Three of us from Newcastle under Lyme attended the Lib-Dem conference in York last weekend and we are pleased to say there were good debates. There were a variety of types of people speaking, including an encouraging number of younger people; the youngest was 15 years old who spoke extremely well.
The conference agreed to have a registered supporters scheme, but voted that people who are members of another party could not be registered in the scheme, registered supporters cannot vote for the leader of the party and the leader should be an MP. Only members can be officers of any kind in the party and only members can vote at conference.
The supporters will have the right to attend meetings and give their views and also serve on policy working groups.
As chair of the Lib-Dem Education Association, I spoke in the debate on ‘Eradicating Racial Inequality’, advocating the education section of the policy paper that accompanied the motion. Although much progress has been made in the UK in recent decades, there are worrying signs among some sections of the population that this issue still needs to be tackled.
Another matter of concern to me is the demise of local services, so it was good to have a debate calling for a major re-investment in local youth services.
I hope you are well and can consider ways in which you can contribute to our local party; we really do need new people if we are to reach out to the local population on local and national issues and encourage support for and understanding of, our Liberal Democrat values.
Chair, Newcastle under Lyme