Thursday, 22 April 2010

"The most organised group I've ever been lobbied by"

This is the first of a series of daily reports from Sanctuary Pledge delegations across the country.

Civil society leaders in Nottingham East today reported "marvellous" gains in their campaign to sign PPCs up to the Sanctuary Pledge, with all three of the main contenders - Labour, Lib Dem and Conservative - agreeing to the 5-point agenda.

The large delegation is led by Revd Karen Rooms of St. Ann with Emmanuel Church, and includes Dr Musharraf Hussain, Chair of the Christian-Muslim Forum and local imam; Richard Hawthorne of Nottingham's Interfaith Council; and members of Faiths in Action, the Eritrean community, the Pakistani Christian community, and local Anglican, Quaker and Methodist churches - covering at least 1400 people in the constituency altogether.

Liberal Democrat candidate and Borough Councillor for North Keyworth Sam Boote called the team "the best organised group I've ever been lobbied by".

The hard work culminated at the hustings at which Chris Leslie (former MP and Labour candidate), Ewan Lamont (Conservative), Sam Boote and independent candidate Benjamin Barton signed a large version of the Pledge.

Commenting that it has been "great to see people enthused and wired" about the Sanctuary Pledge, Revd Rooms advises struggling delegations to share out responsibility - to allow different members of the team to become experts on different parts of the ask so that they can respond effectively to challenges. She also says: "Trust the process [...] Get as broad a delegation as you can".

Accountability meetings have been set for after the Election. We look forward to seeing how the candidates' commitment translates into action.

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