Brighton rocks: conference previewed

Liberal Democrat Voice at Conference

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Last week the party published the preliminary agenda for Autumn Conference in Brighton.

A major policy paper will set out proposals for tackling poverty and reducing inequality – an issue that Lib Dem leader Ming Campbell personally has identified as something he wants the party to tackle as a priority. There’ll be a new paper refining further our proposals to make the tax system fairer – including a headline proposal to cut income tax by 4p in the pound. And there will be a new paper on local and regional governance in England.

Also still to come are policy papers on tackling climate change and on better governance of the UK.

Away from the major policy papers there are a range of motions on the preliminary agenda focussed on particular groups in particular need: a motion on supporting young people in need, one on supporting young carers, and one on preventing elder abuse. There are also motions on ensuring everyone has access to a dentist, on the issue of women in prison, and on promoting tourism.

Two weighty issues which seem bound to attract particular attention are a full motion setting out proposed Lib Dem views on “The Surveillance Society”, and a very interesting motion on increasing local control of and benefits from housing developments, based on Tim Leunig’s recent paper for Centre Forum on this.

The full preliminary agenda and policy papers published so far, are accessible to party members through the members-only Lib Dem Voice forum.

All these motions are open to amendment – any local party, or 10 conference representatives , can submit amendments to them – the form is here and must be returned to the Policy Projects Team in Cowley St by 12 noon on Wednesday, 11th July.

Local parties or conference reps can also still submit new motions by 11th July – as long as the subject is either “topical” (which is to say it has arisen since the original deadline for motions), or is on one of the subjects identified by the conference committee for motions. This year these are the environment, foreign affairs, education, or home affairs.

Away from the formal business of conference there will of course be the usual bustle of fringe meetings, the exhibition and training events – details will come with the final agenda in August.

And in the hall itself the range of events which are not simply debates on policy motions, continues to expand. There will be question-and-answer sessions with our spokespeople, on underachievement at school and on climate change, as well as one with Ming. There will be a presentation by our sister party the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, and by the Lib Dems running Stockport Council about what they have done as Lib Dems in power. There’ll also be a new format for a thoughtful discussion on immigration, citizenship and identity – and a speech by the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso.

It should be a great event in one of the party’s favourite venues, Brighton – so if you haven’t yet registered – don’t forget to do so now!

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This entry was posted in Conference and News.


  • Lib Dem member 30th Jun '07 - 9:08pm

    Very modest of you to think the party has changed its whole conference and policy procedure after one blog posting from yourself Mr Craig. Very modest indeed. I’m impressed.

  • Andrew Duffield 1st Jul '07 - 10:42am

    Neil, I would agree with your rhetorical query (“isn’t there something a bit wrong about the party adopting policies, such as ending free trade & setting up an international body to enforce “raising prices” of commodities…”) if I could find any mention of it in the preliminary agenda. Can you reference this anti-libertarian tosh please?

  • Hywel Morgan 1st Jul '07 - 11:44am

    His point still stands – why isn’t the preliminary agenda published on the website? I can’t see any obvious reason why that has stopped.

  • Lib Dem member 1st Jul '07 - 11:53am

    Hywel:- have you missed out the word “yet” by mistake when writing about the agenda appearing on the website?

    Otherwise you either know something, in which case please share it with us, or you have jumped to a conclusion? From your other comments you seem quite keen to jump to negative conclusions, so perhaps taking a little care over wording and evidence might make sense as otherwise you just read like an online version of a rather grumpy man! Sorry, but that’s how your words come over.

  • Hywel Morgan 1st Jul '07 - 12:21pm

    No – it was published last week. (according to Jeremy). If it will be published on the website at a later date maybe it should say so rather than:

    “If you would like to receive copies of the preliminary agenda or policy papers please contact the conference office on [email protected] or 020 7227 1350.”

    Seems like a reasonable conclusion based on two pieces of evidence to me.

    As for being grumpy – guilty as charged. I think the party’s current direction justifies me so being. However, see
    for positive comments when merited.

    Either way – whatever I do say I have the balls to put my name to. There is little honour in ad hominem attacks from behind the security blanket of anonymity.

  • Cheltenham Robin 1st Jul '07 - 3:38pm

    My view is that everyone should stop blogging about the SEPTEMBER Brighton conference and get to Ealing Southall NOW.

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