New Convener for Angus and Mearns Lib Dems

16 Jan 2023
Rod Falconer, our new convener

To all local Lib Dems here in Angus & Mearns, I would like to introduce myself as your new convener which began from the 1st January 2023. Some of you may not know me, so here is a wee bit about me.

For many years I thought the best way to deal with all of the issues that go on around us was to get involved in or support a campaign, write to various appropriate influential  people or generally complain but in the end that had little impact.

I never saw political activism as any different from that of any other form of trying to influence change. Politically, my instinct was always to vote tactically, pursue and/or support lots of campaigns but, there came a point when I began to question that approach and I asked myself “Wouldn’t I be better off setting and creating good policy rather than asking someone else to try and alter bad policy  - but how”.

That was the start of my Liberal Democrat journey when I looked at what I was either interested in or believed in.  For me, it was a very simple process to see that my core values & interests were very well represented within the philosophy & policies of the Lib Dems.   I believe that is what makes this party so influential and almost unique especially here in the UK or indeed Scotland.

Since 2015 when I became a member, I was genuinely welcomed into the party and accessed generous support and mentoring that enabled me to become knowledgeable in how a local branch operates in support of all of our political candidates.  The knowledge and support I gained gave me the confidence and determination to stand as the candidate for Arbroath West, Letham & Friockheim in the 2022 local elections. Although, unsuccessful this time round, the process was incredibly interesting and I had so many valuable discussions and interactions that it made my commitment to the party and our manifesto even stronger.  As we all know in politics - there’s always the next time!

However, activism needs time money energy & support and this is where you come in as our voters & supporters. My invitation to you is to get involved in any way you can.  If you were able to donate just a wee bit of time or effort - that would really truly make a huge difference to all the work we are seeking to achieve.

The coming months & years is going to be quite active for national elections but we should all bear in mind that at any time there could be Scottish or local by elections that we need to be ready to respond to. Your local executive is currently formulating plans for the year(s) ahead, if you wish to contribute to the process of shaping our local policy & agenda please feel free to contact me in the most suitable way for yourself.

Finally, to keep you in the picture, there is our Spring Conference which will be held in Dundee on 10/11th March 2023.  I will be attending so will be able to give you a first hand account of the party’s policy debates and future direction. This is why, in my view,  it's important that all of our supporters / members keep the local party appraised of their views. I welcome and encourage any contributions that you wish to share.

Hoping to meet as many of our local supporters as possible during my time as Convener.