All the fun of Scottish Conference!

Scottish Liberal Democrat Conference in Hamilton was upbeat this weekend.  The party sees progress in its sights at the next Westminster, Holyrood and local authority elections.

From the moment the event was opened by West Lothian’s Cllr Sally Pattle, there were serious debates,  keynote speeches, anniversaries celebrated and a lot of fun and laughter.

The most emotional moments of Conference came during the debate on Christine Jardine MP’s motion on supporting bereaved children and young people. The motion called on the Scottish Government to create a protocol for the “collation and dissemination of information to bereaved children about relevant support services” alongside a new duty to inform which would apply to people like health professionals and teachers. Mandatory training would also be given to all those who would have a duty to inform. Contributors shared sometimes shocking but always incredibly sad experiences of loss.

Amanda Clark, our PPC for Perth and Kinross, rightly won the award for the best speech of Conference for her summation, which was heartfelt, inclusive and showed everyone who spoke that they had been heard.

Conference also voted for a national strategy to improve literacy, to bin the National Care Service that the SNP Government is blowing a billion on and which has little  prospect of actually improving care for vulnerable people, to increase access to sport, for a housing strategy that secures affordable housing for key workers and on support for Scotland’s flood-hit communities.

If you weren’t able to be there, the livestream from the two days is available on the Scottish Lib Dem You Tube Channel.

One of the highlights was a keynote speech by Northern Ireland Assembly Member Kellie Armstrong, who told of how she and the Party built up the vote in her Strangford constituency.  She talked about her groundbreaking Bill which gave parents a choice to demand integrated education to bring communities together. When she first proposed the measure, she got abuse from all sides, but was able to work with the other parties to get the Bill passed.

We also had keynote speeches from Alex Cole-Hamilton, who set out our vision which, he hoped, would see us regain our position as third party in the House of Commons, from Ed Davey, who highlighted our plan to help unpaid carers and Jim Wallace who talked about the Lib Dem contribution to the Scottish Parliament. He was Deputy First Minister in the coalition with Labour from 1999-2005.

Rutherglen’s Cllr Robert Brown was honoured by South Lanarkshire Council’s Provost Margaret Cooper. He was given a collage of photographs celebrating his 50 years as a Liberal and Liberal Democrat campaigner in Rutherglen. Cllr Cooper was full of praise for Robert and how he worked so well with others in the Council.  She also noted his tenacity – if he wanted to get on a Committee, he got on it.

We’ll have more from the Conference over the next few days when I have recovered.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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This entry was posted in News and Op-eds.


  • Caron, sorry to display my ignorance here but could you tell members like me outside Scotland more about the National care service stuff? Genuinely interested.

  • @ Ruth Bright Here’s a link to the debate at Holyrood in February, Ruth. Hope it helps.

    Stage 1 Debate: National Care Service (Scotland) Bill – 29 … › watch
    2:09:47 YouTube · The Scottish Parliament · 29 Feb 2024

    Also, COSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) have published details of their objections which is available on line.

    As with so many things in politics, it’s to some extent the old proverb, ‘Money makes the Mare to Go’.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 22nd May '24 - 9:49am

    @Ruth, it’s basically about the NHS trying to solve a crisis in social care by centralising it, in a very expensive manner.

  • Thanks both.

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