We are delighted to announce that members’ registration will open shortly for Autumn 2013 Federal Conference in Glasgow. We very excited that Conference is making a return to Scotland after many years’ absence.
The event will take place at the SECC (Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre), Exhibition Way, Glasgow, from 10am on Saturday 14th September to around 3:30pm on Wednesday 18th September. The conference hotel will be the Crowne Plaza.
In order to cut down on costs and be more environmentally friendly, there is a discount available for those who are content not to receive any papers through the post and are happy to work electronically instead (the conference app makes that very easy indeed) or print out what they need themselves. Please note, there will be free Wi-Fi in the SECC and we are making some key improvements to the app to improve its functionality. There is a surcharge for those who do want a full set of papers and no charge or discount at all for those needing just the agenda, directory and training guide.
Following negotiations with the party and a full assessment of the threats and the risks the recommendation of the police and security services is that accreditation will not be required for any person who was a party member prior to 1st January 2013. Anyone who has recently joined the party or non party members will have to go through accreditation.
Importantly, that means that no-one who has been elected as a Conference Representative at a Local Party Annual General Meeting in 2012 will need to go through accreditation. This arrangement was the least onerous one that FCC could agree to in the light of a comprehensive risk assessment carried out with the circumstances of this conference in mind. For this reason, registration for members will open slightly later than our commercial categories this year as we make some technical changes to our database to accommodate this.
Conference offers a wonderful opportunity to meet other members and activists, to debate and decide policy, hear speeches, question Government ministers, attend training sessions, participate in fringe meetings and spend time relaxing until late at night in the bars. Already we have agreed to have speeches from Ed Davey and Danny Alexander and there will be others.
We are the only party where our members decide our policy which, given that preparations are now underway for our next General Election Manifesto, makes this a crucial time. We will also be continuing our tradition of Ministerial Question and Answer Sessions, which allow members to get answers to their questions directly from Liberal Democrats in Government.
The agenda for this Conference is not set yet. As ever, the FCC wants to put on a diverse and radical programme of policy motions and speeches, as well as the usual reports. The more motions we have submitted, the better. For those wanting to submit motions, the deadline is 26th June (1pm) and members of the committee are available to offer drafting advice until 12th June 2013. Please send them to [email protected]
See Glasgow has negotiated specially discounted rates across a wide range of hotels in the City.
We hope very much to see you in Glasgow in September.
* Andrew Wiseman is Chair of the Liberal Democrats' Federal Conference Committee.