Liberal Democrats

Spring Conference motion selection 2022

Latest news from the Chair of the Federal Conference Committee

By Nicholas da Costa, Jan 20, 2022 9:01

Voting card at Lib Dem 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.

We also had a very good discussion on the potential of a new type of topical policy debate at Conference, designed to be focused around a specific question. This could be an extension of a consultative session or a topical issue discussion, for example, where Conference would debate how to answer some of the broader challenges facing our society. Interesting ideas or solutions arising from the debate, which garner significant support, could then potentially be brought back to Conference at a future date. We hope that this may be a way of invigorating debate and discussion within the party on important issues without the requirement first to submit a motion on the matter. The FCC will continue to work on options to facilitate this style of debate, and we aim to debut variations of this format at the Autumn Conference in Brighton.

The agenda for conference, including the texts of the motions and timings, will be published shortly. As per usual the Conference will include the Leaders Speech (which will be broadcast live from the ALDC Conference Live event in York), Committee and Parliamentary Reports, the Leaders Q&A and some set-piece speeches. The further details of these will be announced in due course.

There will also be an extensive training and fringe programme, and I would like to encourage as many members as possible to join those, as they are an excellent way to develop new skills and engage with the party.

We received 32 policy motions, one business motion, three constitutional amendments and five standing order amendments. As always, unfortunately, time is tight, and we cannot take all the motions submitted. We have worked on the timings in the agenda to try and get in as many of the motions submitted to Conference.

From the submitted motions, we selected 16 policy motions, one business motion, two constitutional amendment, and three standing order amendments. There are also slots for two emergency motions. The Constitutional Amendment (and supporting Standing Order amendments) on the Board Reform relates to the work that the Federal Board has done on governance and the wider party consultation undertaken – you can find more information on the process here. As this motion has a series of options, we will structure this in a series of votes, which will be explained further in the agenda and the Conference Extra.

I have included below the list of motions submitted (please note that some of the naming of the motions may vary between this list and publication of the agenda), who they were submitted by and, if not selected, the reason for non-selection. With regards to constitutional and standing order amendments, these are automatically selected if they are ruled in order. You can see from the below that the Constitutional Amendment A has been composited into the Constitutional Caretaking motion (C) as Amendment A was designed to bring one section of the Constitution in line with another, and therefore it was felt appropriate by the FCC that these two motions be composited.

We also had two motions submitted on nuclear weapons for the agenda. The FCC recognises the importance of this topic and we agree that Conference should debate the issue of nuclear weapons and the direction that the party should take. However, we felt on balance that it would be a more suitable debate to take part at Autumn Conference, which would have higher attendance than Spring. We would therefore encourage party members to submit motions on this topic for the Autumn. In addition, Jamie Stone (our Defence Spokesperson in the House of Commons) has agreed to develop a spokespersons paper and consultation which will feed into a new motion in the Autumn.

Please note that the next set of deadlines are:

Deadlines: Deadline for Amendments drafting advice is 14th February.

Deadline for Amendments, Emergency Motions and appeals against non-selection of motions: 13:00, 28th February.

 

Name of motion

Submitted by

Selected/Not Selected

Reason for non-selection

 

Business

A

Saving the Hospitality Industry

Young Liberals

Not selected

Another motion on same topic selected which was not as narrow a focus. Recommend that parts submitted to amendment on B

B

Supporting Hospitality, Retail and Leisure in the Face of Omicron

10 (or more) Party Members

Selected

 
 

Crime and Justice

A

Responding to the Needs of Women in the Criminal Justice System

10 (or more) Party Members

Not selected

The motion does not advance existing party policy

B

Against Transphobic Hatred and Extremism

LGBT+ LibDems

Not selected

Broad support in principle but does not advance party policy

C

Swift Justice for Victims and Offenders

10 (or more) Party Members

Selected

 

D

Legal reform of UK commercial websites to prevent the advertising of trafficked and sexually exploited victims for sexual services

