A first glance at the agenda for Spring Conference

The outline agenda for the Liberal Democrats’ Spring Conference in Liverpool has been published.

Spring Conference outline agenda


On Friday, a series of policy consultations, and a consultation on the plans to take forward One Member One Vote take up the afternoon before the rally.

On Saturday, there are speeches by Danny Alexander, Vince Cable and Jo Swinson with a question and answer session with Nick Clegg. Policy debates include mental health, the manifesto (surprisingly titled Stronger Economy and Fairer Society), green laws and workforce rights.

On Sunday, as well as Nick’s keynote speech, we have debates on free speech in Europe and education funding as well as an emergency motion.

The motions will be published in a couple of weeks or so and then people will be able to start thinking about putting in amendments.

Spare a thought for poor old Sal Brinton and Tim Farron. They only get 5 minutes to do the presidential handover.

This, of course, is only the business in the main hall. There will be oodles of exciting things to do on the fringe and excellent training sessions to attend.

The Conference before an election is not likely to be a hotbed of controversy, but it is well worth attending for no other reason than to enjoy the company of other Lib Dems from across the country, to swap ideas and pick up the latest tips to enhance your campaign. The strength you gain from these events is utterly invaluable.

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  • Nothing about getting a new leader elected ?

  • Tony Dawson 29th Jan '15 - 8:06pm

    Although not the procession of the ‘beautiful’ (sic) which are the Tory and Labour ‘conferences’ (sic) these days, it seems it is heading that way.

    Last time we had a conference in Liverpool, we had substantial consultative sessions on the NHS ‘deforms’ where a massively overwhelming majority of the contributors explained very painstakingly to Paul Burstow how misconceived the proposals were.

  • I see that two whole hours are devoted to one MP, 45 minute for a Q+A session and 75 minutes for a speech.
    By way on contrast only 35 minutes are devoted to the four major reports on the business of running the party.

    Would ten minutes for each of these reports be too much? Eight minutes is adequate time is it ?
    Will this be four minutes for the speech from the person presenting the report, two minutes for questions, one minute for answers and 60 seconds for standing up, sitting down and waiting for people to get to the platform?

    Some people might have thought that in the year when we end up short of hundreds of general election candidates a few weeks from polling day might result in some questions from the local party reps who have paid a small fortune for the privilege of going to the conference.
    Some people might have thought there would be the need for some discussion.
    The opportunity to discuss this and why we have got into this position and how to learn from the lessons might deserve more than a small fraction of eight minutes.

    Why not scrap this token gesture to internal party democracy completely and use the time expand the final speech of Nick Clegg to take up an hour and fifty minutes ?
    In fact why not devote the whole conference to hour after hour of our dear leader?

    Those of us watching at home on TV will no doubt be treated to a serious discussion of what clothes the leader and his wife are wearing. The BBC considered this to be one of the more newsworthy elements of ‘The leader’s speech’ last September in Glasgow. They took his casual appearance to be a indication that he was on the way out and that Glasgow was his last autumn conference.

  • Stephen Donnelly 29th Jan '15 - 10:46pm

    On Saturday there are speeches by Danny Alexander…….with Nick Clegg. Policy debates include mental health, the manifesto (surprisingly titled Stronger Economy and Fairer Society), green laws and workforce rights.

    A change in attitude toward mental health issues is welcome, but there are problems about the funding. For instance see the stories tomorrow in all the papers about the ‘rebellion’ by trust hospitals about funding.

    Somehow this does not all add up.

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