Why you need to register for Liberal Democrat Spring conference NOW

I’ve just thought to myself that I’d just take 5 minutes to register for Liberal Democrat Spring conference in York, which takes place from 7-9 March. Every time I’ve thought that in the past couple of months since registration opened, I’ve never done anything about it, thinking that it was fine,  I had till 31st December to get the cheap rate, don’t need to do it now. By some minor miracle, while procrastinating from something else, I got as far as the Conference registration page this morning.

Then, of course, I couldn’t remember my user name. I tried all the variations of the usual suspects. Nothing. So I did what the page said and emailed the Conference office. Within minutes, I had a lovely reply from an incredibly helpful and no doubt very busy member of staff giving me the information I needed to complete the process.

But if you are thinking that you can do that too, right up till 31st December, you are wrong. The Conference office shuts up shop on Friday for a well deserved Christmas break. Don’t take the risk of having to pay £84 rather than £52 after Hogmanay.

Another deadline you might like to be aware of is the last date for submitting motions which gets us just as we go back to work at the end of the Christmas holiday. Ok, I know that in England you have this bizarre habit of getting back to normal on 2 January, but up here, we are off till 6th. The deadline is on Wednesday 8th January at 1pm. There’s even a new snazzy website so you can send them in online. You can, though, if you want to stick with the old system, send them to [email protected] using this form.  While local parties and some party bodies have entitlement to submit motions, in their own right,  10 or more Conference reps can get together and do so. So, if you have a burning idea you want to see on the agenda, why not have a go at putting together a motion and ask your friends to sign up to it? They have to be conference voting reps, though. There’s some handy advice on drafting  here.

There are all sorts of reasons to go. First there’s the fact that we’ll be having a bit of a rammy on immigration and if a liberal approach on this issue is at all important to you, you need to be there.

Secondly, there will be stacks of training and chances to get together and swap tips for energetic and successful campaigning in the European and council elections. You really do come away from Conference feeling prepared and buzzing from the sheer joy of spending time with your friends and lots of like minded people.

My friend has a picture on her laptop wallpaper captioned “That thing you’ve been meaning to do? Just f****ng do it.” Apply that attitude for coming to Conference – especially as there’s a cheap National Express deal for coach travel to York so you can organise that at the same time.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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This entry was posted in Conference and Op-eds.


  • Paul In Twickenham 18th Dec '13 - 2:08pm

    This is only orthogonally related to the story, but due to my profound dissatisfaction with the leadership I took the quite conscious and deliberate decision to allow my membership to lapse after 30 years. Imagine my surprise to receive a letter from LDHQ yesterday saying that they had noticed that my membership had lapsed and since this could only be the result of an oversight they were giving me complimentary membership for the next 12 months that I could cancel by sending a letter. Am I uniquely blessed or is this a new wheeze to stop falling membership figures?

  • Already registered and hotel booked and everything! #unusualorganisationalskills

  • Paul In Twickenham 18th Dec ’13 – 2:08pm
    Am I uniquely blessed or is this a new wheeze to stop falling membership figures?

    Probably not. We used to subscribe to Liberal Democrat News but have never subscribed to the tiny glossy AdLib. Yet more than 12 months after the last issue of LDN we are still being sent AdLib.

    A cynic might suggest that both are examples of inflating membership / readership numbers so as to avoid the derision and other consequences that would follow from revealing the true figures.

  • Austin Rathe 19th Dec '13 - 9:30am

    Hi Paul (in Twickenham),

    Whilst transferring data to our new membership system we discovered some cases where renewal payments from lapsed members had been misclassified as a donation, causing their memberships to incorrectly lapse. We were obviously concerned primarily about excluding people who want to be members.

    You would have received this letter because you potentially fell into this group – we excluded people who had resigned from the party but it sounds like in your case you “deliberately lapsed”, and obviously we can’t tell the difference between that and someone who lapsed normally.

    So, taking it as a given that you don’t want to be a member, can you do me a favour and email [email protected] (or me) stating this and we’ll mark you as resigned.


    Head of Member and Supporter Development

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