Amendments and emergency motions for Brighton

Saturday was the final pre-Brighton meeting of Federal Conference Committee, (FCC) in which we selected the motion for the reserved Europe slot, amendments to be debated on all motions and emergency/topical issues for the all-member ballot. We also discussed:

  • One appeal against selection of a motion, which was rejected.
  • A request for an external (non-party) speaker to be allowed to put in a card to speak in the Europe debate, which was accepted.
  • 10 questions to party bodies, all in order.

For those less familiar with the process, here’s a short reminder of what can happen with an amendment, or part of an amendment: They can be accepted for debate and vote with a proposer and summator, they can be drafted in as if they were part of the original motion or they can be rejected. “Drafted in” amendments should be entirely non-controversial – updating a motion to reflect recent events, correcting or clarifying wording and so on.

For debated amendments, time is usually the biggest factor FCC has to contend with as we only have time to debate one amendment in a 45 minute slot – longer debates will allow for more amendments, although more than three amendments may be confusing no matter how long the debate is.

68 amendments were submitted, and we selected (either drafted in or for debate) 35 of them.

And finally, my usual disclaimer: The “titles” for amendments are my own brief summaries as submitted amendments do not come with titles. Errors or lack of clarity are my own fault, not that of FCC or the submitters and non-selection does not mean that the topic is not worthy – as well as time pressure, the wording or length of some amendments can raise concerns, or it can be insubstantial or not sufficiently within scope of the original motion. The submitters of amendments should have received feedback from their assigned FCC members by now.

F27 Europe (90 minutes)

Four motions were received for the reserved slot for Europe, and FCC selected a motion from the Federal Policy Committee for debate. You can download it here.  The deadline for amendments is 5pm on Thursday, and FCC meets in Brighton on Friday afternoon to select which amendments will be debated.

The three motions that were not selected were from:

  • Newbury and West Berkshire
  • North West Regional Party
  • Blyth Valley, Chester, Bristol, E Berks, E Lothian, Greenwich, Hounslow, Newbury & W Berks, N Dorset, Oxford E, Somerton & Frome, Tatton

Policy Motions


F8 Safe and Free (Liberty and Security Policy Paper – 90 minutes)

2 amendments received, both selected.

Drafted in:

  • Correct typing error in line 14 (Bermondsey & Old Southwark)

For debate:

  • Separate vote request on lines 97-108 (Leyton & Chingford)


F9 An End to Homelessness (45 minutes)

11 amendments received, of which 3 selected.

Drafted in:

  • Clarify funding arrangements (ALDC)

For debate:

  • Mental Health (Canterbury & Coastal)
  • Long-term support for the supported housing sector (Cambridge)

Not taken:

  • Land Value Tax (Liberal Youth)
  • Mental Health (Lewisham)
  • Reword lines 7-9 (Canterbury and Coastal)
  • Additional “Conference Believes” (Canterbury & Coastal)
  • Change to council and voluntary organisations in line 78 (Canterbury & Coastal)
  • Housing Benefit (Bermondsey & Old Southwark)
  • Human rights, CAB, School Curriculum (North East Cambridgeshire, South East Cambridgeshire)
  • Emergency Accommodation (Barrow & Furness)


F10 Tackling Corruption and Corporate Crime (45 minutes)

3 amendments received, of which 1 selected.

For debate:

  • Require continued retention of Companies House records for 20 years (North East Cambridgeshire, South East Cambridgeshire)

Not taken:

  • Privatisation of the Land Registry (Leyton & Chingford)
  • Replace lines 50-52 (Bermondsey & Old Southwark)


F12 Adopting Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (45 minutes)

1 amendment received, taken in part.

Drafted in:

  • Update lines 9-12 to reflect recent events (Lewisham)

For debate:

  • Generic PrEP (Lewisham)


F15 Combatting Racism (45 minutes)

8 amendments received, of which 3 selected.

Drafted in:

  • Role of councillors (ALDC)
  • Positive contribution of newcomers to the UK (Canterbury and Coastal)

For debate:

  • Burkas (Richmond & Twickenham)

Not taken:

  • Internal party business (12 members)
  • Council Funding, Establishment of a Party Working Group, Erasmus (Canterbury & Coastal)
  • Reducing unconscious bias (Lewisham)
  • Mainstream parties and populist rhetoric (Canterbury & Coastal)
  • Change wording in line 20 (Canterbury & Coastal)


F16 The Opportunity to Succeed, the Power to Change (Agenda 2020 Policy Paper – 90 minutes)

2 amendments, of which 1 taken.

Drafted in, in part:

  • Democratically elected local government (ALDC)

Not taken:

  • Income Tax (St Ives)


F18 UK and European Collaborative Research and Erasmus (40 minutes)

4 amendments, of which 2 taken.

Drafted in:

  • Change to line 18, add mention of research staff before line 25 (Kingston Borough)

For debate:

  • Longer term future (Lewisham)

Not taken:

  • Cost to EU citizens of studying in the UK (Liberal Youth)
  • Correct typo – original text omitted during typesetting of the printed agenda will be drafted in instead (Bermondsey & Old Southwark)


F20 Campaign to Save Parent Governors (40 minutes)

1 amendment

For debate:

  • Multi Academy Trusts (Sheffield)


F23 Restoring Access to Justice (45 minutes)

3 amendments, 2 taken.

