Since launching in February, we’ve had hundreds of members join, and we’re very happy to be so involved in our first Autumn Conference as an organisation, with a great lineup of fringe events and policy proposals.

For those voting members among you in Brighton today,

Kithor F5 Early Years Motion

This motion rightly commended on the cost of childcare but ignores one of the major reasons childcare is so much more expensive in the UK: the much lower ratios of child minders to children in the UK than many other countries, such as Holland. For this reason we supported  Amendment Two by Merton Liberal Democrats, which passed along with the motion.

Amendment Two to this motion mandates a study of the childcare situation in other European countries to discover why our average costs are so much more expensive to the average earner. Ratio requirements and other constraints on affordable childcare are examined in this Centre Forum report by Elizabeth Truss MP. The wording of the amendment can be found here.

F6 Getting the most out of Schools
Another amendment which we supported, again by Merton Liberal Democrats, was to this motion. The amendment affirmed Liberal Democrat support for external assessments at the end of Primary schooling, like SATs, as well as internal assessments by the school.
Upcoming Fringe Events
From Sunday,What does a Liberal tax system look like?
Our events start with a brilliant fringe asking ‘What does a Liberal tax system look like?‘, which will be held tomorrow in the Buckingham room of the Hilton Metropole. David Laws MP, Paul Johnson, Director of the IFS, Ben Page, CEO of Ipsos Mori, and Stephen Williams MP. Given the theme of the conference, this event is bound to attract attention. Get there for 18:15 to ensure a good seat.

Manifesto 2015: Which way next?
This excellent event, organised by Lib Dem Voice and chaired by Alastair Carmichael MP will see an exchange of opinions and questions from the floor to representatives from the Social Liberal Forum and Liberal Reform. Regular BBC/Sky talking head and Liberal Reform founding member Charlotte Henry will be in our corner. Sunday, the Gloucester Room, Hilton Metropole, 20.00-21.15.Motions to Watch Tomorrow

F15 Good Food Shouldn’t Cost the Earth
This motion has been particularly difficult to understand, especially given the current fiscal situation in the UK. The Federal Conference Committee has accepted a request for a separate vote to be taken on the obligation of government to ensure 30% of its food contracts are organic. We suggest voting against both the 30% requirement and the motion overall. The explanation behind the apparent need for this policy does not justify its wide-ranging proposals.

F17 Empowering the IPCC

We support this motion, as well as the amendment, which we hope will be accepted, calling for the retention of the applicability of the PACE codes of conduct for private contractors providing police services.

We’re noticing a positive attitude around conference, and hope if you’re there, you’re enjoying it too. If you’re not planning on being in Brighton, you are in the same position as Liberal Reform Co-Chair Mike Bird, and he feels your pain. You’ll be hearing from us soon about our exciting plans for the coming months.

Keep up with us on Facebook and Twitter. Take a look at our full Conference Briefing


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