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Liberal Democrat Voice at Conference

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George Crozier, from the Political Intelligence and Communication Section wrote last night in a comment that a little difficulty was being had updating the party website from Liverpool, and gave the following information about the weekend:

The two emergency motions which will be debated between 16.25 and 16.55 on Saturday (tomorrow) are on Extraordinary Rendition and Sustainable Banking.The emergency motion that will be debated at 9am on Sunday morning is on Gaza. It is proposed by Hackney Lib Dems and it condemns both terrorist acts aimed at Israeli civilian targets and disproportionate use of force by the Israeli Defence Forces.

Ed Davey will propose the motion on rendition, which calls for a full independent inquiry into British involvement with the US practice of rendition, including use of Diego Garcia for flights.

Vince Cable will sum up on the banking motion, which notes the nationalisation of Northern Rock and makes a number of proposals, including a new regulatory regime for banking and a new Deposit Protection Scheme paid for by banks to provide 100% cover for personal deposits of up to £50,000.

Two amendments to the Special Educational Needs motion have been accepted for debate on Saturday morning. One, from the East Lothian party, stresses the importance of support during transition from school to adult services. The other, from the Canterbury party, proposes funding a dedicated pool of specialist teachers available to schools where the school doesn’t have the capacity to cope with a child with special needs.

Three amendments have been accepted for debate on the health paper, for debate on Saturday afternoon. The first, from Camden Lib Dems, proposes health boards should be made up of two-thirds directly elected members, and one third local authority councillors.

The second proposed amendment to the health motion will be proposed by Steve Hitchins, from Islington. It proposes deleting the part of the motion that proposes setting up elected health boards, and instead transferring the governance role for primary health care from PCTs to local authorities (those which already have social services responsibilities).

Thr third proposed amendment to the health motion is from the Ludlow party. It sets down some criteria that should be applied by local health boards to the procurement of private sector health provision, to ensure private sector procurement does not destabilise local NHS provision.

The urgent issue debate on Sunday morning – the one which does not have a motion or a vote – will be on rising energy prices. It will be introduced by Duncan Hames, PPC for Chippenham.

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