If not us, who? If not now, when?

That’s the saying I live my life by, because taking action is the only way to change things in this world, and bugger me this world needs some change.

That saying has led me to a lot of places. I joined the party, started delivering leaflets, knocked on doors, stood for council and stood for parliament because I needed to act.

Last week I received a call at home. I’d been fighting for a blue disabled parking badge for a local man with a hidden disability. He’d filled in all the forms, the reply came back, “Sorry, computer says no…” He’d complained, the reply still came back, “Sorry the computer still says no.” Then something that happens up and down our country happened to him. Someone pushed a Liberal Democrat leaflet through his door. In Pantone 1235c on the back in 3cm high letters he read ‘How can we help you?’ He jotted down his details and his problem. A fortnight later he has his pass. He told me it will be life changing. His wife was in tears.

This isn’t unique.

This is what we, all of us, do.

This is why we should be proud.

This is liberalism in the real world and it’s what makes us special.

For 30 years we Liberal Democrats have had the best manifesto but won too few seats. For 30 years we’ve been right on the big issues of the day. For 30 years we’ve worked and we won’t stop now but it is time we made a change…

The last General Election was a failure. For those successes we claim we must also claim our failures. So if you like me want to make a change it’s time to take the next step in our journey.

For me that means a new role as Chair of FCEC (Federal Communications and Elections Committee). It’s the party committee that oversees campaigns and communications and its primary goal is to get more Liberal Democrats elected.

I can hear your sarcasm from here, “a committee, that’ll solve it”. Maybe you’re right. But maybe you’re not. You see I know that we have an army of committed brilliant members and volunteers. I know we have a talented staff team too. I know we’re right to fight for what we believe in and deliver it every day to our communities. I know that you can win, but you need the tools to help your team.

We have fewer than 80 days to local election polling day, I want you to be out every week like I will be on the doorstep, fighting to win and getting more Liberal Democrats elected.

Lisa Smart is a Liberal Democrat Councillor in Stockport, Parliamentary Candidate for Hazel Grove and the newly elected Chair of FCEC.