And so, as promised, my tenure as Chair of Dulwich & West Norwood Liberal Democrats will come to an end on 31 December, following an entertaining Annual General Meeting this evening.
You never really know what will happen, especially in a Local Party where sending in nominations for office is considered to be rather daring, and the apparent absence of candidates for Chair, Treasurer and Membership Secretary was nagging away at the back of my mind. Fortunately, I wasn't the only one thinking about it and it became quickly apparent that my Vice Chair, Jeremy Baker, was amenable to the idea of taking Dulwich & West Norwood Liberal Democrats into a new era. We even found a Treasurer, and I must thank Jonathan Price for stepping forward. With Janet Coy-Taras, our long time Membership Secretary moving on to be Vice Chair, and Theresa Connolly continuing as Secretary, that only left one post to fill.
My invitation to the gathered throng going unanswered, I very foolishly indicated that, if all else failed, I would take the job on myself. Big mistake, in that I was proposed, seconded and adopted by acclaim before sanity could kick in. So my life in South London politics continues although I at least escape three committees that I now don't have to attend (Jeremy gets the privilege from 1 January!).
Our guest speaker was Geoff Pope, one of the Liberal Democrat members of the London Assembly. I must freely admit that I didn't know how well he would come across but he gave an entertaining presentation of London-wide issues before fielding a stream of questions for about forty minutes. I must say that we don't really use our London Assembly members very well as a Party, and if tonight was anything to go by, many Local Parties would do well to invite one of the Assembly Members to a future meeting.
So, one last duty as Local Party Chair, and that is to issue a December Newsletter before passing the baton of leadership on. The past two years have been a lot of fun, and hard work too, but I've learnt a huge amount in that time, and will hopefully be able to use the skills learnt in some future role, wherever that might be...