Federal Conference Committee report – Spring Conference amendments edition

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Federal Conference Committee (FCC) met late yesterday afternoon to discuss the Amendments and Emergency Motions for York – the full text of accepted amendments will appear in Conference Daily. The usual caveat regarding descriptions of amendments applies. Amendments don’t have titles with them, so these are my own entirely unofficial summaries which may not be entirely accurate or complete. The list of accepted/rejected amendments is also based on my own notes as Spring conference is very intense and moves quickly – so I apologise in advance for any errors.
There are a few more options open to FCC compared to full motions – in particular, we can often “draft in” uncontroversial amendments so that they can be accepted without needing to spend time moving and voting on them. Conversely, we can be quite restricted in that it makes no sense to accept two overlapping amendments

  • F4 – Liberal Democrat Economic Policy (60 minutes)
    • To be debated:
      • Environmental sustainability (26 members)
      • Digital and creative economies, partially rated in, partially debated (Barrow and Furness, Newham Barking & Dagenham, Stroud, Tower Hamlets)
    • Drafted in:
      • Land Registry/Valuation; co-ownership; move away from high-leverage debt (11 members)
      • Transport Infrastructure  (10 members)
    • Not taken:
      • Add “Conference believes” section (Tower Hamlets, Cheadle, Calderdale)
      • Break up of retail banks; Employee representation on boards; LVT; etc (10 members)
      • Land Value Taxation (20 members)
      • Intergenerational Fairness (57 members)
  • F6 – Fracking (55 minutes)
    • To be debated:
      • Regulation and Oversight rather than ban, Local democratic accountability (14 members)
    • Not taken:
      • Inspection, regulation and licensing rather than ban (ALDES)
      • Language changes (11 members)
      • Zero-carbon commitments (11 members)
      • Ban coal bed methane, coal gasification (10 members)
      • Local authorities have final say in all mineral applications (ALDC)
  • F7 – Regulatory Framework for Cannabis (55 minutes)
    • To be debated:
      • Public Health & Youth (Liberal Youth)
    • Drafted in:
      • No promotion of tobacco (Kingston)
    • Not taken:
      • Trafficking (Barrow and Furness)
  • F12 – Privacy and Security in a Digital Age
    • Drafted in:
      • Change “religion” to “religion or belief” (45 members)
  • F20 – Electing Diverse MPs (85 minutes)
    • To be debated:
      • Delete all-women shortlists (East Midlands)
      • Campaign to remove legal shortlist restrictions (12 members)
    • Drafted in:
      • Change “religion” to “religion or belief” (48 members)
      • Specific directions for ALDC & 2020 Diversity Taskforce co-working (ALDC)
      • Change “sex” to “sex, gender identity” (LGBT+)
    • Not taken:
      • Change to all-Diversity shortlists as far as permitted by law; lobby for change in law (11 Members & Ealing Borough)
      • Allow any local publicly-elected members in addition to women on shortlists (Calderdale)
      • Specific directions for 2020 Diversity Taskforce (Tower Hamlets)
      • Change all-women shortlists to women and disabled shortlist (14 members)
      • Unconscious Bias Training; local parties can only reserve spaces for under-represented groups; Replacement for sitting MPs from under-represented groups; Delete AWS (Liberal Youth)
      • Separate Vote: lines 115 – 124, AWS
  • F21 – A Fairer Deal for Private Renters (40 minutes)
    • To be debated:
      • Separate vote – lines 32-34, First refusal
      • Separate vote – lines 27-28
    • Not taken:
      • Housing supply  (Liberal Youth)
      • Registration of letting agents; cap rental deposits; remove first refusal – taken as separate vote instead (12 members)
      • Land Value Taxation (11 members)
      • Stable renting contracts (14 members)
      • Registration of letting agents and (only) independent landlords (11 members)
 Two appeals against non-selection of a motion were discussed but not accepted.

* Zoe O'Connell is a Councillor and deputy group leader on Cambridge City Council, sits on the executive of LGBT+ Liberal Democrats and is Vice Chair of Federal Conference Committee.

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