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Federal Conference Committee Report – amendments and emergency motions for Bournemouth

September 12, 2017 1:52 PM
By Zoe OConnell in Liberal Democrat Voice
Originally published by South Lincolnshire Liberal Democrats

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.


F4 Learning to Communicate in English (45 minutes)

  • A Multiple Topics - "Fleshes out" motion (38 members) - selected for debate

  • B LA funding (Greater Reading) - accepted as drafting amendment

  • C Clarify Funding (Stockton) - accepted as drafting amendment

F6 The Paris Agreement and UK Climate Change Policy (50 minutes)

  • A Nuclear Power (Young Liberals) - Not taken

  • B Renewables in public buildings (Rushcliffe) - Not taken

  • C Building insultation and electric vechicle charting (NE Cambridgeshire and SE Cambridgeshire) - parts drafted in

  • D Energy Storage (Greater Reading) - not taken

  • Separate Vote request on lines 54-56 - not taken

F8 The Impact of Brexit on Public Services (75 minutes)

  • A Customs Union (Greater Reading) - accepted as drafting amendment

  • B Local Government Role (ALDC) - accepted for debate

  • C Employment Rights, Customs Union (Twickenham and Richmond Liberal Democrats) - accepted as drafting amendment

  • D NHS Levy for non-EEA citizens (11 members) - Not taken

  • (E was a duplicate submission)

  • F Article 50 revocability (16 members) - Not taken

  • G Continued membership of the EU (Canterbury and Coastal) - Not taken

  • H Research into the impact of Brexit (Rushcliffe) - accepted as drafting amendment

  • I Multiple Topics - motion-length amendment (Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrats) - Not taken

F10 Natural Environment Policy (75 minutes)

  • A Multiple Topics (Wokingham) - parts drafted in

  • B Green Belt (Young Liberals) - Not taken

  • C Clean Air (ALDC) - accepted as drafting amendment

  • D NGOs contribution (NE Cambridgeshire and SE Cambridgeshire) - Not taken

  • E Affordable food, animal welfare (Sheffield) - Not taken

  • F Humane Treatment of livestock (Greater Reading) - accepted for debate

  • G Environmental safeguarding in UK law post-Brexit (Rushcliffe) - Not taken

  • H EU Action Plan Against Tackling Wildlife Trade (10 members) - Not taken

F13 Subscription and Levy (10 minutes)

  • A Liberal Youth name change (Young Liberals) - referred to Federal Board


F16 Armed Forces Personnel: Recruitment, Retention and Welfare (45 minutes)

  • A Mental Health (Beaconsfield and Young Liberals) - Not taken

  • B Reservists, Pastoral Services (Greater Reading) - Not taken

F17A Opposing Brexit (105 minutes)

  • This item will only be debated if the suspension of standing orders request on Saturday Morning is successful. Details can be found in the Agenda Addendum.
  • A Referendum on Brexit (Canterbury and Coastal) - Not taken

  • B Referendum on Brexit (Runnymede and Weybridge) - Not taken

  • C Referendum on Brexit (Sheffield) - Not taken

  • D Irish border (Southwark) - accepted as drafting amendment

  • E Referendum on Brexit (Greater Reading) - Not taken

  • F Referendum on Brexit (Copeland and Workington) - Not taken

  • G Referendum on Brexit (Sevenoaks, Dartford and Gravesham, 28 members) - Not taken

  • H Coalition conditions (11 members) - Not taken

  • I Referendum on Brexit (East Kent) - Not taken

  • J Additional Wording (12 members) - Not taken

  • K Referendum on Brexit (Federal Policy Committee) - accepted for debate

F21 Safe Building Standards for all Homes (75 minutes)

