Federal Conference Committee – pre-Conference report

On Saturday, 13th March the Federal Conference Committee met to review the amendments, late motions, emergency motions, questions to reports and appeals for this weekend’s next Spring Conference which commences on Friday.

You can still register for conference. We also have a claimants’ rate, and provide support for those who require it through the Conference Access Fund. You can also donate to the Conference Access Fund as part of your registration.

This will be our second online Conference with our partners at Hopin. As always, we would like to thank the Conference Office and wider HQ team for their support and hard work in bringing together our online conference.

There will shortly be a video on the Conference website which will give you a great overview of the features of the online conference, including the auditorium, fringe sessions, exhibition, training and the chat functionality. Based on the feedback from Autumn Conference some changes have been made including the ‘Report’ button, certain emoticons for reactions, changes to the timings of the fringe sessions and making the exhibition more visible.

You can submit speakers’ cards for Conference and you can submit amendments to the late motion on COVID. Please note that you will need to submit your speakers’ cards earlier than usual (16:00 the day before the agenda item). This is because our production partners will need to get in touch earlier to run through technical preparations. As usual we select more speakers than we will be able to schedule, so that we always have a reserve list.

I have included below the list of items discussed at Saturday’s FCC meeting; you will see the amendments, late motions, emergency motions, and questions submitted.

We will also be issuing an integrated agenda early this week; it will contain all of the amendments selected, emergency motions, questions and other updates. In order to make it more user-friendly on screen, we will not be using a separate Conference Extra as previously. All of the information will be in one place.

Please note that the summary of the amendments is my own; I have tried to summarise the amendments as close as possible to what was submitted.

Regarding amendments they have either been ‘Selected’ for debate, ‘Not Selected’ or ‘Drafted’. Drafted means that the text of the amendment will be added to the text of the motion and therefore not be debated and voted on separately.

Regarding emergency motions, these need to relate to something that has happened after the deadline for the motion’s submission, and thus are decided by the FCC if they are or are not in order. We also received a number of emergency motions for consideration. Given the number that were in order, we do not think that we need to have a ballot but rather can debate them all in the time we have. The text of those will be released soon.

With regards to questions, we review that they are being submitted to the correct committee. Additionally, time permitting questions may be taken from the chat for the Committee Reports.

There was one appeal against non-selection of a motion, and the appeal was rejected.

If you have any questions please do pop them in the discussion below, or you can also email me at [email protected]

Editorial note – the proposers of the amendments are in italics…

Amendments to F4: Supporting Businesses, Workers and the Self Employed

A. Freeze corporation tax – 10 (or more) Party MembersSelected
B. Introduce temporary UBI of £1,000 per month – 10 (or more) Party Members – Not Selected
C. Reducing regional inequalities through rebalancing – 10 (or more) Party MembersSelected
D. Increasing Universal Credit and legacy benefits – Local Party – Not Selected
E. Drafting amendments to match recent changes in government policy – Federal Conference Committee – Drafted

Amendment to F6: Lifting Barriers to Employment

A. Amendment to line 53 – 10 (or more) Party MembersSelected
B. New point III. – Local Party – Not Selected
C. Same as B, but with different summator – 10 (or more) Party Members – Not Selected
D. Introducing targets on percentage of employees who are disabled people for companies over 250 employees – Local Party – Not Selected
E. Amendment to Job Guarantee and removing the line ‘newly’ in line 51 – Local PartyPartially selected as separate vote

Amendment to F11: Giving Consumers a Fairer Deal

A. On discounts and standing charges – 10 (or more) Party MembersSelected as two amendments

Amendment to F13: Standing Up for Unpaid Carers

A. Various changes including carers with disabilities, respite care, amendment to line 90, training and support, targets on referrals to mental health and OT support. – 10 (or more) Party MembersSelected
B. Eligibility for Government’s Funeral Expenses Payment – SAODrafted

Amendment to F17: The EU-UK Trade and Co-operation Agreement

A. Adding in negative impacts of deal and adding reference to Federal International Relations Committee and Lib Dem European Group. – 10 (or more) Party MembersDrafting parts of amendment.
B. Recommending roadmaps for UK to join Customs Union, Single Market and other EU agencies/programmes – 10 (or more) Party MembersSelected
C. Re-joining the single market with goal of re-joining the EU – 10 (or more) Party Members – Not Selected
D. Drafting change of Erasmus to Erasmus+ – Federal Conference CommitteeDrafted

Amendment to F23: International Development

A. Insertion on migration due to climate change, generational responsibility, UK playing a global leadership – 10 (or more) Party MembersSelected

Amendment to F25: Better response to the impact of COVID-19 on Education

A. No-detriment policy for grades disrupted due to COVID – 10 (or more) Party Members – Not Selected
B. Expansion of appeals process and shortening timeline of issuing and moderating grades. – SAO – Not Selected
C. References to Kirsty Williams in Wales and allocate money direct to schools. – Local PartySelected
D. On retaining opportunities for learning, emotional and educational recovery, and optional additional year for school leavers – 10 (or more) Party MembersSelected

Amendment to F26: Accessibility in Education

A. On digital exclusion – 10 (or more) Party MembersSelected
B. Inclusion of Sixth Forms and FE Colleges in line 30 – 10 (or more) Party Members – Not Selected
C. Assistive technology products for SEND pupils. – 10 (or more) Party MembersDrafted
D. Additional funding for provision of digital devices – Local Party – Not Selected
E. On grades and impact on studies – 10 (or more) Party MembersDraft

Amendment to F27: Safe Routes to Safe Lives

A. Appointing independent guardians for children who are refugees or victims of trafficking – SAOSelected
B. On non-penalisations for irregular entry, humanitarian visas and closure of inadequate asylum facilities – 10 (or more) Party MembersPartially Drafted and partially selected.

