Change of venue for Autumn Conference 2014

There have been some changes to Liberal Democrat Conference in Autumn 2014.

We had originally been due to go back to Liverpool next year. However, our conference fell immediately before the Scottish referendum on September 18. In view of this we have had to move our conference to a different date so as not to interfere with campaigning for the referendum. This has also meant changing venues as Liverpool did not have any suitable availability. Instead, Glasgow are able to accommodate us, so we are pleased to be returning there.

Federal Conference Committee didn’t take this decision lightly and we only did so after many weeks of negotiations. Ultimately FCC felt it was impossible to hold the party conference in Liverpool at a time when activists, party members, parliamentarians and the media would be in Scotland at the peak of the referendum campaign.

By hosting the conference in Glasgow for a second year in a row, and immediately following the referendum, we’re sending a strong message about the commitment of the Liberal Democrats in building a stronger Scotland within the United Kingdom.

Conference will now take place from 4th to 8th October 2014. Because the dates have changed, the deadlines will need to, as well. We’ll announce those shortly.

Liverpool has proved to be a popular venue in the past and I hope we will be able to go back there soon.

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

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25 Comments

  • Simon McGrath 1st Aug '13 - 4:10pm

    This just reinforces the case for people to be able to participate in Conference remotely, which is entirely possible with the use of the internet.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 1st Aug '13 - 4:22pm

    Simon, I’m perplexed. Why does this reinforce the need for people to participate remotely? Conference has been routinely held in the south of England for decades and those of us who live north of Watford have just had to deal with it.

    I’m personally very disappointed not to be going to Liverpool – I wouldn’t have made it anyway, given the referendum date, but I love that city. However, I’m sure you will all see the joys that Glasgow has to offer when you come for Conference this year.

    I’m all for remote access because Conference is expensive – but it must be meaningful, fair and accessible for all. But like I said, I’m for it on the grounds that some people can’t afford to go, not because the very accessible by all manner of public transport Glasgow is too out of the way.

  • Simon McGrath 1st Aug '13 - 4:29pm

    @Caron – because we have far more members in the South of the UK than we do in Scotland .

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 1st Aug '13 - 4:41pm

    And perhaps if the party paid more attention to the north and Scotland it might have more members here too. We’re far too London and south east centric – as proved by the peers list this morning. 4.5 out of 10 come from London. I know you can’t have half a peer, but Ian Wrigglesworth has bases in London and Northumberland.

  • Erlend Watson 1st Aug '13 - 4:51pm

    Actually on that basis 2/10 come from Scotland and Wales. And 0.5 from the NE. Not bad.

  • Erlend Watson 1st Aug '13 - 4:52pm

    Actually Alison Suttie is a London based (I think) Scot so up another 0.5.

  • Remember to bring your passport if the SNP win.

  • Simon McGrath 1st Aug '13 - 5:00pm

    @Dave – its a bit of a chicken and egg though. It’s easier to get involved where there are more members.
    @Caron – with 2 of our 5 Cabinet Ministers being from Scotland and one representing Yorkshire I am not sure how you can say the Scotland and the North are not getting attention.
    If anyone is under represented in Govt it is the South West, the region with a number of big parties, the most MPs but no Cabinet Ministers

  • Erlend Watson 1st Aug '13 - 5:01pm

    Odf course the SW did have a Cabinet member initially as did the SE. London didn’t then.

  • The right decision – though I recall there being a debate on here when Liverpool was announced when the referendum date was pointed out and that it was a daft time for conference, so FCC really have to answer the question as to why this wasn’t considered at the time?

  • James Kempton 2nd Aug '13 - 6:49am

    It is a good signal to be debating UK-wide (federal) policy in Scotland after campaigning No in the referendum. However, speaking as Chair of the LibDem Education Association I rather regret a second consecutive visit to Scotland. With its own education system, it is an odd place for the English party to go to debate putting right the English education.

  • Great decision! I think this really sends a positive signal about us wishing to stay in a UK that includes our beloved Scotland. Looking forward to Glasgow in September.

  • Conference is now on Yom Kippur – the most important Jewish holy day of the year, for two years running

  • Richard Fagence 2nd Aug '13 - 9:57pm

    I’m in total agreement with Janet King. The only things I know about Autumn Conference are what I have read in the press who have so far revealed at least a couple of matters we are going to be debating. But then, I’m only an elected Voting Representative for my constituency and sixteen years of attending conference – at my own expense – in this capacity doesn’t begin to compare with the need for The Daily Telegraph and The Independent to have sight of our agenda and discussion documents ahead of the likes of me, does it?

  • Richard Fagence 2nd Aug '13 - 10:10pm

    Further to Gareth’s comments about the conference agenda, yes, of course it should have been published by now. A complaint to Great George Street about this during the week drew a comment to the effect that it was necessary to ‘drip feed’ the media issues that would be discussed and debated. Perhaps someone could explain why that is, Gareth, or has the importance of our party’s conference been downgraded while I wasn’t watching?

  • Brian Sadler 17th Oct '13 - 8:03am

    I understand the reasons given for having the Autumn 2014 conference in Glasgow, and I did once attend a Federal Conference in Glasgow (not this year). But I am disappointed. The idea is to move the conference around to give everyone a fair crack at attending – that is all of us not just people who are taking part (locally) in the referendum campaign. Autumn 2014 is an important conference, being the last autumn conference before the General Election. It should at least be at a more central venue. For what it is worth I don’t think that either Liverpool or Glasgow are very good venues.

  • Brian Sadler 17th Oct '13 - 9:06am

    PS I have nothing against the cities of Liverpool and Glasgow, and they both have excellent conference facilities. It is just that the geographical locations are inconvenient. I would not consider driving to either location and I hate travelling by rail with a passion (not least because of the cost.) The only viable option would be to fly, but this involves a 1.5 hour car journey each way.

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