Motions for Autumn Conference are published

The Federal Conference Committee (FCC) met on Saturday, 9th July to start its work on the final agenda for Autumn 2022 Conference, which will be taking place in Brighton, with an option for online attendance.

If you haven’t yet registered for Conference, I would recommend doing so here.

At the meeting we discussed several items in relation to future venues and the meeting and motions schedule for 2023 into 2024. As previously reported, we will be returning to York for Spring Conference 17 to 19 March 2023.

The Federal Conference Committee has also continued work with its Working Group on a Hybrid Conference and has put together a technical specifications document which will be used to look at options and software platforms for a future hybrid conference. This was an interesting meeting as we also discussed wider membership engagement at Conference (applicable for in-person and hybrid conference options).

Conference is an excellent way to engage with the membership, to influence the party’s policy and strategy, but also so many other activities. We are looking forward to an exciting fringe programme with a range of different topics and presentations. There will also be the extensive training programme available at Conference – we really do recommend that you look at that. The directory will be published very soon. I am especially looking forward to the return of the Lib Dem Quiz and of course Glee.

The agenda for conference, including the texts of the motions and timings, will be published shortly. As per usual the Conference will include the Leaders Speech, Committee and Parliamentary Reports, the Leaders Q&A and some set-piece speeches; we are also delighted that Kira Rudik, leader of the Ukrainian Holos Party and ALDE Party Vice President, will be joining us at Conference. The further details of these will be announced in due course.

We received 41 policy motions, four business motions, five constitutional amendments and three standing order amendments. As always, unfortunately, time is tight, and we cannot take all the motions submitted.

The FCC wants to extend its thanks to all members to take the time to write and prepare motions; if you are interested in shaping party policy then please do reach out to the FCC via the motions (and/or amendments) drafting service and we will be able to assist you.

From the submitted motions, we selected 18 policy motions, three business motions, four constitutional amendment, and two standing order amendments. There are also slots for two emergency motions.

I have included (as a pdf: A22 List of motions) the list of motions submitted (please note that some of the naming of the motions may vary between this list and publication of the agenda), who they were submitted by and if not selected, the reason for non-selection. With regards to constitutional and standing order amendments, these are automatically selected; however, ruled either in or out of order.

You may recall from the previous report that we confirmed that there would be a debate on the issue of nuclear weapons at Autumn 2022 Conference, and a nuclear weapons motion has been selected for debate.

Please note that the next set of deadlines are:

  • Drafting advice deadline (emergency motions and amendments): 22 August at 13.00
  • Amendments and Emergency Motions deadline and deadline for Appeals against non-selection of motions: 5 September at 13.00
  • Appeals deadline for Amendments and Emergency Motions: 15 September at 13.00

 

* Nick Da Costa is Chair of the Federal Conference Committee

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6 Comments

  • Laurence Cox 13th Jul '22 - 12:43pm

    Nick,

    Thanks for the article. Looking forward to future (hybrid) conferences, will you be making the technical specifications document available for members to read? Having attended and spoken at conferences, both physically and online, it seems to me that the Main Hall part of the Conference works well, the Exhibition online is still a bit iffy, but most importantly we need to look at hybrid training sessions. I am not sure how much of the fringe could be hybrid (some physical fringe meetings were always packed out so one had to be there early to get in) but for me training is a higher priority, particularly for those who cannot attend physically. I would also like to see training recorded so that local parties could use it at a later date, for example by downloading from the Party web site.

  • The conference motions include a pre-manifesto debate. With inflation and cost of living issues likely to be a dominant factor in the run-up to the next election we will need more that a motion on cutting VAT to get any traction here.
    Martin Wolf has a good piece in the FT Inflation is a political challenge as well as an economic one where he writes:
    “The return of inflation is not just an important economic event. It is also a political one. As it becomes decreasingly plausible that it will simply fade painlessly away, tough decisions must be made on how to react to it.

    “Confronted with the need for deeper slowdowns or tighter policy, central banks might flinch. Politicians certainly will. A possible outcome is a stagflationary cycle, as central banks oscillate between doing too little, reversing, then doing too little again. Another is that many policymakers agree that 2 per cent inflation is too strict. Why not go for 4 per cent or more instead? This would have the benefit of giving central banks more room for downward manoeuvre in interest rates in future, so reducing the need for quantitative easing in subsequent downturns.

    The argument is appealing, not least politically, but there are strong objections. Giving up when the going gets tough tells people that policymakers will always give up whenever it gets tough.

    Money is an essential public good. Sound money underpins political and economic stability: it must not be thrown away.”

  • David Warren 13th Jul '22 - 5:12pm

    In the past I have been very critical of Federal Conference Agendas but on this occasion it looks like FCC have done a pretty good job.

    I look forward to seeing the final agenda and following the debates.

  • Brad Barrows 13th Jul '22 - 5:41pm

    Interesting to see that a motion on opposing minimum pricing for alcohol is to be debated. If passed this could see the Liberal Democrats supporting increases to the rate of minimum pricing in Scotland while opposing it completely south of the border.

  • Nick da Costa 14th Jul '22 - 3:50pm

    @David Warren – thank you, that is very kind of you. As you can see from above it took various rounds of voting to get to the number to fit onto the agenda – so it was a very tough call in many instances

    @Laurence Cox – thanks for that. We will be having discussions in the next few months with suppliers, etc., and need to agree commercials and budget so hope to feedback in due course. As you mention exhibitions are always challenging in any online conference. My area of work is international healthcare and before I went independent a lot of my business was done at international conferences; during COVID I attended a number of international online conferences and none of them were able to provide a good exhibition experience. If anyone has figured that out they could make a lot of money in the international conference area. Yes, we will look at how retain videos of fringes and training.

  • Kian Hearnshaw 15th Jul '22 - 4:40pm

    Having read the above and the list of motions which have been selected, I’ve just booked my online ticket for conference. Looking forwards to the debates!

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