The Conservative Policy Forum in the West Worcestershire Constituency
Conservative Central Office in London issues around 10 Briefing papers per year: a typical paper has about six pages of notes, plus numerous end notes ‘for further reading’ and about 6 topic questions to be answered. The subjects discussed cover a wide range of topics: for example, the first paper in 2014 reviewed ‘Local Government’ and the current paper (March 2014) is on ‘Employment’. Local CPF Groups review and discuss these papers and respond to the questions posed.
2. Objectives of the CPF
To quote directly from the papers mentioned: “CPF Discussion Briefs exist to stimulate debate. They do not represent the views of the Conservative Party”.
3. How it operates (at Conservative Head Office)
Typically, a briefing paper is issued in the middle of month ‘x’ with responses from the Constituency groups required by the end of month ‘x+1’. For example, the current paper on ‘Employment’ was published around February 14th 2014, with the ‘deadline for submissions’ set for 31st March 2014. The papers are sent out under the name of ‘Anna Sellers, Head of CPF Research’ and an appropriate specialist on the subject.
The responses received at Head Office (around 330!) are reviewed and a summary sent to the appropriate Minister; Ministerial responses are prepared and published, usually quite some time after the local groups’ deadline.
4. How WWCA responds
There are two groups in WWCA, in Malvern and in Pershore. The Malvern group is run by Andy Cameron, who sends out the said Briefing papers to the Malvern members with the preferred date of meeting, and a request for members’ attendance/availability. The ensuing meeting is held chez Cameron (usually 7.00pm for 7.30pm). Light refreshments are provided.
Subsequently it is Andy Cameron’s task to write up the comments and results of the meeting for transmission to Head Office before the deadline expires.
Andy also sends a copy of the Briefing paper to Patricia Steel, who organises the Pershore group in a similar fashion.
5. If you are in any way interested in contributing to our discussions, please get in touch with Andy Cameron via the Office at 209A Worcester Road.