The Leader’s Award, awarded to Prue Bray
Prue has a long history of dedicated service to the Party including being elected to various offices at Local, Regional and State structures that require demonstrating high levels of knowledge, skills and dedication in order to carry out their responsibilities.
She has been PPC for Wokingham and is currently a Councillor there; RCC for South East Region; Chair of ECC 2016 - 2019; member of RPC for some years and became Chair of RPC in 2020.
In all these roles she has demonstrated a high standard of organisational skills and work ethic combined with a thorough grasp of her brief. Her roles have demanded tough decisions and the ability to manage the pressures that accompany this. Her commitment to high standards and expectations of herself and others has been delivered through patience and concern for others. She has been generous in her time, giving advice and support to others whenever called upon.
Prue is a never-failing source of wise counsel. She is always willing to put her long experience in the Party to use in advising others, and is invariably patient, exceptionally hard-working, a true leader and embodies all the values of Liberal Democracy.
Congratulations to Prue!
The Bertha Bowness Fischer Award, awarded to Rebecca ‘Becky’ Grubb
Becky joined the party recently and instantly threw herself into things. She was Secretary of her University Branch in Cambridge, in which capacity she was a huge galvaniser of events, and helped grow the membership. She campaigned vociferously for the local party, as well as organising other campaigners. She was due to stand for election to Cambridge City Council before the pandemic struck. After graduating, she started volunteering in Ed Davey's office, where she broke records for emails logged and going above and beyond the call of duty.
Simultaneously she was elected Non-portfolio Officer for the Young Liberals in which capacity she has used to conduct an enormous review of all young branches in the country, creating a team, calling and interviewing branch chairs. This wide-ranging review of 73 branches was an enormous extra body of voluntary work.
Becky's story is an important one for several reasons. Firstly she's been a young graduate in an incredibly hostile environment for young people, during this pandemic and under the economic circumstances. She has risen to that challenge with an extraordinary quantity of voluntary work which led to her finding a job and a place in the party. In the circumstances she could be forgiven for thinking, once in a job, she could relax a bit. But she hasn't let up, she's kept working hard and she's taking on more and more responsibilities in trying to help the party.
Secondly, she's shown real grit in starting a new job during the pandemic, taking on the challenges of being a constituency assistant without ever having met any of her colleagues in person.
Thirdly, since she joined the party she's always understood that nurturing its members as individuals is the path to them delivering for the party, growing and is liberalism in action.
Congratulations to Becky!
The Albert Ingham Award, awarded to Andrew ‘Andy’ Wylie
Andy Wylie is retiring as agent for Watford Liberal Democrats after 40 years of activity in the current party and before that in the SDP in Watford. He has served as a volunteer agent in Watford elections since 1996 and has presided over more than 200 successful election campaigns, including borough, county and mayoral elections. He was agent to Dorothy Thornhill when she won Watford’s first Elected Mayoral contests in 2002, and for subsequent winning Mayoral campaigns. His time as a successful election organiser stretches back to 1986 when he managed the campaign that led to the then SDP/Liberal Alliance gaining its first seat on Watford Borough Council and has played a vital role in the local party’s continuing success.
Andy was also a councillor himself for 17 years, and a cabinet member for the first 10 years of Dorothy Thornhill’s administration, initially for housing and then for finance. As such he played a vital part in turning around a council that had been rated under Labour as one of the worst in the country into a successful, efficient and forward-looking local authority."
Andy’s attention to detail and thoroughness in carrying out the formal duties of agent has meant that we are always in safe hands with the election legalities. He has never pretended to be the all-round-election supremo, although he was an early user of election software and is a doughty committee room organiser. Andy has been a great team player, always encouraging campaigners to bring their own strengths and abilities to the team, whether leaflet-writers, social media experts, or action day organisers. He has enabled energetic and successful campaigning to happen while ensuring the nuts and bolts of the campaign are secure.
Andy is very much an unsung hero – he has never sought any national profile within the party. Yet his assiduousness, thoroughness and efficiency as election agent has been greatly valued by all those in whose election he has played a significant role. It is a measure of Andy’s sense of duty that although he has recently moved away from Watford, he is continuing to serve as agent for this year’s local elections and to help with training whoever takes on these duties in the future.
Congratulations to Andy!