Welcome back to York and join us campaigning!

As the countdown to party conference continues, I would like to say how pleased I am to be welcoming Spring Conference back to York.

Visit York estimate that the weekend will boost the city’s economy by more than £600,000. And I know that pubs, hotels, B&Bs, guest houses, and restaurants will be reporting soaring demand. Added to the short-term economic boost is the long-term impact that the continued national exposure will bring. It is a showcase for York as a destination for conferences and events. York is a beautiful, well-connected city with the potential to hold many more big political and business conferences.

It is also a chance for our members in York to meet our MPs and peers as well as councillors and campaigners from across the country. And as we all know, a chance for local party members to actually debate and decide national party policy.

In York, our councillors and members have been working hard since we formed a joint administration in May 2015 to run City of York Council.

I know from my experiences of conference that, as well as enjoying training and debates in the conference centre, it is also an opportunity to discover the city you are visiting. So, I hope that visitors this weekend will find a spare hour or so to leave the Barbican Centre and enjoy a trip to see the attractions York has to offer – from the world famous York Minister, our newer York’s Chocolate Story, to the spectacular Clifford’s Tower or to the engrossing National Railway Museum.

Conference goers should also grab a chance to stroll around the beautiful city (bar) walls, sample York’s thriving independent shopping and restaurant scene, or enjoy a pint in one of York’s many award-winning pubs.

And finally, if any members attending conference fancy doing some campaigning whilst in York, we have an exciting day of action planned! This will be particularly useful as one of the Labour councillors in York has announced that she will be resigning at the end of the month.

On Sunday 19 March our newest MP Sarah Olney will be joining us in the ward where the by-election will be fought. Come and listen to Sarah at 10am – there will be Focus delivery and surveying available immediately afterwards. Drop us an email to get further details ([email protected]). Our campaign HQ is a short walk away from the conference centre will be open from 9.30am until 1.30pm on Sunday for the collection of bundles and for clerical work. Teas, coffees and biscuits will be available.

I look forward to seeing you in York for conference. Enjoy!

* Keith Aspden has been the Councillor for Fulford Ward in York since 2003 and for Fulford and Heslington Ward since 2015. Since 2019 he is the Leader of City of York Council, and the Liberal Democrat Deputy Chair of the LGA Fire Services Management Committee.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • I agree York is a beautiful well connected city. I live pretty central 5 min from the Minister no more than 10 from Parliament street. I walk into town most weekends, you see several groups campaigning for certain issues. Never seen the LibDems out there, neither for that matter have I ever received any of these leaflets and promotion materials people keep talking about.
    Although it currently has a labour M.P. (who followed the majority of her electorate in voting against the bill to trigger article 50) surely York has to be a target for the LibDems if you are going to make any real progress by 2020? comfortably off, well educated, middle class population, university city ( certainly in the top 10, arguably in the top 5) so lots of educated young people…. they have got to be there for the taking, maybe get out into town a more, try a bit of campaigning, make the party visible in York!…enjoy the conference.

  • There are many great pubs in York, for the real ale drinkers try The Last Drop Inn, The Three Legged Mare (also known locally as the Wonkey Donkey.
    If you want to sample some of the local beer The White Swan (known locally as the Mucky Duck) and the Terrier are very good York Brewery pubs.
    For something a little more exotic try the famous House of Trembling Madness, for a state of the art selection of fine wines, beers, ciders and spirits not to mention awesome food and the whiskey museum they have in the basement!
    For those who like to rock, then Gibson’s Rock Café at the top of Micklegate comes with a great atmosphere, brilliant staff and their very own smoke house and unique food menu, needs to be seen. Similarly the Artful Dodger is about 5 min further down Micklegate great staff great atmosphere, one of the best pubs in York that stays open past traditional closing time on a week day.
    For those of you who like history just walk around, the history of York is the history of the U.K. Romans, Vikings, 1066, Wallace all came through York in on way or another, however the oldest standing structure is not the walls or even the Minster, it is to my mind a rather beautiful Saxon church tower that is somewhat out of the way at the back of Priory Street, the main body of the church has been modernised throughout the ages and is now a Greek Orthodox church but the tower remains largely unchanged and is worth tracking down for anyone interested in ancient architecture. Priory street links onto Micklegate so after seeing the tower visit Gibson’s and then the Artful Dodger! anyway enjoy the conference but get out and see York during your visit.

  • Keith Orrell 13th Mar '17 - 2:57pm

    Tynan would be very welcome to join our Action Days every Saturday morning advertised in our weekly Members’ and Supporters Newsletter or help with the regular Residents’ Surveys we are doing. We were also collecting EU signatures on 4th March in the city centre. It is great to see new members joining in our campaigning.

  • Keith, you need to understand that I am not a member or a recent voter for the party.That said if you can get past that fact I wouldn’t mind helping out if there was anything useful I could do. I visit this site to gain alternate view points, some may think it weird or call people like me trolls but that is not my intent. I believe any government must have strong opposition, something that is lacking right now, mainly due to numbers rather than effort as far as the LibDems are concerned.
    I also rather agree with some of Nick Cleggs resignation speech about the need for a Liberal voice in politics and the potential danger if that voice is diminished. So in that spirit of spreading ideas and helping people being as informed as they choose to be, I’ll take that offer on the terms outlined above. Probably best not to ask me to type anything up though, I am sure most of the regulars would agree.

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