Wednesday 23 December 2015

New Year and new look for People First

Up until this point People First / Gwerin Gyntaf has been a very informal organisation without official party members other than the minimum of three officers required by the electoral commission to register as a Welsh Political Party. However, now we are a growing movement and things have to change. We have too many supporters to easily keep track of without keeping lists and contact details and we need some membership fees to produce the modest funds required to run the organisation properly, promote our ideas and stand in elections.

Unlike the larger parties and groups, we have no large backers or millionaire members to fund our campaigns. We are retirees, small business owners and working people, many of whom like myself support growing families. So far everything we have done and every election we have run in has been out of our own pockets and whatever donations people are kind enough to give. In order to grow, to put more people out there and to be able to devote more time and resources to working for you, we need to start doing things a little more professionally, and with the Assembly elections approaching in 2016, I think it's time we stepped up.

We spend very little on our politics compared with the major parties. We use no public funds, have no financial sponsors and rely on  contributions from the public. A black-and-white good quality A4 leaflet for a council ward costs £50-70, a colour one £120-190. A deposit for an Assembly or General Election seat costs £500, a regional list £1,500. The money for deposits will be returned only if we get 5% or more of the vote but does give you the opportunity for a free mail drop of your leaflet. A modest colour leaflet costs around £1000 per constituency, £3000 per region. Obviously we would like to sponsor as many candidates as possible. As such, all the money we receive goes into the party account, not the private accounts of myself or any of the other members, and it will only be used to fund People First. You can see how every little amount we get helps.We have set membership at £10 per person per year and supporter status at £5.

I'll take some time to address what this changes, and what will stay the same. Obviously we will not lose our ideals and will still follow Bell's Principles, allow free thought and action and consult ordinary people as often as possible. For the first time all our candidates will be official members, and likewise members will be involved in choosing candidates, selecting local campaigns to support and formulating general policies. We will also begin producing a monthly newsletter which will keep everyone up to date on news and campaigns. We will also be able to efficiently put members in touch with others in their locality or sharing their campaign interests

We have been fortunate to have a growing number of small donations in the past year and so we are offering also a supporter status, where there is no need to commit to membership but a small donation will allow you to subscribe to the newsletter for a year and keep in touch with our campaigns.

To join up you can use the PayPal button on the right; simply choose "member" or "supporter" from the drop-down list, enter your email, click the button and follow the instructions. PayPal is well-renowned and secure, but if you prefer good old-fashioned paper you can send a cheque made payable to People First Wales or Gwerin Gyntaf Cymru or both to our treasurer:

Clem Thomas
People First /Gwerin Gyntaf
16 Tir Capel
SA14 8SW

Please remember to include your address and contact details if you wish to join as a member or supporter.

We want your help, and we want your ideas. We are a new radical party and very different to the conventional options currently available. You are very welcome to join, contribute to our policies and organisation and help us change Welsh politics to a system that represents the ordinary voter rather than the financial and political interests of the elites.

Honestly, they are doing very well for themselves and control much of our lives already. It really is time to change!

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