10 (or more) Party Members

Not selected

Motion required additional drafting support

E

Criminal Records

Young Liberals

Selected

 
 

Culture, Media and Sport

A

Democracy and Public Debate

Federal Policy Committee

Selected

 
 

Economy and Tax

A

Tackling the cost-of-living crisis

10 (or more) Party Members

Selected

 
 

Education and Families

A

Catching Up on our Children’s Education

10 (or more) Party Members

Selected

 

B

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Young Liberals

Not Selected

Good motion but subject to an upcoming FPC policy paper and may be overtaken by events

C

Defending Academic Freedom and Free Expression in Universities

10 (or more) Party Members

Not Selected

May be overtaken by events (Freedom of Speech Bill), requires additional drafting support

D

Expanding on the Use of British Sign Language

10 (or more) Party Members

Selected

 
 

Energy and Climate Change

A

Climate Crisis, COP26 and Climate Justice

10 (or more) Party Members

Not selected

Does not take party policy forward, requires additional drafting support

B

COP27 and Climate Empowerment for Local Government

ALDC

Selected

 

C

Motion to end new investment in oil and gas

10 (or more) Party Members

Not selected

Requires additional drafting support

 

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

A

COP15 and the UK Government

10 (or more) Party Members

Selected

 

B

The Australia and New Zealand Trade Deals (*subject to potential name change)

10 (or more) Party Members

Selected

 

C

Ending Sewage Discharges

10 (or more) Party Members

Selected

 

D

A greener, more caring food system

10 (or more) Party Members

Not Selected

Requires additional drafting support

 

Europe

A

Reconnecting the UK and Europe: The UK-EU trading relationship

Federal Policy Committee

Selected

 
 

Health and Social Care

A

A Three-Pronged Public Health Response to Drug Testing

Young Liberals

Not selected

Requires additional drafting support

B

Fixing the Ambulance Crisis

10 (or more) Party Members

Selected

 

C

Transparency in Pandemic Procurement

10 (or more) Party Members

Not Selected

Overtaken by current events, potentially more suitable as emergency motion due to recent events or amendment to Political and Constitutional Reform motion B

 

International and Defence

A

Safeguarding and the future

10 (or more) Party Members

Not Selected

Important topic which should be debated. Both motions require additional drafting support. Guaranteed slot for Autumn Conference 2022 on a Nuclear Motion

B

Achieving global nuclear disarmament in a multipolar world

10 (or more) Party Members

Not selected

C

For Peace and Democracy in Belarus

Young Liberals

Not Selected

Initially selected but eliminated due to lack of time. Additionally, would require additional drafting support.

D

Tigray and the Ethiopian Civil War

10 (or more) Party Members

Selected

 
 

Political and Constitutional Reform 

A

A Written Constitution to Restore the UK’s National and Global Integrity

Lib Dems in France

Not Selected

Does not contribute much new party policy, would require additional drafting support

B

Political Reform to Tackle Sleaze

10 (or more) Party Members

Selected

 
 

Transport

A

Active Travel

Young Liberals

Not Selected

Requires additional drafting support and another motion on transport on the agenda

B

Action to Improve Air Quality

Ealing Borough

Selected

 
 

Business Motion

A

Revised election regulations

Federal Board

Selected

 
 

Constitutional Amendments

A

Membership and Supporters – Equality and Inclusion

10 (or more) Party Members

Composited into Constitutional Amendment C

 

B

Board Reform (Constitutional)

Federal Board

In Order

 

C

Constitutional Caretaking

Federal Board

In Order

 
 

Standing Order Amendments

     

A

Questions to reports at Conference

Federal Conference Committee

In Order

 

B

References Back

Federal Conference Committee

Withdrawn

 

C

Standing Order Amendment: The Selection of Speakers

10 (or more) Party Members

In Order

 

D

Standing Order Amendment: The selection of policy motions for debate

Basingstoke and Dean

Not in order

S.O. 4.3 d & e

E

Board Reform (Standing Orders)

Federal Board

In Order

 

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