One of my key policy points, and a big area where I differ from my opponent is on the regions of YI. I want to focus heavily on YI regions. I disagree with some members of YI who believe that only southern YI members are focused and hard working. The recent PCC elections have shown that we have people in North, South, East and West who are committed, will put the man-hours and hard work in and do whatever it takes to benefit YI.
Having a centralised YI means there is no flexibility. One size most certainly does not fit all, we need to recognise this and adapt. By creating committees in each region of the UK we will allow each new member to have an immediate first point of contact and allow for YI campaigns, training days, recruitment drives and social activities to be tailored to fit every regions individual requirements.
While we have a strong YI presence in London and the South East it is not the only area for YI, yet gets a disproportionate amount of time and focus on it, due to the council being very London centric. By setting up regional committees modelled after the very successful YI Yorkshire team we can have a YI presence all over the country. This will make it easier to organise events and campaigns in different regions as we will be able to tap into local knowledge, with the ground work already done for us by the regional team.
New members in Scotland, Yorkshire, the South West etc do not want to travel to London to attend events with people they don’t know, by having a regional set up new members can meet local activists, which means they are more likely to attend campaigns with their new friends, come to conferences and get more involved in YI.
The majority of YI members are not in London, we need to recognise this and provide a service for them, not expect them to come to us. If we want to be able to show how well YI can do in election campaigns, in terms of pure growth and in helping out the party we need to tap into our biggest resource – our members. We have to give more power to the regions so they can work semi autonomously, not centralise and lose vast untapped support around the country.
I believe in a YI for the whole country, not just parts of it.