Q&A with Luke Tilley – renewed Lib Dem party member and new member of the Doncaster Local Party Executive
Why did you re-join the Liberal Democrats?
I was a member of the Lib Dems during my student days at the University of Sheffield and I re-joined last year to help strengthen the liberal voice in UK politics following the 2015 election results. I want to play a small part in trying to ensure that fear-driven, left vs. right, politics does not prevail in the future. I’d like to help people understand the benefits of supporting an internationalist, liberal but progressive party which is firmly anchored to the centre ground of local, national and global politics. I could clearly see how Doncaster could benefit from a stronger Liberal Democrat presence at a local level to try and chip away at the Labour Party’s monopoly within the three parliamentary constituencies that the Local Party covers, which I don’t believe serves Doncaster as well as the town deserves.
How have you found the Doncaster Local Party?
I attended my first meeting of the Doncaster Executive in June 2015. Though I was slightly nervous before attending, having not been involved in local politics since my student days, I soon relaxed and found the group to be friendly and inclusive. The members of the Executive had plenty of advice and were eager to involve me in the Local Party from the beginning. It was great to be among a diverse but focused group and to begin learning from their collective experience. Though the group were somewhat deflated by the election results, the increase in membership had given the Local Party a real boost and confirmed afresh the need for a stronger Lib Dem presence in Doncaster and the wider Yorkshire and Humber region.
You were recently elected as treasurer of the local party, what do you hope to achieve?
I was honoured to be nominated and elected as treasurer and it goes to show how open the Local Party is to new members and new ideas. I hope to increase fundraising activities to try and strengthen local campaigns. I hope to work with as many local members as possible and help the Executive with its work to restore some common sense and political diversity to Doncaster.
Do you have any advice for other new or renewed members?
I would encourage new members to get involved in the Doncaster Local Party in any small way they feel that they can. Whether that is just attending one of the socials or coming along to observe a meeting of the Executive. Fresh ideas are always welcome and support, no matter how small, is always needed. It is clear that the Liberal Democrats have had a surge of interest and new members since last year’s election. It is important that we group together, take advantage of that surge and try to further the liberal cause in South Yorkshire.
I would also strongly encourage new members to attend the Regional and Federal Conferences if they can – there are good discounts available for first-timers too. I went along to the Yorkshire and Humber Conference last year and attended the Spring Conference in York this year and both were productive, friendly and inspiring in equal measures and packed full of consultations, policy motions and fringe meetings. The Lib Dems are the most democratic UK party and members have a genuine opportunity to be heard, no matter how new or inexperienced. If any new members would like to get in touch, please do not hesitate