Report of the FCC meeting – motions selection

The new Federal Conference Committee had its first motion selection meeting on Saturday, 21 January to run through the motions on the agenda for the Spring 2023 conference in York – the dates for conference at 17 to 19 March 2023.

If you haven’t had a chance to register yet for conference, you can do so here.

Going back a little further, at the end of 2022 the committee met shortly after the new federal elections and elected its officers, established its subcommittees, and started work on preparing objectives and a work plan for the term of office.

I am delighted to have been re-elected as Chair of the Federal Conference Committee. Cara Jenkinson and Jon Ball were elected as Vice Chairs of the committee.

The Federal Conference Committee has two standing subcommittees, each of which is chaired by one of the Vice Chairs. The General Purposes Sub-Committee (GPSC) is chaired by Jon Ball, The GPSC oversees many of the operational matters of conference, including finances, venues, rates, and party bodies. The Conference Communications Group (CCG) is chaired by Cara Jenkinson. The CCG has responsibility for communications, marketing, membership engagement and engagement.

Furthermore, at that meeting we established the Innovation Working Group, which will start work on developing new ideas and concepts for conference, I will be sharing more about this group over the next few months.

We also established a Constitutional and Standing Orders Working Group, chaired by Duncan Brack, which will be looking at how we keep Conference’s standing orders updated and assisting the Innovation Working Group with any changes that may need to be made to the standing orders.

At this meeting we also agreed provisional objectives for the Federal Conference Committee over the next three years, I will share more on our objectives soon.

Back to Saturday, it has been a while since we’ve had an in-person Spring conference, and we are all very much looking forward to returning to the Barbican and the Novotel in York.

Conference is an excellent way to engage with other members, to influence the party’s policy and strategy, but also so many other activities, including an excellent training programme and a wide range of different fringes. The directory will be published very soon with the full list of events. I am especially looking forward to the return of Glee.

The agenda for conference, including the text 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 a couple of set-piece speeches.

Unfortunately, timings are very limited at a Spring Conference, and one of the benefits of the online conference is that we were able to run longer sessions throughout the conference weekend. Spring conference times are always at a premium and the FCC is constricted by several matters that must be taken at conference, which does unfortunately limit the number of policy motions for debate this year.

We received 39 policy motions, four business motions, three constitutional amendments and one standing order amendments. As mentioned, unfortunately time is very tight at conference, and we are unable to take all motions submitted. The FCC wants to express its enormous thanks to all members who take the time to write and prepare the 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 try to do our best to assist you.

With regards to the motions submitted, we have provided a summary of why motions have not been selected, and more feedback has been provided to the motion’s submitters. With regards to constitutional and standing order amendments the FCC is obliged to take these unless they are out of order.

From the submitted motions, we selected five policy motions, two business motions, three constitutional amendments (two of which will be composited) and one standing order amendment. The committee went through various rounds of voting (three different shortlisting rounds in the end) to draw up the agenda and I would like to also thank the staff who attended FCC and the members of the conference committee who attended Saturday’s meeting.

I have included the list of motions submitted (pdf), please note that some of the names of the motions may vary between this list and the publication of the agenda, if they were selected or not selected, and the summary reason for non-selection.

Please note the next set of deadlines are:

  • Amendments drafting advice deadline (emergency motions & amendments): 14 February at 13:00
  • Amendments and Emergency Motions deadline and deadline for appeals against non-selection of motions: 6 March at 13:00
  • Appeals deadline for amendments and emergency motions: 16 March at 13:00

* Nick Da Costa is Chair of the Federal Conference Committee

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  • George Cunningham 27th Jan '23 - 12:57pm

    Dear Nick,
    Thanks for the great work that you are doing. Two questions:
    1. Given the cancellation of the Autumn conference and the huge backlog of motions, why was a decision not taken already last year for Spring Conference to be extended by one day to cover some of the 14 motions not selected for the reason of “lack of time”?
    2. You are good enough to let everyone know why motions were not selected but more interesting are the reasons why FCC chose the five they did. It would be great if you could let us know the reasoning for each of the five?

  • The pdf linked to this article is very disappointing. Nick Da Costa states in the report that ‘the Committee went through … three shortlisting rounds. The pdf does not show which motions were rejected at each of these rounds. In the past such reports have. At least two motions were rejected because FCC felt they would not make for a good debate – ‘Cost-of-Living Crisis and Recession’ and ‘Restoring Public Services’ not because they needed drafting support. The motion ‘Cost-of-Living Crisis and Recession’ received drafting advice while a couple of minor criticisms were made, no changes to the motion were actually suggested. I wonder how many other motions where Nick has said they were rejected because they needed drafting support were really rejected because FCC thought they would not make a good debate or for other reasons?

    The motion ‘Scrapping Council Tax Reduction Scheme & Restoring the National Council Tax Benefit Scheme’ was not rejected because Council Tax is covered in the ‘Towards a Fairer Society’ motion. Council Tax is not covered in either the motion or the policy paper. I tried and failed to get it included. The reason it was not accepted was the same reason as in autumn last year, that they ‘received a comprehensive motion and policy paper from the Federal Policy Committee dealing with welfare reform and’ they ‘felt that provided a better basis for debate’. Last autumn they suggested that I might wish to propose an amendment to that policy motion.

  • Mark Johnston 28th Jan '23 - 9:12am

    With regard to the new working group; I suggest Innovations rather than “Innovation”, i.e. plural. We needs lots of new ideas.

  • Mark Johnston 28th Jan '23 - 9:38am

    There’s a typo in the PDF table: SAO appears as SAQ.

  • Michael Kilpatrick Michael Kilpatrick 2nd Feb '23 - 8:40am

    Oh my gosh, it looks as if that absolutely dreadful amendment to Standing Orders on selecting motions has been submitted again. How is it possible this has been ruled “in order” when the process it creates for the selecting of motions is a recipe for the most toxic relationship between FCC and the membership and it is full of vagaries and holes? As someone who eager to see the rules changed and a greater direct membership influence on Conference agenda, this motion is most definitely NOT how to achieve that.

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