English Council, 15 June – our man in Luton reports…

This is a report of the meeting of the Liberal Democrats English Council, held on Saturday at University College London.

The English Council is the governing body of the Liberal Democrats in England and meets twice a year to consider matters of importance to the English Party.

Speech from Nick Clegg

Nick Clegg at English Council - 15 June 2013The day started with a speech from the Deputy Prime Minister. Before heading off to chair meetings at the G8, Nick Clegg had stopped into University College London to give a message of optimism to party members.

While he touched on some of the themes he would later discuss in his speech to the Local Government Conference, this speech was primarily intended to rally the troops.

He was optimistic about the future prospects for the Liberal Democrats. The experience of coalition government has been a stormy one but the party had come through resilient; “we haven’t been broken… having been tested in the furnace”. He said he was grateful to the party membership, whose achievement this was.

He said that the Liberal Democrats were “unapologetically in favour of centre ground politics” repeating the message that it was the only the Liberal Democrats who could deliver a stronger economy and a fairer society. This put the Party “in the right place”, especially that this centre ground is a space being vacated by the other two main parties.

In conclusion he argued the Liberal Democrats can do much better in 2015 than critics of the Party allow and even better than we often believe ourselves.

Other business

The future prospects for the Party were also the topic of the two presentations that followed the speech. These were from Sarah Ludford MEP about the London party’s preparations for next year’s European Elections, which was particularly well received by the members present, and a presentation from the Liberal Democrat’s Director of Campaigns, Hilary Stephenson, discussing the recent local elections and where the party goes from here.

The meeting was then given a report from the Chair, Peter Ellis, which generated a lively debate on the topic of diversity and representation and what more the English Party should be doing to in this area.

This was followed by a report from the Vice Chair, Mike Wheatley, who focussed on the work of the regional party committee. This body works with the regions to encourage co-operation and the exchange of good practice. It also provides support to the regions in operating the party’s disciplinary procedures and had in recent months been dealing with several difficult disputes. He also noted that the English Party have published a new guide to the role of the regional chair.

He also reported back on the plans for the re-organisation of local parties. Each region has been working on their proposal for the new boundaries, a combination of constituency and local authority, that each of the local parties in their area will cover. It appears that, while the process has been at times difficult, the regions have made good progress. The reorganisation plans need to be in place by the end of this month and the English Party will be issuing new guidance on the next steps.

The meeting also received the usual reports from the Treasurer, the Chair of the English Candidates’ Committee, and from the English Council’s representatives on various other party bodies. Finally, the meeting passed,with some discussion but without controversy, a number of minor constitutional amendments to the English Party’s constitution and the model constitution for local parties.

You can find out more about the work of the English Party in my previous post What does the English Council do? and in the LDV English Council archive.

* Andy Strange is a member of the Lib Dems' English Council. He blogs at Strange Thoughts.

Read more by or more about , or .
This entry was posted in News and Party policy and internal matters.
Bookmark the web address for this page or use the short url http://ldv.org.uk/35076 for Twitter and emails.

4 Comments

  • Rabi Martins 26th Jun '13 - 10:48am

    Good to know the English Council discussed and noted the lack of progress within the Party on Black and Asian (BAME) representaion in elected office But what action did they propose to address the problem Did they for example note the existance of the Dadabhai Noaroji Award for the Local Party that does most to promote BAME partcipation and representation and propose any actions ?

  • Nonconformistradical 26th Jun '13 - 11:07am

    “…re-organisation of local parties”
    Deckchairs……Titanic

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?




Recent Comments

  • User Avatariantha kirkup 3rd Sep - 4:48am
    Hi Daisy, pleased to learn you are standing for president, locally I find your enthusiasm contagious and I am sure that will carry over to...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 3rd Sep - 1:01am
    This has the potential to get nasty and I don't like what I'm seeing. The UK and the EU need to be careful not to...
  • User AvatarJoe Bourke 3rd Sep - 12:31am
    John Dunn, Ukraine has a great deal to lose as a consequence of deteriorating relations with Russia and has sought to maintain its export trade...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 3rd Sep - 12:04am
    Liberals should continue arguing unfashionable causes, whilst not necessarily putting them in the manifesto. When it comes to Sterlingisation and the EU: I think Scotland...
  • User AvatarFrankBooth 2nd Sep - 11:55pm
    Tim13 - you suggested it was the cue for rump UK and Scotland to join the Euro. You'd have to deal with the implacably opposed...
  • User AvatarT-J 2nd Sep - 11:41pm
    OK, it's all very well and good to guarantee more powers, but I just don't have enough confidence in most of the people issuing that...