Author Archives: Caron Lindsay

Welsh Lib Dem Conference: Friday night rally, and the wit and wisdom of Wales’ Lib Dem women

Last night’s Conference rally was one of the highlights so far. As party members gathered in a hotel suite, four fantastic Welsh Lib Dem women, two current AMs, two target seat candidates helped set out the Liberal Democrat vision and values ahead of May’s election. Eluned Parrott proved to be a very funny chair of the event, with a little anecdote about each of the speakers. Veronica German used to work as a tester for Cadbury’s. Nice work if you can get it. Her great Uncle was an ice cream pioneer as the original Mr Whippy. Liz Evans is known as the Queen in some circles because of her love of corgis and has a great hat collection. And Kirsty, she told us, was named  the 47th coolest woman in Wales. A massive theme of this whole conference has been about giving communities control over their own destiny and Liz Evans highlighted that this is instinctive to us.

Another big theme of the weekend has been public services and how they are being pretty atrociously run in Wales.

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Elizabeth Evans’ speech to Friday night Conference rally

Liz EvansWay back in 2011, Mark Cole wrote for this site about his wonderful local candidate for Ceredigion, Elizabeth Evans:

So she knows her stuff does our Elizabeth and she’s taking her passion for her home county out onto the doorsteps. Her concerns for our local health service are chiming with the fears and worries of local residents – it being the biggest concern the length and breath of the county. The packed public meeting held in Aberystwyth only last week regarding the future of healthcare provision in Bronglais Hospital proved testament to that. Elizabeth has a particular empathy with these concerns because as a past-chair of Mencap Ceredigion, she has an interest that is reflected in her current campaign to secure local facilities for elderly patients suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Last night, I met her for the first time when she spoke at the rally. She spoke with such clarity and passion and concern for her community. She’s smart, caring, strong and funny and she’d be a fab AM.

Here is her speech in full:

Fellow Liberal Democrats. I wish I knew then what I know now!

I’m going to take you back to 2011.

I was the candidate in Ceredigion and the Liberal Democrats were a year into the Westminster coalition. Yet it felt like a Westminster election – of course Plaid and Labour wanted it that way. They behaved as if they truly had the moral high ground, preaching the politics of betrayal and blame. The Liberal Democrats in coalition had let everyone down. Really? Well look at the government we have now!

In 2011 Plaid said they wouldn’t close schools, wouldn’t close libraries, and they certainly wouldn’t close residential homes. Well they’ve done all that running Ceredigion County Council!  Plaid made so many manifesto promises they knew they couldn’t keep and they’ve broken just about all of them. We broke one.

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Welsh Liberal Democrat Conference open thread #2 Aled Roberts’ speech Manifesto debate

This is being posted much later due to lack of wifi, but I hope this gives you a flavour of the debate.

Aled Roberts’ speech

Aled Roberts was introduced by chair Mark Cole in Welsh and delivered his speech in Welsh. He highlighted education:

Let’s not forget that the Lib Dems secured the Pupil Premium while not even in Government and have had it virtually trebled in the past 5 years as well as extending it to early years. Imagine what we could achieve if we were actually in Government?

Class sizes in Wales under Labour are among the highest in the developed world. Over 71740 infant pupils are taught in classes of more than 25 with 59% of infant classes having more than 25 pupils.

The younger the pupils, the more time and attention they need from their teachers. We would invest in more teachers to give them the time to focus on each child’s individual needs.

Manifesto Debate

Chloe Hutchinson talks about benefits to young people on a range of issues from housing to votes at 16. She says she’s proud to support the manifesto motion and calls on Wales to vote to stay in the EU.

Speaker now highlighting the fact that equality impact assessments will be done as a matter of course and that this will help to win back the trust of a more diverse range of people.

IR Cymru speaker Rhys Taylor now talking about the need for politicians to consider needs of young people as today’s generation faces being poorer than parents. He is glad to see policies which reflect the concerns of young people from skills development, environmental sustainability and access to physical and mental health services.

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Kirsty Williams’ speech to Friday night Conference rally

Kirsty will be making her keynote speech in an hour or so. She always speaks with such warmth and passion and sensitivity so I’m really looking forward to it.

Last night at the opening Conference rally, she was in great form. Here’s her speech from that event in full:

Before we begin, I just wanted to point something out to you.

Every single one of the people who’ve spoken tonight are women.

In fact, all the candidates in our most gainable seats are female

Eluned Parrott in Cardiff Central

Elizabeth Evans in Ceredigion

Veronica German leading the regional list in South East Wales

And Jane Dodds in Montgomeryshire too.

All of them in seats we want to win.

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Sex education motion leads to National Assembly wifi ban for Welsh Lib Dem website

Talking about sex can lead to internet filters having a bit of a hissy fit.

A very sensible IR Cymru motion on sex education has meant that the Welsh Lib Dem website, where it appears on the Conference agenda. The Daily Post has the details:

Just hours before the rally to kick start their annual conference the party’s website has been barred by the bulding’s public wi-fi.

It has been placed in the same category of proscribed sites along with hard core porn sites.

But it has emerged the reason for the block is that the conference programme mentions the word “sex” or “sexual” 18 times.

The policy motion – named “let’s talk about sex” – includes calls for parents’ legal right to remove their child from any part of sex education classes to be binned.

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Welsh Liberal Democrat Conference open thread #1 – introduction and policing debate

I shall just start by saying that I love this auditorium. It’s a lecture theatre so I am sitting up the back with my laptop on an actual desk, not precariously balanced on my lap.

I should also mention that this is a Conference which has smashed all its budget projections. There are a healthy complement of stalls from external exhibitors, 6 fringe meetings today and a healthy attendance of over 250 members.

Eluned Parrott AM opened Conference with a speech outlining how the Liberal Democrats would strengthen communities and transform the economy by “ditching the Thatcherite mantra” and levelling the playing field, investing in infrastructure to maximise inclusion and minimise isolation.

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What’s happening today at Welsh Spring Conference? Leaders, manifesto, policing, education

Here’s a rundown on what’s happening today at Welsh Spring Conference. The highlights are obviously keynote speeches from Tim and Kirsty and a debate on the manifesto.

The Debates

09:10 Opening of Conference: Eluned Parrott AM, Assembly Member for South Wales Central

09:30 Policy Motion
PM1: Policing in Wales

10:15 Speech: Aled Roberts AM, Assembly Member for North Wales

10:35 Policy Motion:
PM2: A Manifesto for 2016

11:55 Speech: Tim Farron MP, Leader of the Liberal Democrats

13:30 Speech: Kirsty Williams CBE AM, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarIan Swales 7th Feb - 12:32am
    William. I guess you and are having a heated agreement. The important thing that few people are mentioning is that a high proportion of our...
  • User AvatarPaul Walter 6th Feb - 11:57pm
    Moderator's note: This thread is now being pre-moderated and any references to men/male procedures will be deleted under our "off-topic" rule. Please see our comments...
  • User AvatarHarry Hayfield 6th Feb - 10:50pm
    And let me tell you, Ceredigion may seem to most people as "that constituency with the sole Liberal Democrat MP in the far flung reaches...
  • User AvatarJames Ridgwell 6th Feb - 10:50pm
    i agree - thanks for engaging with the debate BTL Paul
  • User AvatarTim13 6th Feb - 10:10pm
    My wife's theory on lack of women candidates (and she has had over past years much more experience than me in approval and selection of...
  • User AvatarSarah 6th Feb - 10:02pm
    I can't believe "Would you rather have 8 all male MPs or 5 MPs with at least one woman" is even a question. Of course...