This year’s Labour Party conference left commentators describing the Opposition as ‘government in waiting’. We caught up with Jack Foden, Head of Public Affairs at the Post Office and Aodha O’Carroll, Public Affairs Officer at City Fibre to get their thoughts on this year’s Labour Party conference and their plans for the coming weeks.
What were you raising awareness about this year?
“We’re here to deliver a service to delegates”, says Jack Foden. “We had a live and operational post office in the conference centre so if delegates wished to withdraw cash or send a postcard home, we helped meet an immediate need and saved them the time of visiting a Post Office outside the conference centre”.
For Aodha O’Carroll and CityFibre, “being able to connect with MPs and candidates from our build areas is so valuable to help boost awareness of what we’re doing, and also talking to delegates, councillors and anyone interested in what can be done to improve digital connectivity across the UK”.
How did you find engaging stakeholders at conference?
“Although councillors and MPs have visited us at our stand, I wouldn’t say we were there to lobby on a particular point. However, it was a good opportunity to tell delegates about the Post Office and the value we bring to the UK”, says Jack Foden.
What was your main highlight from conference?
“The energy. It’s had a real buzz”, says Jack Foden. “We’ve attended the other conferences which have also had good energy, but it was on another level in Liverpool. There were some great events too. Richard, our Postmaster, was on a panel about revitalising UK high streets and there are definitely some good follow ups for us to pursue with stakeholders from the panel”.
Aodha O’Carroll agrees – “we’ve been coming every year and there was definitely a buzz around it this time. Even on Sunday it was absolutely rammed and we enjoyed it”.
How would you measure your success post conference?
As you’d expect, proof will be in the pudding for both Jack and Aodha, with the number of “meaningful follow-ups the real testament of how successful the conversations have been”.
Both have a “long list of people they’ve met’ and are hopeful of “generating some proper engagement over the coming weeks”.
When do you think the next general election will be?
Autumn may be a wise bet for the next general election with both Jack and Aodha predicting it will take place in October 2024.
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