Tag Archives: federal conference committee report

Federal Conference Committee report – agenda selection for Autumn Conference

The Federal Conference Committee met on Saturday to run through a number of items leading up to the Autumn Conference in Bournemouth, which is being held from 23 to 26 September. If you have not yet registered for the conference you can do so via this link. As in Spring we also have an online registration option, which includes streaming of the auditorium and online voting.

Just jumping a little ahead as well, the Federal Conference Committee has announced the 2024 dates and venues for Spring and Autumn Conferences.

Spring Conference

15 to 17 March 2024 to be held in York

Autumn Conference

14-17 September 2024 to be held in Brighton

At our meeting this Saturday we discussed a number of items relating to the upcoming and future conferences, including the agenda selection (which I will come onto shortly), and also set-piece speeches and the structure and format of conference. We also reviewed some of the options for future conferences as well and will be announcing more on this once we have confirmed venues and options.

As part of the agenda selection process, we also reviewed a number of standing order amendments that the Federal Conference Committee will be submitting ourselves, as part of our Constitution and Standing Orders Tidy Up Working Group. This initial round is based on feedback from members and also the Committee.

Aside from this meeting, the FCC’s Innovation Working Group will be meeting in the next few weeks to start preliminary works on ideas and concepts that will then be introduced at the Conferences in 2024 and onwards. One of the areas the Working Group will most certainly consider will be further enhancements to the hybridisation at Conference.

Conference is an excellent opportunity to engage with members from all across the country, to influence the party policy and strategy, and to a huge array of fringe and training events, which I recommend those attending to take full advantage of.

The agenda for conference, including the text of motions, policy papers and timings, will be published soon. As per usual, the Conference will include a range of different and interesting policy motions and debates, the Leader’s Speech, various committee and parliamentary reports, the Leader’s Q&A, plus a couple of policy consultations and a few set-piece speeches. As confirmed earlier this year, Kira Rudik (Leader of our sister party in Ukraine, member of the Ukrainian Parliament, and Vice President of ALDE) will be speaking at Conference, and also taking part in a Q&A fringe session as well.

It is possible that this is the last Autumn Conference in advance of a General Election, we have also asked the Chair of the Federal Elections and Campaigns Committee, Baroness Kath Pinnock, Director of Field Campaigns, David McCobb, and the Party CEO, Mike Dixon, to provide a General Election Briefing as an auditorium session.

We received a large number of motions from across the party, and are extremely grateful for the time and effort that members make in formulating policy motions and ideas for debate at Conference. We really wish that we could select so many more that ended up on the final list, but as always time at conference is at a premium and a large number of motions, although selected in the first round, did not make it through the second round when we then started to look at reducing timings.

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FCC Report: Motions for Spring Conference

The Federal Conference Committee (FCC) met on Saturday, 15th January to start its work on the final agenda for Spring 2022 Conference, which will be taking place virtually via the Hopin platform.

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

We’ve had a few departures from the FCC in the last few months and welcomed two new members. Jennie Rigg ceased being the English Party’s Representative to the FCC and Jenni Lang stepped down as the Scottish Party Representative after becoming the Convenor of the Scottish Liberal Democrats. I would like to place on record our thanks for their service to the FCC, they will be missed, and we would like to wish them all the very best for the future. We welcomed Matt McLaren as our new English Party Rep and Paul McGarry as our new Scottish Party Rep to the committee.

The FCC wants to thank the Conference Office for the amazing work that they do. We are always so grateful to them for their hard work.

At our meeting we discussed several papers and issues brought to the FCC. One of which was with regards to this report, and the information we publish relating to the non-selection of motions. Previously, the FCC had not provided the reason for why motions are not selected. We have taken on board lots of feedback and decided that it is only fair that we publish a summary of the feedback provided when this report is published. Whilst we do provide feedback to submitters of motions, it was felt appropriate that we do give the membership more information about why certain motions are not selected. This doesn’t mean that the motions are not necessarily a good topic for debate, but in some cases their focus is either too narrow or the motion would benefit from additional drafting support and guidance, which the FCC offers through the drafting advice service.

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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.

Posted in News and Party policy and internal matters | 5 Comments

Federal Committee report – Spring Conference 2021 motion selection

The Federal Conference Committee met via Zoom call on Saturday, 16 January for the agenda selection for our second virtual conference. The meeting was a lengthy one, which was in part due to the large selection of varied and interesting motions we received, but also to give us breaks from staring at computer screens for a number of hours.

As you will be aware, this year we will not be heading up to the historic city of York, but instead you will be able to take part in Conference from your own home via our third party provider, Hopin. You will be able to find more information about the virtual conference. If you are planning to attend conference, we highly recommend taking part in the interactive exhibitions and the fringes.

The FCC wants to pay its thanks to the continued amazing efforts of the Conference Office team and members who have worked so incredibly hard.

