The general meeting on Thursday 3 March 2011 at Daneshill House was called to discuss the motions at the Liberal Democrat Spring conference being held in Sheffield this weekend.

According to our constitution, a local party does not have the power to instruct reps how to vote. But a rep can be advised on a motion. The rep can ignore this as he or she sees fit.

Stevenage Liberal Democrats are eligible to send five voting reps to conference, but at the AGM only two people expressed an interest in attending.

Unfortunately, one of these is out of the country this weekend due to work commitments, this left Tim Neale to be our sole representative in Sheffield. This being the case Tim volunteered to represent the majority view.

Full text of motions discussed at the meeting may be found in the “Spring Conference Directory and Agenda” which can be downloaded from the national web site.

Strategy, Positioning and Priorities
We support the motion
We reject the idea of coalition candidates

Community Futures (Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Policy Paper)
We support the motion.

Improving the Diversity of our MPs
After a lively debate:

The majority view could be summed up as, “We consider diversity a desirable goal and support the principle behind the motion. However we reject quotas believing them to be regressive.”

A small minority view held that “Whilst quotas were undesirable they could sometimes be justified in combating pervasive subconscious prejudice due to stereotyping etc.”

We ask our representative to support any amendment which removes quotas then support the motion, but to vote against this motion if quotas remain.

Disability Living Allowance – Mobility Component
We support the motion.

Updating the NHS: Personal and Local
We support the motion.

Access to Justice
We support the motion.

Taking Responsibility (Youth Justice Policy Paper)
We support the motion.

Overall the meeting was a success with a better attendance than we have seen at any of our recent social gatherings or executive meetings. This suggests we should have more similar events in the future.

Thanks to Tim Neale and John Mead (nice cakes John) for organizing the event. We will be holding a similar event at the beginning of June. So please come along.

And remember, we do have space to send more voting reps to conference, so if you are interested say so in June