The two months since the party’s last Federal Executive have, as usual, been pretty busy. In that period I have visited local parties in Aldershot, Altrincham & Sale, Winchester, Islington, Sutton, Wycombe, Amersham & Chesham, Swindon, Gloucester, Stroud, Cheltenham, East Dunbartonshire, Glasgow North, Edinburgh Pentlands, North & Leith, West, Ochil, and Consett. I have also attended the North West and West Midlands Regional Conferences.
The two meetings of the party’s Chief Officers Group which I have attended are reported separately to FE, but I wish to highlight the work done to develop the business plan and budget which were agreed. A party-wide business plan and budget is a great step forward for the Party. The interim Chief Executive, Chris Fox, estimates that around 80% of the pre-election recommendations in the Bones Commission have now been achieved.
A key achievement has been the development of the new Party website, including the social networking site, ACT. A members-only section will be online in the immediate future.
I haven’t been able to keep up with the prodigious number of meetings of Federal Policy Committee required in order to produce the outline manifesto by Christmas. Everyone is to be commended for this work, but particular thanks go to Christian Moon and his team who are working flat out.
I led two Liberal Democrat delegations; one to Liberal International in Cairo and the other to the European Liberal Democrats (ELDR) in Barcelona. Liberal Democrats are key players in both Congresses, and are ably managed by Robert Woodthorpe Brown who chairs the International Relations Committee so ably for us. I also represented the Party at the memorial service in Westminster of Ralf Dahrendorf.
Finally, I would like to pay tribute to our colleague Roy Thomson who died recently. Roy was an absolute stalwart of the Party and served at all levels for many years. He continued to come to FE even when his health was very poor. We shall miss his quiet wisdom and commitment to the Party.
* Baroness Ros Scott is President of the Liberal Democrats.