Interesting interview in the Guardian from the guy who trained Obama as a community organsiser in Chigago (http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/feb/26/labour-party-alienating-force). He has been working with community groups in Manchester and says "In my experience the Labour party in your big cities like Manchester is one of the most alienating forces in Great Britain." He goes on to say, "Barack could never have been elected in Great Britain. He would have had to suck up to the Labour party for 30 years before they gave someone like him a chance."
I hope that in the Liberal Democrats community activists will find a better home than in the stagnant environment of the Labour party. Many of our councillors (me included) started off being involved in community activity and charity work. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in making a difference in your community at whatever level of involvement you want.