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Federal Conference Committee report – January 2018

January 30, 2018 4:39 PM
By Zoe OConnell in Liiberal Democrat Voice


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 delayed policy papers coming through.

The full text of the motions will be published in the Agenda, which usually comes out mid-February as a significant amount of work is needed by HQ staff to ensure everything is in order before it goes to print. However, all those who submitted motions have received feedback so I can reveal which motions have and have not made it on to the agenda.

Voting usually proceeds in rounds, and this FCC was no different - the first round whittled the list down to four final candidates, in addition to policy papers and Federal Board motions which FCC almost always accepts. Being well aware of the lack of time, a number of debatable motions were eliminated in round 1 knowing that they would not feature high up enough on the priority list to win a second round vote.

We could only squeeze in three motions, so the second round voting selected which three of the final four went through for debate.

If you would like to submit amendments or emergency motions for spring, the deadline for that is 1pm, 6th March. It is common that a number of motions and amendments received by FCC are rejected due to being badly drafted, so I would recommend that anyone planning to submit a motion makes use of the drafting advice service - the deadline for that being 1pm on 20th February.

And finally, before you start reading the list of motions, don't forget to register for conference.

Hope to see you in Southport!

All motions eliminated in round 1 by a clear majority with only one or two opposing the majority decision, unless indicated otherwise.

  • Communities and Local Government: Regeneration on Social Housing Estates (Kingston Borough)

Eliminated in round one: 3 for, 10 against.

  • Communities and Local Government: Building Regulations (Cambridge)
  • Communities and Local Government: Housing Crisis (Southwark)
  • Communities and Local Government: Local Government and the Provision of Housing (ALDC)

Selected for debate

  • Crime, Justice, Equalities and Civil Liberties: Ending Discrimination in Mental Health Detention (South Central Region, Beaconsfield, Wycombe and Young Liberals)

Eliminated in round two: 7 for NHS at 70, 6 for this motion

  • Crime, Justice, Equalities and Civil Liberties: Ending the Criminalisation of Abortion (Beaconsfield, Wycombe and Young Liberals)
  • Crime, Justice, Equalities and Civil Liberties: Bodily Integrity of Children (13 members)
  • Crime, Justice, Equalities and Civil Liberties: Reducing the Legal Drinking Age (10 members)
  • Crime, Justice, Equalities and Civil Liberties: Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (East Midlands)
  • Economy and Tax: The Rehabilitation of Taxation (Calderdale)
  • Education and Families: Every Child Empowered (Federal Policy Committee, Policy Paper)

Selected for debate

  • Education and Families: Rethinking Student Loans (10 members)
  • Education and Families: International Students (Cambridge)
  • Education and Families: Gender Neutral School Uniforms (LGBT+ Liberal Democrats)

Eliminated in round one: 4 for, 8 against.

  • Energy and Environment: Restructuring the Electricity Industry in Great Britain (Association of Liberal Democrats Engineers and Scientists)
  • Europe: An Exit from Brexit (12 members

Selected for debate

  • Europe: Time to Stop Brexit (Calderdale)
  • Health and Social Care: The NHS at 70 (28 members)

Selected for debate

  • Health and Social Care: A Comprehensive Strategy for the Future of Health and Social Care (NW Region and Lancaster & Morecambe)
  • Health and Social Care: Creating a Safe and Secure Future for the over 65s (ALDC)
  • International and Defence: Embracing the Sustainable Development Goals (12 members)
  • International and Defence: Sign the UN treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (137 members)
  • Political and Constitutional Reform: Votes for All Residents (22 members)
  • Political and Constitutional Reform: No More Lies - Parliamentary Conduct and Responsibility (11 members)
  • Rural Affairs: A Rural Future (Federal Policy Committee, Policy Paper)

Selected for debate

  • Transport: Improving Transport (Calderdale)
  • Transport: Fare Freeze (10 members)
  • Transport: Electrification of the Midland Mainline (East Midlands)
  • Work, Pensions and Social Security: Woman Against State Pension Inequality (East Midlands)
  • Other: The Left Behind (10 members)
  • Business Motions: Reforming our Party Disciplinary Processes (Federal Board, MacDonald Review)

Selected for debate

  • Business Motions: Ambitious for our Country, Ambitious for our Party (Federal Board, Party Strategy)

Selected for debate, on a vote of 8 for taking now, 5 against and delaying to autumn

  • Business Motions: Making Policy Working Groups Accessible (Cambridge)
  • Business Motions: Towards a Diverse Scalable Policy Feedback Platform (Trafford)

Constitutional Amendments must be taken for debate, unless out of order.

  • Constitutional Amendments: General Data Protection Directive (Federal Board)

In order, taken for debate

  • Constitutional Amendments: MacDonald Review Implementation (Federal Board)

In order, taken for debate

* Zoe O'Connell is a Councillor and deputy group leader on Cambridge City Council, sits on the executive of LGBT+ Liberal Democrats and is Vice Chair of Federal Conference Committee.