Ok so there was no red carpet or paparazzi but last night saw the Conservative Party's version of the Oscars and the Croydon Central Campaign Team won the coveted "Best Campaign" award.
The judges were impressed by:
• the number of Croydon Central residents involved in the campaign - nearly 1,000 people have helped in some way;
• the number of residents we have spoken to face-to-face to find out what changes they’d like to see to make their area a better place to live - at a time when the Council elections and probably the General Election are still two years away (normally, political parties only contact people at election time when they need their votes);
• the way in which we have tried to deliver those changes now rather than promising to do something after the election, setting up a social action team to carry out community projects like litter picks and, where appropriate, raising concerns with senior councillors and Council officers;
• the innovative design and positive tone of our literature, which focuses on what local Conservatives are doing rather than criticising other parties; and
• the way in which the campaign has largely been funded by small donations from a significant number of local residents, rather than a few large donations.
For obvious reasons, the last twelve months haven’t been easy for Croydon Central Conservatives but, contrary to what you might read in the letter pages of the local papers, I've had outstanding support from our councillors and activists from the day I was selected. This award is due recognition for the hard work of the hundreds of Conservative supporters in Croydon Central who have been a part of this campaign.
At a time when there is a widespread perception that politicians are in it for themselves, based on an understandable anger about the behaviour of some MPs, it is worth remembering that at grassroots level people give up their spare time for free because they want to help change our town and our country for the better.