Drafted in:

  • Citizens Advice Bureau (Kingston Borough)

For debate, in part:

  • “Green Form” Legal Aid System (Rights Liberties Justice)

Not taken:

  • Reconsideration of justice system governance (Rights Liberties Justice)


F29 Investing in the Green Economy (45 minutes)

6 amendments, 4 taken

Drafted in:

  • Update wording in line 63 (Canterbury & Coastal)
  • Add words in line 26 (Calderdale)
  • Ratification of COP 21 (Bermondsey & Old Southwark)

For debate:

  • Non-financial support for renewable energy, Consistent planning approach to low/zero carbon, continue applying EU environmental legislation (Cambridge)

Not taken:

  • Carbon Tax and changes to car tax and fuel duty (North Herts & Stevenage)
  • 4 separate vote requests (Individual member)


F31 Mending the Safety Net (Social Security policy paper – 90 minutes)

8 amendments, 4 taken.

Drafted in, in part:

  • Add “per week” to lines 75-77 (North East Cambridgeshire, South East Cambridgeshire)

For debate:

  • Negative Income Tax (Calderdale)
  • Scrapping sanctions (48 members)
  • Retaining benefits cap for some benefits (10 members)

Not taken:

  • Only partially endorse policy paper, replace Universal Credit with Minimum Income, reduce Child Benefit cap, 5 year pilot of Basic Income, merger of disability and sickness benefits, associated taxation changes (Harrow)
  • Changes to sanctions (Stockton)
  • Consumer testing of DWP letters (Stockton)


F40 Future Transport (60 minutes)

6 amendments, 3 taken.

Drafted in:

  • Additional wording in line 43 (Canterbury & Coastal)
  • ‘Please offer me a seat’ badges (Richmond & Twickenham)

For debate, in part:

  • HS2 & HS3 (Calderdale)

Not taken:

  • Replace “rural” with “all” on line 66 (Canterbury & Coastal)
  • Inclusion of public transport (Calderdale)
  • Diesel Vehicles (Lewisham)

Business Motions and Constitutional Amendments


F6 SAOs/AOs (20 minutes)

1 amendment.

Drafted in:

  • Fix numbering (Federal Executive)


F13 Party Governance (45 minutes)

2 amendments, 1 taken.

For debate:

  • English Party & Regions (East Midlands Region)

Not taken:

  • English Party & Regions (Calderdale)


F14 Party Strategy (45 minutes)

1 amendment

Drafted in:

  • Clarify wording in line 3 (English Party)


F25 Changes to Leadership (45 minutes)

3 amendments, 2 taken.

Drafted in:

  • Clarify when the leader ceases to be leader (Calderdale)
  • Correct numbering to Article 8.5 in line 21 (Federal Executive)

Not taken:

  • Clarify nomination requirements for leader (Bermondsey & Old Southwark)


F34 Diversity quotas – no amendments received


F36 Committees (50 minutes)

6 amendments, 3 taken.

Draft in:

  • Remove 13.5, wording changes (Federal Executive)

For debate:

  • Changes to 12.4 (English Party)
  • Change committees to two year terms (10 members)

Not taken:

  • Change committees to two year terms (English Party)
  • Liberal Youth representation on federal committees (Liberal Youth)
  • Election to/standing for multiple committees (Ipswich)


F37 Standing Order Amendments – no amendments received


Emergency Motions & Topical Issues


8 emergency motions and 2 topical issues were submitted for consideration. When it comes to Emergency Motions, the job of FCC to only to determine if they are in order – predominantly, determining if the issue genuinely could not have been foreseen before the first motions deadline. Emergency motions and, this time, one topical issue all go into an all-members ballot at conference, and the top two are debated.

In Order (Emergency Motions)/Selected (Topical Issues):

  • Young People & Grammar schools
  • Nuclear power at Hinkley Point
  • Local Communities Welcoming Refugees
  • Police officers equipped with Tasers to wear body cameras
  • Southern Rail
  • Topical Issue Debate: NHS Sustainability and Transformation plans

Not in Order/Not selected:

  • Tackling Racism
  • Home Office rules on immigration
  • NATO and Mutual defence
  • Topical Issue Debate: A Brexit Liberal Britain


* Zoe O'Connell is Vice Chair of Federal Conference Committee and Vice Chair of LGBT+ Liberal Democrats.

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This entry was posted in News.


  • paul barker 12th Sep '16 - 3:55pm

    As a non-activist, can I just give my thanks to everyone involved, they are all volonteers & they do a vital job. Most of the decisions neede are hard & some look impossible to me.

  • Graham Neale 12th Sep '16 - 4:54pm

    Pleased to see Bermondsey and Old Southwark’s
    “Police officers equipped with Tasers to wear Body Cameras”.
    It’s a simple motion, designed to provide accountability and peace of mind.
    Please vote for it, and support it.

  • Denis Loretto 13th Sep '16 - 12:34pm

    While on the subject of Bermondsey and Old Southwark I note that under F25 “Clarify nomination requirements for Leader” has been rejected. The actual amendment proposed was “Add the following sentence to Line 36 and renumber the lines accordingly – “These nomination requirements will apply equally to any previous or existing incumbent who seeks nomination for Leader or Deputy Leader.”

    Given the unadulterated mess the Labour Party have got into by allowing an incumbent leader who has lost the confidence of the parliamentary party to secure automatic inclusion in the list of nominees put to the membership I think it is essential for the Liberal Democrats to put it beyond doubt that this will not happen in our party. I cannot understand why this amendment has not been cleared for debate.

  • Adam Corlett 13th Sep '16 - 2:18pm

    Thanks for sharing. Are the full amendments available online yet? It’s hard for the broader membership to debate potential amendments if they’re only revealed at conference or a few days before!

  • Steve Bolter 13th Sep '16 - 5:10pm

    Why was this not put on the website under Conference papers. I have only just found it here because someone asked me to support an amendment.

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