Category Archives: Conference

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Full Spring Conference Agenda out now

Spring Conference Agenda 2016The full agenda and directory for the Spring Conference in York is out now.

All the details of motions, training and fringe meetings are inside.

A few points to note:

  • The Exhibition, which had originally been cut, has been reinstated. Leave.EU and the Lib Dem InTogether campaign will be no doubt glowering atmospherically at each other across the room.
  • The photos of the Federal Executive were supposed to be in the agenda, but seem to have been left out for some reason. People should know who their federal representatives are. However, there will be an FE help desk so please come and talk to us if you have any questions about the overall strategy of the party.
  • The number of what appear to be all-male panels at fringe meetings is more than a little annoying. And much as I love Tim, Vince and Jim Wallace, surely to goodness they could have found women for the main business reception too. After all, Jo Swinson as Business Minister did loads for women entrepreneurs and Lorely Burt is our go-to person for women in business. (UPDATE: it appears Sharon Bowles will be attending this now, which is good.)
  • The Saturday afternoon session goes on till 7pm with a consultation session on the Governance Review after the close of official business. This is really important as the outcome will determine the way the party is run and where power lies within it. An hour is barely time to scratch the surface of the issues. However, do take time to read the document now and submit your ideas to the team even if you are not going to Conference. The consultation is open until the end of March.
  • York is a city where we Lib Dems are in the Council administration. We should hear from Council Deputy Leader Cllr Keith Aspden at some point during the weekend.
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What’s happening at Welsh Liberal Democrat Conference today? Europe and sex

Here’s a rundown on what’s happening today at Welsh Spring Conference with debates on Europe, and a motion on sex education by IR Cymru.

The Debates

10:00 Policy Motion
PM5: Winning in Europe

10:40 Speech: Peter Black AM, Assembly Member for South Wales West

11.00 2016 Election Briefing Closed, Member-Only Session

12:00 Policy Motion
PM6: Let’s Talk about Sex

 

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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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LDV on Tour: Bringing you Welsh Lib Dem Conference as it happens

I’m sitting in the lounge of the Holiday Inn in Cardiff with all a blogger really needs, wifi, coffee and Macbook. I arrived in Cardiff early this morning on a flight which contained a very joyful stag party. I’m sure their mothers would be very worried to see them consuming quite so much vodka at barely past the crack of dawn.

This is only the second time I’ve been to Wales. The first visit was for a Doctor Who convention in 2012 and this one is to cover the Welsh Liberal Democrats’ vital pre-election Spring Conference, so it’s a place very associated with the things that I love. Last time I saw very little other than the hotel and the Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay. This time, I’ve already had a wander through the beautiful centre of Cardiff and at the moment am looking out on the castle. When I’ve finished writing, I’m off to the Doctor Who Experience for my fix of everyone’s favourite Time Lord. I saw the exhibition in Newcastle and London before it found its permanent home, just across fron the BBC studios where the programme is filmed.

So, why have I come 400 miles from home for this? Firstly because it’s important. Kirsty Williams leads a group of five Welsh Liberal Democrat AMs. In the last five years, they have been as highly effective an opposition to Labour as Willie and his team have been to the SNP in Holyrood. Kirsty persuaded Labour to introduce the Pupil Premium so that Liberal Democrat idea is already helping children from disadvantaged backgrounds in Welsh schools. Kirsty’s bill to ensure safe nursing levels in Welsh hospital faces its final parliamentary hurdle next week.

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Federal Conference Committee report

Saturday yet again saw Federal Conference Committee‘s agenda-setting meeting, this time for Spring conference in York – now less than 6 weeks away. As well as
worrying about which motions would be debated, the committee also received a welcome update on the success of the new Access Fund, discussed details of Friday night’s rally and proposals for a new “supporters” conference attendees category. This new scheme will allow members to vouch for friends and family of members to enable them to come to conference without needing to pay commercial rates – more details on that should be available soon.

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Want to go to Spring conference and can’t afford it? Apply to Conference Access Fund by Friday

2015 policy pitch autumn conference by Paul WalterOur Spring Conference in York between 11-13 March is the first to be held under the new One Member One Vote rules. That means that every single party member could have a say as we make our policies.

I say COULD, because not every member can afford to go. Travel, accommodation and childcare costs put going to conference beyond the reach of many members.

This time, however, people can apply for a grant from the Conference Access Fund:

We have established a Conference Access Fund to improve accessibility for members attending conference. The fund consists of a contribution from the core Conference budget as well as donations from party members. Any contributions made by party members are ring-fenced for this purpose only and where applicable, any unused donations will be carried over to the next conference.

All applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If there is high demand, priority will be given to members who are attending Conference for the first time and members from underrepresented sections of society.

To do so for this Conference, you have to apply by this Friday. The online form is here.

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Zoe O’Connell’s Federal Conference Committee report

Federal Conference Committee met at Liberal Democrat HQ on Saturday 14th November for a meeting that had, despite press reports suggesting it was called purely to discuss special conference, been in the diary for some time.

Many topics were discussed, as the November meeting is one of the few where members get to kick about ideas and discuss new developments rather than focusing on motion and amendment selection. Even after a relatively short time on the committee, these feel to me as if they are standing agenda items – many FCC members are keen to keep up work on better use of funds to improve conference accessibility and financial inclusion, investigate remote voting, use of new technology, timing of conferences and so on. FCC rarely decides anything concrete at this point, but members are often tasked to go and consult with other groups such as, for example, talking to DEG and LDDA about some aspect of accessibility or funding that has arisen.

I generally refrain from reporting discussions-in-progress on these topics, as I feel it right that groups representing members who have most to gain (or lose) from changes should get the first say. There are three areas that deserve special mention, however:

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  • User AvatarPhilip 13th Feb - 8:52pm
    Hello Sesenco - thank you for posting - which other points here do you think are incorrect and why: http://www.ukip.org/busting_the_eu_myths?
  • User AvatarSesenco 13th Feb - 8:34pm
    It might help if we actually told people the truth. Britain leaving the EU would lead to the ultimate collapse of the rest of the...
  • User AvatarJohn Marriott 13th Feb - 8:28pm
    We need to finish the job start by Lord Redcliffe Maude's committee in 1969, which was continued by the Banham Commission in the early 1990s...
  • User AvatarRsf7 13th Feb - 8:26pm
    @a social liberal. Cannabis of any type has never been proven to cause mental illness, there is a slight correlation, but correlation is not causation,...
  • User AvatarChris_sh 13th Feb - 8:26pm
    @Peter " So what hope have they for knowing what the world economy will look like in the next twenty years?" Amen to that :-D
  • User AvatarRsf7 13th Feb - 8:23pm
    @eddie The lib dems don't just have opposing views though, they have no consistent ideology at all. I have also discovered that there is a...