  • A Multiple Topics (Wokingham) - parts accepted for debate, parts drafted in

  • B Wording change (15 members) - Not taken

  • C Wording change (NE Cambridgeshire & SE Cambridgeshire) - Not taken

  • D Public tax and spend policies (St Ives Lib Dems) - Not taken

  • E Wording change, funding (Kingston Borough) - Not taken

  • F Lakanal recommendations (Southwark) - parts accepted for debate

  • G Sprinklers, solar PV (Rushcliffe Liberal Democrats) - Not taken

  • H Wording change (Canterbury and Coastal) - Not taken

  • I Housing Standards Regulator (10 Members) - Not taken

F22 Centenary of Balfour Declaration (75 minutes)

  • A Gaza Strip (13 members) - Not taken

  • B Land swaps, historical land (Greater Reading) - Not taken

  • C Responsibility for conflict (51 members) - Not taken

  • D Replace conference believes (10 members) - Not taken

  • E IHRA antisemitism definition (Beaconsfield and Young Liberals) - Not taken


F24 Defeating Terrorism, Protecting Liberties (60 minutes)

  • A Daesh (11 members) - Not taken

F26 Employment in the 21st Century (60 minutes)

  • A Anxiety, Tribunal Fees, Profit levy (Wokingham) - Not taken

  • B Tribunal Fees (Greater Reading) - parts drafted in

  • C Taylor Review, Minimum wage (Young Liberals) - accepted for debate

  • D Further Education, Exclusive Employment contracts (Canterbury and Coastal) - Not taken

F28 Encourage Companies to be Responsible Corporate Citizens (60 minutes)

  • A Wording change (14 members) - accepted as drafting amendment

  • B Employee representatives on boards (11 members) - accepted for debate


F32 Protecting Small Businesses (40 minutes)

  • A Balanced SVR for local traders (Rushcliffe Liberal Democrats) - Not taken

  • B Pilot rates based on turnover (Kingston Borough) - Not taken

F34 Gun and Knife Crime (40 minutes)

  • A Lines 29-31 Wording change (Southwark) - accepted as drafting amendment

  • B Lines 29-31 Wording change (Canterbury and Coastal) - Not taken

  • C Lines 29-31 Wording change (43 members) - Not taken

  • D Acid attacks (Fareham Liberal Democrats) - accepted for debate

Emergency Motions

  • FCC does not select emergency motions for debate, merely decides if they meet the definition of an emergency motion. Most emergency motions that are ruled out of order do not concern events that did not arise since the motions deadline.

  • International Students (Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire) - In order

  • Recruitment and Retention of Teachers (10 members) - TBC

  • Fixing the Electricity Market (Lincoln, Sleaford and North Hykeham) - Not in order

  • Leasehold Scandal (Eddisbury and Weaver Vale) - In order

  • Deterioration of Human Rights in Venezuela (11 members) - In order

  • Preventing the Venezuelan calamity in the UK (12 members) - Not in order

  • Opposing UK participation in Trump's re-escalation of the war in Afghanistan, and focusing on peace negotiations (14 members) - In Order

  • Genocide in Burma (10 members) - Not in order

  • MPs conduct and responsibility: No more lies - fighting misrepresentation (11 members) - Not in order

  • Freeze Fares (10 members) - Not in order

  • Implementation of Universal Credit (10 members) - In order

  • UK Government treatment of disabled people (29 members) - In order

  • Targetting and Allocation of Campaign Resources (Hammersmith and Fulham and 10 members) - Not in order

Topical issues

FCC can choose to select a topical issue to be included in the Emergency Motion ballot.

  • Allocation of campaign resources - Not taken

  • Campaign Resources Targeting, Raising the Party Presence - Not taken

  • Integrated Transport and Energy Policy - Not taken

  • The Importance of the Human Rights Act 1998 - Not taken


Two appeals were considered.

  • Mental Health Reform Act - Upheld. Motion will be put into the Emergency Motions ballot.

  • Opposing Brexit - Rejected. (This was considered in an earlier FCC meeting and will be subject to a vote to suspend standing orders, as detailed under F17A above)


9 questions were received for various party bodies. FCC merely checks that all questions are to the right body.

* 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.