It would appear that MP Richard Ottaway’s Jubilee garden party – which was so badly publicised that local Tory party members only discovered it by reading Inside Croydon – failed to do the trick as far as boosting the Croydon Conservative Federation’s membership.
Local Conservative membership numbered just 1,316 at the end of 2011, according to the most recent figures available, in the organisation’s financial statement signed off in February by chairman Luke Clancy and treasurer Simon Hoar.
“It has been a disappointing year for membership with the declining trend of previous years continuing,” the report said. “A greater focus and increased recruitment efforts are in the pipeline to reverse this trend in 2012.”
Hardly a ringing endorsement for the local party membership officers, Jonny Cope and Selva Jayadeva, though.
Croydon Conservatives’ membership subscriptions are also in decline: from £43,176 in 2009, to £45,690 in election year 2010, last year it was £38,028 from all three constituencies.
And so the local Tories are out there, looking for someone who can take recruitment by the scruff of the neck. This week, they sent out this email:
“Croydon Conservative Federation is to employ a Part-Time Membership Officer with the responsibility of following through Conservative Party membership leads in Croydon. No cold calling.
“The Membership Officer’s role will include approximately five hours of work per week including some evening and weekend work. A full driving licence and car is essential for the successful applicant.
“If you are, or know of, someone who may be interested in this position, please contact Ian Parker (Conservative Party Agent) for more details (tel. 020 8660 0491 or e-mail: email@example.com) by Wednesday 27th June 2012.”
The hard-worked Ian Parker is an example of how pressed the local Tories are becoming. At the May 2010 General Election, he served as agent for both Ottaway and Gavin Barwell, the candidates for Croydon South and Central respectively. When their election expenses were cocked up – spending more than the law allows – it was Parker who took the rap before the judge.
This year, undaunted by that scrape with the law, Parker was election agent again, this time for Steve O’Connell’s campaign for the London Assembly. It’s not that the local Tories have not tried to find someone else to take on some of the work and do the election agent job. They even sent one of their councillors on a special course.
But the chosen candidate was such an unpromising prospect for the election agent role, they’ve binned that idea.
They must be hopeful that their email uncovers more talented applicants.
And after all, Call Me Dave did say that his government would help the private sector to create more jobs, didn’t he?
- Inside Croydon: For comment and analysis about Croydon, from inside Croydon. Not from Redhill. Post your comments on this article below. If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Police called out for “racist” incident with Barwell’s work gang (insidecroydon.com)
- Would Jubilee’ve it? MP Ottaway throws a party for party funds (insidecroydon.com)
- Bashford suspected of greedy grab for Stanhope’s £3.5m (insidecroydon.com)
- Racist article by councillor’s husband is widely condemned (insidecroydon.com)