Emergency Motions – space for 2 or 3 emergency motions

Crime, Justice and Civil Liberties

A. Protecting the right to protest – 10 (or more) Party MembersIn order

Economy and tax

A. The Future of Work – SAO – Out of order

Education

A. Full reopening of schools – 10 (or more) Party MembersIn Order

Environment

A. Doubling nature and biodiversity net gain in planning – 10 (or more) Party Members – Out of order

Health and Social Care

A. A Pay Rise for NHS Staff – 10 (or more) Party MembersIn Order
B. Protecting Disabled People during COVID-19 – SAO – Out of Order

International and Defence

A. Liberal Democrat response to the ratification of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – 10 (or more) Party Members – Out of Order

Late motions on COVID in Agenda Item F14

A. Fixing the Government’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic – Federal Policy CommitteeSelected

Appeals

A. Young people and gender dysphoria motion – Rejected

Questions to Federal Committees – Will be published in the agenda.

Federal Board

Q1 When will the Steering Group proposals come to Conference? – In order
Q2 What measures are you taking so that the members of your committee that are directly elected are accountable to the members that elected them? – In order
Q3 The Party’s website is a nightmare to use. Even when there is useful information on it, it is hard to find and there is no search facility or obvious or intuitive route. For most information a party member would require, you have to select the small button Go to main site and then the next small button More. Does the Board have any plans to improve the site? If not, will they please make some and inform the membership. In any case will the Board please report back on progress at the Autumn Conference this year. – In order
Q4 Our federal Facebook Page is the only part of the National Media we directly control. Why are we not making more of it? Why are we not outsourcing to SKILLED, EXPERIENCED volunteers, possibly using some for of intern agreement, like we did during the Coalition years? – In order

Federal Conference Committee

Q1 This Conference’s ticket was more expensive than Autumns. Did you consider that reducing the price to attract more attendees may have raised more revenue? – In order
Q2 What measures are you taking so that the members of your committee that are directly elected are accountable to the members that elected them? – In order
Q3 When I registered for this Conference, I requested and paid for having Paper copies of Agenda, Reports etc. I have not received any of these in time to be able to propose any amendments on behalf of my Local Party and have had to resort to printing material. Why is this. – In order

Federal Policy Committee

Q1 Conference discusses particular foreign and security policy issues but has not been able to discuss Trident for four years partly because of the lack of an up-to-date defence policy. Brexit, the COVID pandemic and the current government’s cavalier approach to international law, defence and international development have changed the world we live in. Will the committee please establish a working group to prepare a comprehensive security policy covering both foreign and defence policy and not treating them in isolation? – In order
Q2 What measures are you taking so that the members of your committee that are directly elected are accountable to the members that elected them? – In order
Q3 Do you believe the amount of detailed and specialist policy you produce is useful, compared to a broader brush approach to more relevant issues that communicates the party’s core purpose and values? – In order

* Nick Da Costa is Chair of the Federal Conference Committee

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5 Comments

  • Jane Ann Liston 15th Mar '21 - 9:17pm

    Do you think the adverts appearing here are appropriate? For example, the ‘4 weeks to a new body’, illustrated by near-naked women in bondage gear? I’m also not at all sure about the ‘Manscaped’ one depicting a sultry woman displaying her cleavage with the strapline ‘Two million men agree.’

  • Well said, Jane Anne. I’ve seen it too and it’s highly inappropriate.

    It would be good to know whether LDV get any revenue from this and whether they’re going top reconsider this ? Perhaps they can tell ?

  • Richard O'Neill 15th Mar '21 - 10:51pm

    I have to say I’ve seen even more ironically inappropriate ads at the hard left Canary site. I presume they are part of some package deal.

  • neil James sandison 16th Mar '21 - 10:41am

    Nick Da Costa . some of us have had problems submitting speakers cards with just a buffering wheel appearing on our lap tops . Will there be one minute intervention slots or chat room comments for members to enable limited intervention .I wanted to raise hidden costs to low income consumers through variable standing charges on pre -payment meters and the Autism debate regarding gate keeping on assessments and the lack of choice for parents on where there child will be taught if they suffer from severe Autism .

  • Nick da Costa 16th Mar '21 - 11:33am

    @Jane, David and Richard – sadly, I cannot assist with the adverts – that would be for the LDV team.

    @Neil – can you drop an email to the Conference office and they can have a look into this. There are no interventions for the virtual conference and during a debate we will not be taking comments from the chat room. We were doing some testing on the speakers cards yesterday and have seen that some have already been submitted. Maybe if you give it a try today?

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