Andrew Wiseman writes…Changes to Spring Conference registration

We are trying something new at this year’s Spring Conference. The Autumn Conference saw a record-breaking members’ attendance with more first time conference attendees than ever before and we are keen for even more members to come to conference and actively engage with the Party’s policy making process.

The Spring Conference in York will be the first conference under One Member One Vote and in light of this we reviewed, amongst other things, the current registration system. At our short weekend Spring Conference we will now only be offering a full Member’s registration option so that everyone attending has the right to speak, vote and receive conference papers. This means that we will no longer be offering day visitor passes at Spring Conference.

The original idea behind day visitor passes was to encourage members to get a taste of conference and encourage more attendance. It was felt that rather than offering an additional, more restrictive, ‘taster day pass’ it makes more sense to reduce the first timer’s rate to conference to enable those trying out conference to get the full experience. Therefore the first timer’s rate for the spring conference has been reduced to just £35 for the whole weekend.

Further, we are looking at ways to better support members to overcome barriers to coming  conference through a Conference Access Grant. Details of this will be publicised in the New Year.


* Andrew Wiseman is Chair of the Liberal Democrats' Federal Conference Committee.

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  • George Potter 23rd Nov '15 - 1:17pm

    Where does this leave members who don’t have time or can’t afford to come for the whole weekend but who just want to pop in on one particular day?

  • This seems sensible to me, to be honest.
    George: the price point is reasonable IMHO, esp if there are bursaries. £35 is what we pay for Y&H regional and that’s only half a day, really (10-4). Mind you we do get lunch thrown in at regional conf…

  • Ruth Bright 23rd Nov '15 - 7:27pm

    Andrew – will there still be a £5 registration for under-16s?

  • So we are into OMOV, which is very democratic. Until the decisions of any particular conference are tilted by a massive influx of people from the locality, whichever it is. This may not matter on some issues, but it could mean that something very significant is given a ‘northern’ or ‘southern’, or ‘London’ or, yes, Scottish, bias. Or are there enough steady, well-heeled conference addicts to offset this effect?

  • Andrew Wiseman 24th Nov '15 - 11:10am

    @Ruth Bright There is a £5 weekend rate for U18 and a £16 weekend rate for claimants.

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