Liberal Democrats

Coronavirus

Activism advice to Liberal Democrat members and supporters

This page contains the most up to date advice for Liberal Democrat members and supporters about party activity.

This page will be regularly updated in line with Government and professional guidance. Please share this link with other party members and supporters and check it regularly to make sure you are basing your advice on the most up to date version.

This page was last updated: 0930, 14 August 2020


What are we asking members and supporters to do at this time?

  1. ALWAYS FOLLOW OFFICIAL MEDICAL ADVICE

    Above all, we are asking members and supporters to follow official NHS and Government advice at all times in relation to any activity they may consider undertaking.

    The latest medical advice is available at nhs.uk/coronavirus

  2. PROMOTE RESPONSIBLE COMMUNITY VOLUNTEERING

    We are asking members and supporters to help communities deal with the impact of COVID19. As part of this, we ask all members and supporters to promote safe volunteering and adequate safeguarding.

    We have a role in signposting to official sources of advice and help, and promoting strong safeguards within community organisations. We have designed a separate online resource (libdems.org.uk/coronavirus) that is designed to be shared with the general public as a resource bank for safe community organising.

  3. AS LOCKDOWN EASES, REINTRODUCE ELEMENTS OF PARTY ACTIVITY

    Our priority remains supporting communities through this crisis, but as lockdown eases we can start to resume safe elements of party activity - at all times making sure that any such activity is context-sensitive (see below).

    Delivery of print materials

    When lockdown was introduced across the UK we asked members and supporters to cease delivering party leaflets.

    We understand that Lib Dem campaigners, in particular elected representatives, will need to report back to their constituents about actions taken on their behalf, and local teams should feel free to do that as lockdown is lifted.

    There is no barrier to local parties in any part of the UK distributing print materials via Royal Mail (e.g. addressed mail or Door-to-Door delivery service).

    Any print materials must be sensitive to the current context e.g. recognise that the public mood will not favour aggressive party political attacks on other parties and wherever possible signpost people to appropriate COVID related advice and support.

    If you have any queries on what makes acceptable content please check with LDHQ at content@libdems.org.uk and/or with ALDC.

    When considering the use of volunteers to deliver leaflets, Government guidance on social distancing is currently different in England, Scotland & Wales, so our guidance is accordingly different.

    England

    Local parties can deliver print material if they feel it is appropriate in their area. Please follow the guidance on what is suitable content for literature in the current context (above) and always follow social distancing and public health guidelines. Relevant medical advice which can be found here.

    Scotland

    Local parties can deliver print material if they feel it is appropriate in their area.

    Please follow the guidance on what is suitable content for literature in the current context (above), always follow social distancing and public health guidelines and obey any local lockdown rules.

    Relevant Government advice can be found here.

    Wales

    From 17th August, local parties can deliver print material if they feel it is appropriate in their area.

    Please follow the guidance on what is suitable content for literature in the current context (above), always follow social distancing and public health guidelines and obey any local lockdown rules.

    Relevant Government advice can be found here.

    Telephone calling

    Members can undertake telephone activity. As always, please respect TPS and GDPR requirements. If encountering people in need of help due to COVID19, have due regard to safeguarding, referring them to official sources of help.

    Other volunteering for the party

    Not all of our usual members and volunteers will want to immediately return to leaflet delivery and we should respect this. A range of “behind the scenes” administrative work for the party available, for example helping enter data and database maintenance etc. If you would like to join our team of national data entry volunteer, focusing on entering marked registers, please email connect@libdems.org.uk.

    Online training is being provided and members can find it here.

  4. RESTRICT OTHER PARTY ACTIVITY

    To comply with social distancing guidance, we are specifically suspending the following party activity:-

    • Conventional door-to-door canvassing, voter ID etc;

    • In-person party meetings – in line with social distancing requirements these should be moved to online meetings with measures in place to enable those self-isolating to participate. An online video conferencing tool like Zoom is free for small-scale use. For advice on moving party activities to online channels, and the opportunity to share best practice, please go to the Lib Dem Digital Campaigning Forum on Facebook.

We will review all of these positions regularly based on changes in Government advice.


Caring for our members and supporters

Given the scale of the current crisis, it is understandable that many members and supporters will be concerned about their own welfare and that of their friends and family. Communicating regularly with them is an important way to offer missing social interaction.

Local Party officers may want to organise a systematic ring-round of members and supporters to check on their welfare, and offer appropriate help and support. As we resume delivery of context-sensitive print material, ringing round regular deliverers to check on their welfare is also recommended. We should not assume any regular deliverer will want to resume helping and should check with them before dropping off any leaflets for delivery.

There will also be understandable questions about what party activity may be appropriate, and in what forms. Please share the advice on this page widely within the party. Please do this electronically using a link to this page, rather than cutting and pasting it or printing it out, as this advice will be changing regularly. By accessing the advice live on this site they will always have the most up to date version, so we encourage members and supporters to check this page regularly.

Please do reassure members and supporters that we are monitoring the situation, and are reviewing and updating this guidance on a regular basis.

Members and supporters should, at all times, respect the medical advice given by the NHS (see nhs.uk/coronavirus). They should feel under no obligation to participate in any party activity, especially where they are concerned it may pose a risk to themselves or others.


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