fees twitter ucl uganda uk ukip ukip conference unemployment unions UNISON unite Universal Credit usa victoria ayling vince cable violence violent protest virgin trains wales war wedding welfare welsh conservatives west coast rail westminster whitehall william hague wind farms wirral cf woolwich work and pensions working class working man worsester cf wwe yazdan chowdhury ybf yougov young independence yvette cooper zac goldsmith zahid raja zanu pf zimbabwe zionist federation