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Report from Federal Conference Committee – motions to Conference

The Federal Conference Committee met via Zoom call on Saturday, 11 July for the agenda selection for our first virtual conference. The meeting was a lengthy one, which was in part due to the large selection of varied motions we received, but also to give us breaks from staring at computer screens for a number of hours.

As you will be aware, this year we will not be heading to the sunny beaches of Brighton, but instead you will be able to take part in Conference from your own home via our third party provider, Hopin. You will be able to find more information about the virtual conference.

The FCC wants to pay its thanks to the extraordinary efforts of the Conference Office team and members who have worked so incredibly hard to make our first virtual conference happen. It is been a long and challenging process, as we wanted to make sure that we are able to replicate – as much as feasibly possible – the physical conference for our members. I also understand that Glee will also be happening virtually; although we will not all be crammed into one room at the conference hotel to enjoy it.

You will see from the timings of Conference that it is slightly different to the usual format, and we hope that this will give more people an opportunity to attend virtually.

A total of nine conference motions (plus two emergency slots, two later deadline motions on COVID and Europe.) In addition we have reserved time for two consultation sessions as requested by the Federal Board and the Federal Policy Committee.

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | 35 Comments

The subjects selected and not selected for debate at the York spring conference

The new Federal Conference Committee met at LibDem HQ this Saturday to set out the agenda for York in March. The new FCC also held a meeting in November where feedback from the Autumn Conference was discussed, and officers were elected. Geoff Payne was re-elected as Chair, myself as Vice-Chair (General Purposes Sub Committee), and Jon Ball and Cara Jenkinson as Co-Vice Chairs (Conference Communications Group).

It is always difficult to sort through the motions that are submitted to the FCC for any conference. This year we did have a lower number of submissions – only 19, but there were some interesting motions that were selected. It seems that the December General Election may have had an impact on the lower submissions, so we are looking forward to more submissions for the Autumn Conference.

Timings are always tight at Spring Conference, and we have tried to maximise debating time. There are inevitably some items that must be held at Conference (leader’s speech, and Committee and Parliamentary reports.) We have also made time for two consultations, one Federal Board General Election review, and one Federal Policy Committee manifesto review. We have also allowed two slots for emergency motions, as various political changes are happening at the moment which may require motions to be submitted.

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Federal Conference Committee report – January 2018

Just over a week ago, Federal Conference Committee met at LibDem HQ to set the Agenda for Southport in March, now just under six weeks away.

It is always tough to sort through the many worthy motions that are submitted, but on this occasion the job was even harder – the snap election last year delayed some policy papers back so we have very limited time to debate non-policy-paper motions. We also had an increased number of motions submitted, 34, compared to 26 this time last year.

Unfortunately, that lack of time is likely to spill over into Autumn too with more …

Posted in News and Party policy and internal matters | 25 Comments

Federal Conference Committee Report – amendments and emergency motions for Bournemouth

Federal Conference Committee (FCC) met on Saturday to discuss amendments and other issues for debate in Bournemouth this weekend.

As a quick recap, and for those who haven’t been to conference before, three things can happen to an amendment: They can be accepted for debate and voted on my conference, they can be drafted in as if they were part of the original motion or they can be rejected. Drafted in amendments should not be controversial or ambiguous in any way, and typically they will update a motion to reflect recent events, or correct or clarify wording.

The time for each motion is listed, as this can be a factor when deciding to select an amendment for debate. One amendment is the realistic limit for a 45 minute debate, and longer debates allow us to fit more in.

Some disclaimers needed: The titles are my own brief summaries to give a flavour of the types of things people seek to amend, as the submitters of amendments do not need to include them. Errors or lack of clarity are my own fault. As with motions, non-selection does not mean that the topic is not worthy as amendments may contain technical errors, a lack of clarity, are too insubstantial or not sufficiently within scope of the original motion.

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Federal Conference Committee Motions Report

Avid readers of Liberal Democrat Voice will already have seen Geoff Payne’s report on the results of this weekend’s Federal Conference Committee meeting. All those whose motions were not selected should now have received feedback, so we’re able to release the list of motions to be debated in March when the party gathers in York.

Although I have covered this before, a quick reminder of how FCC selects motions is probably helpful particularly as this is the first time I have included information on voting. Selection runs in rounds, with the first round consisting of an FCC member responsible for a particular policy area briefly introducing the motion and making a recommendation on inclusion on the agenda. After this, committee members discuss it and decide if it should be accepted or not. This usually involves a show of hands, although the decision is often clear following the debate and a lack of any objection to the recommendation. Even being very tough in round one, we always end up with more excellent motions left than can fit in the agenda, so the process is then repeated in subsequent rounds as necessary.

It is important to note that non-selection of a motion usually does not mean that FCC believes the topic unworthy of debate, although we are always wary of repeatedly debating the same few items over and over. Most motions end up not making it to conference due to lack of time, because of technical or drafting issues or because Federal Policy Committee already working on a policy paper in that area. Those who submitted motions will have been given more detailed feedback. The committee also can only select from motions that have been submitted to us!

Posted in Op-eds | 16 Comments
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