Political parties rely for their survival on enthusiastic bands of volunteer supporters at local level. The Conservative Party in Tunbridge Wells is no exception. And so it was that I joined many other volunteers to engage in stuffing envelopes, or packing if you are of a more sensitive disposition.
A veritable swarm of us came together to pack envelopes with a residents' survey, which even as I write is being delivered by more volunteers to homes across the borough. It is important for the party to know what residents think, to break down the misconception that politicians are only interested at election time in what people think and also to ensure that people have every opportunity to engage with their councillors.
Civic engagement, localism, call it what you will, but parties do have to be responsive to the electorate. However, it is important that citizens themselves are prepared to engage, not simply by voting at elections but by participating in ongoing dialogue with councillors, candidates and the parties.