The Agenda for this year’s Scottish Conference will be sent to members tomorrow but I’ve had a bit of a sneak peek. I’d better not give you the full list of timings and the like because Scottish Conference Convener Sheila Thomson would spank me if I did, but I can tell you that there is plenty of scope for controversy and debate.
There are more policy debates than for some considerable time – 9 in total with 6 coming from local parties or members. Scottish Conference will get the chance to have its say on the controversial secret courts legislation. Should parents have the right to a defence of “reasonable chastisement?” Should we ban snaring? Liberal Youth Scotland thinks so, but some of our rural members may feel differently.
There’s all sorts of controversy about the Scottish Constitution, but what about the rights of Orkney and Shetland within it? A motion talking about the position of the northern isles in relation to the 1707 Act of Union, and supporting them in exercising their right to self determination of their own future is up for discussion.
The challenges facing young adults leaving care and a call for investment in talking therapies for mental health to mirror that introduced by Nick Clegg south of the border are another two issues up for discussion. The mental health motion also talks about tackling stigma and therapies for self-harm.
There will be keynote speeches from Nick Clegg, Willie Rennie, Mike Moore, Vince Cable and Danny Alexander, a packed fringe programme and policy development workshops and training. A dinner with John Thurso as guest speaker and Liberal Youth Scotland’s legendary quiz are here for evening entertainment.
Conference is being held at West Park in Dundee from 15-17 March. For further information and to register, please contact Linda Wilson on [email protected] or via 0131 337 2314. If you register within the next 24 hours you will pay a discounted rate so get on with it!
* Caron Lindsay is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings