Belsize Liberal Democrats

Your local Belsize Lib Dem team. Published and promoted on behalf of the Liberal Democrats by T.Simon at 242 Webheath Community Workshops, Netherwood Street, London, NW6 2JX. Learn more

Carers' Rights Day

by Liberal Democrats on Thu, 25 Nov 2021

Today is Carers Rights Day, and the Liberal Democrats are continuing to stand up for carers.

The Covid pandemic has shown that we are a nation of carers. But it’s also shown how, for this Conservative Government carers are nothing more than an afterthought.

From Ministers’ abject failure to protect people in care homes, to their refusal to raise Carer’s Allowance when they put up Universal Credit, carers have been forgotten and ignored again and again.

People looking after their loved ones are doing an important job and making big sacrifices every day. They deserve more support.

So we are still pressing the Government to raise Carer’s Allowance – currently less than £10 a day – to help the millions of carers facing financial hardship this winter.

We are also continuing to push for emergency funding to give carers a break. Many haven’t had a rest from their caring responsibilities since the pandemic hit, and many are simply exhausted.

And last week, Ed Davey won the fight to allow disabled young people to access their own money previously locked away in Child Trust Funds.

There are new fights we’ve taken up on behalf of carers too.

Many carers are never identified as carers and told about their rights, so Daisy Cooper tabled an amendment to the Health and Care Bill that would put a duty on the NHS to identify and support unpaid carers. Sadly the Government didn’t accept Daisy’s amendment in the House of Commons, but we will keep pushing for carers to be included in the Bill as it goes through the Lords.

Finally, we have listened to disabled young people and their carers who are very worried about the Government’s plans to take Universal Credit away from them.

New rules due to come in next month would prevent disabled people aged 16 or over from receiving Universal Credit if they are in education, unless they have been assessed as having “limited capability for work” before starting their education.

Ministers hoped to get the change through without any debate or scrutiny in Parliament, but Wendy Chamberlain and Mike Storey have tabled motions in both the Commons and the Lords to stop them.

These are all difficult but important fights. We're proud that Liberal Democrats are fighting to make sure that carers are not taken for granted any longer.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

I am an established Race Equality and Diversity campaigner with a Business Management background and an established record of striving for Race Equity across the Party. In the course of my 25 years as Party member I have served on the Federal Policy Committee, International Relations Committee, been Secretary of the PCA, vice chair of EMLD and served as a Regional Diversity Champion. I am also Secretary of Lib Dem Friends of India. It is this personal history that accounts for my reputation as a Community Champion within the Party and my high profile amongst BME communities nationally.             

In 2001 at the request of the then Party President Lord Dholakia I chaired the first Race Equality Group in the Party and produced a report with guidelines on what the Party should do to attract   support from Ethnic Minority (BME) Communities. It recommended establishing an Ethnic Minority Election Task Force (EMETF).This was done and soon after we elected our first BME MP. Unfortunately EMETF was killed off by the Party machine.

In 2018 Lord Alderdice undertook a comprehensive review on the same subject. His study concluded “Despite our clear liberal values, rejecting all forms of prejudice and inequality, the Party has failed to engage sufficiently with BaME communities”

That is precisely what I and others who are campaigning to make our Party more inclusive have been saying for years. By and large our messages have fallen on deaf ears. That is why several talented highly capable politically active BME individuals became disillusioned, felt undervalued and left the Party. But I chose to stay on and fight. I am glad I did because I now have one more chance to change things. So I promise you if I am elected Vice President and charged with the responsibility of making Lib Dems more appealing to individuals from BME Communities I will do everything in my power to achieve that outcome - with your support of course.

I will engage with local parties in England, Scotland and Wales to develop a plan to attract individuals and groups from BME Communities and make them Lib Dem ambassadors within their respective catchment areas. I know this can be done because I did it in Watford.                                                                                                                                                                       

This is the three point plan I will use to start making Lib Dems a more  Inclusive Party

  1. Establish a BME Engagement Consultative Group made up of BME Councillors and Activists from England, Scotland and Wales and task the group with devising a plan to implement the recommendations in the Alderdice Review
  2. Device a BME Engagement Framework for local Parties in our Target Constituencies and in Councils with significant BME populations
  3. In consultation with the Leaders Office, Campaign Team and Communications Office produce a special BME Media plan I know I can rely on our members to help me achieve our common inclusivity goals for the Party.
Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Time and time again, we hear that the reality of what ethnic minorities face in our party and in our politics does not match up to the principles we hold, and, as a party committed to equality, it is vital that we apply our values and make a change. I will provide the positive vision and leadership we need to move forward and make that happen.

As a former Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate, I have seen prejudice close-up, within British politics and, sadly, within our party. And I know that I’m not the only one. My experience led me to take time to reflect and then, at Harvard, I learnt from world leaders on race equality, collaborative working, and leadership. I want to translate my experience and learning into change for our party in the UK. As a starting point, we must implement the Alderdice Review recommendations.

I was honoured to receive endorsements from members across the country, including Baroness Sal Brinton, Chris Lucas, Cllr Sarah Cheung Johnson, Tom Brake, Layla Moran MP, Baroness Alison Suttie and Sarah Green MP.

If I were elected as your Vice President, we could:

  • Promote a collaborative, positive working style to take the party from debate to action
  • Implement the Alderdice Review recommendations at every level of the Liberal Democrats
  • Help local parties and SAOs engage and campaign with diverse communities to win elections in the country

It is time for change. As a party, we need to attract ethnic minority talent, promote equality and opportunity for all.

All about me

I was born in Lahore, Pakistan, and grew up on a council estate in London. I was in foster care for a short time. I studied at Oxford and most recently, Harvard.

I joined the party due to my opposition to the Iraq War and since then, I have run for council, London Assembly and as a target Parliamentary seat candidate in 2017. That year I was appointed the Lib Dems’ Shadow Refugee Minister and debated Nick Ferrari on LBC about the policy to allow in Syrian child refugees.

I am a regular contributor to BBC Asian Network and has appeared in The Guardian, the Evening Standard, ITV News, and the BBC, amongst others. Professionally, I am a campaigner working in healthcare policy.

Fun fact: Barack Obama follows me on Twitter! You can too at: @amnajahmad. You can also join my Facebook group - Amna for VP or email me at amnaforvp@gmail.com.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

A campaigning Vice President, for a campaigning Party

I was a 100/200m Sprinter. Catastrophe struck in my early 20's when my achilles tendon ruptured. For 20 months I was in a wheelchair. I needed wheelchair-friendly public transport to hospital and the inadequacy of it shocked me. It made me realise that everyone has a choice. When you see something that’s wrong, do you leave it for someone else, or do you fight for change?

I decided to fight for change. I set up a transport company and, eventually, was transporting 5,000 vulnerable children and adults in wheelchair accessible vehicles. I got involved in drafting the Private Hire Vehicles Act and helped lead the campaign for cab safety. I delivered contracts to the 2012 London Paralympics. I was named in the Black Power List.

But throughout my life I experienced racism and saw it blight so many people’s lives. I have spent years fighting racism.

I provided a campaign bus for Operation Black Vote and helped thousands to register to vote. In 2015 I was the founding chair of the Liberal Democrat Campaign for Race Equality. We established the RDC to develop ethnic minority candidates.

I was disappointed that, after John Alderdice’s report on race diversity, the party did nothing. So when the Thornhill Review was set up I, as Chair of LDCRE, sent in a submission.

We need to recognise that the ethnic minority vote is so substantial, that we cannot win without ethnic minority communities. If you ignore 40% of a constituency you are giving your local party a target of reaching 60% of the white vote.

Our recommendations were published in the Thornhill Review. Still the party failed to implement it. I then piloted an amendment to the strategy motion at the federal conference and committed the Party to act.

That is why I’m now standing for Vice-President: if elected I will make the party implement that strategy. John Alderdice and Dorothy Thornhill are supporting me.

I have rolled up my sleeves to show how it’s done – in just the last year I helped Anton Georgiou win a 29% swing in Brent; helping Nancy Jirira win Fortune Green, building support for Gareth Roberts in Hounslow and helping demolish the Labour vote in the C&A by-election. I have advised the Scottish Lib Dems and campaigned in Wales.

Change can't wait

I will:

Ensure that the Party implements the Alderdice and Thornhill reviews.  I will make the party launch a national campaign to encourage and assist local parties to:

  • reach out to ethnic minority communities
  • include these communities in canvassing targets during elections
  • establish their key concerns and campaign on them
  • continue to campaign for the rights of women and LGBT+ ethnic minorities
  • recruit ethnic minority members
  • gain ethnic minority votes and make our party better reflect the diversity of the society we wish to represent

I will give you the tools to become more diverse, confident, and vote-winning.  For further information see my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/1118017102271737

Change can’t wait. I hope you will vote for me for Vice-President.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Tahir Maher

by Tahir Maher on Sat, 20 Nov 2021

Vision

My goals for this role are:

  • I want to help provide a platform for better training and promote a programme that supports ethnic minority members to develop their potential, so they are competently able to stand for external and internal elections of office
  • I want to see established an attractive and resilient message that helps to build a strong foundation for the Liberal Democrats to engage and campaign with in Ethnic Minority communities
  • Within the party, I want to establish a better understanding of Ethnic minority issues on housing, education, LGBT+, heath, crime, etc. This will allow us to better serve the ethnic minority communities at a national and local level

Believe

This is the part I say how good I am…

  • I understand how the party works
  • How to deliver change
  • I have extensive experience of campaigning
  • I can lead to make change happen

I have been a member of the party coming up to 20 years. In that time, I have been a Town/Borough councillor for over 11 years; I have been a Branch, Constituency, Regional and English Party chair.

I understand how the party works, how to engage the different parts of the party to ensure we achieve change together, and I have a record of leading change at State and regional levels.

I am also an experienced campaigner overseeing and running a number of local campaigns and being involved in national campaigns.

Implemented change, in a party with a large volunteer base requires this to be done collaboratively. Therefore, imposing change or a standalone solution I believe won’t work.

Achieve

Like anyone else, ethnic minority members are concerned about their environment, health service, climate change etc., and they want to do something about it. To help them make a difference (many) will need training in developing members skill set will help to make them serious contenders as candidates up for selections. I want to help get that developed and delivered.

Because every local, regional, and state party has diversity officers, a structure exists to communicate and work with officers. Such a structure can be used to identify issues, gather data and share information. As a party, we need to further develop the right message, and this will require working with a number of SAO’s, ethnic minority members and with the Head office. Again, bring people together.

Prior to Lord Alderdice’s report there were two other reports done looking at the issues relating to ethnic minorities in the party. Those reports were not really implemented. In fact, as a summary you can say that Lord Alderdice’s effectively said that if those reports were implemented most of the issues would be addressed. Consequently, it’s a priority for me to implement the recommendations in Lord Alderdice’s report.

 

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

You, as Liberal Democrat members, have asked me for a diverse, inclusive party that represents all sections of all our communities well.

I am standing to be your Vice President for minority communities to promote inclusion and to eliminate racism and other discrimination from inside our party, to inspire more and more candidates from under-represented groups to stand and to inspire all of us to engage on a sustained and substantive basis with all of the UK’s communities so that we eliminate exclusion and disadvantage.

I successfully campaigned for an inquiry, the Alderdice Inquiry, to take place and was involved with bringing those with evidence of racism to the inquiry. I will not only see that its findings are implemented, but also will work to ensure that we have a diverse party. Since it was completed my attention has continued to be on the grassroots of the Liberal Democrats. Few if any understand these issues in such detail.

I am your “Mastermind” special subject candidate on racism in the Liberal Democrats and I will work to dismantle it in a liberal way, for racism is not liberal.

I have worked: in scientific research and IT in industry and academia, in changing a blue-chip company’s working culture throughout its global supply chain to deliver measurable benefit, as a leading councillor in England’s then fastest improving council, for the NHS on equalities and inclusion and on governance: in education including higher education, the Liberal Democrats, charitable trusts, NHS governance and democratic accountability, economic development and regeneration and on public policy development in health, regeneration, the regional economy and other related fields. My dad was involved with the civil rights movement in the US and my mum’s family with the Indian Independence movement. We all work for major change. I was brought up in London and have lived in London, South Cambridgeshire, Cambridge, Paris, a provincial French city and a sparsely populated part of rural France. I spent much of my teenage school holidays accompanying extended family members who travelled for work in South Asia and have friends all over the UK.

My dad was involved with the civil rights movement in the US and my mum’s family with the Indian Independence movement. We all work for major change. I was brought up in London and have lived in London, South Cambridgeshire, Cambridge, Paris, a provincial French city and a sparsely populated part of rural France. I spent much of my teenage school holidays accompanying extended family members who travelled for work in South Asia and have friends all over the UK.

For 8 years, I was a leading local councillor in one of the most diverse Liberal Democrat-run local authorities. I am successful both in inspiring candidates from under-represented groups and have been remunerated to engage with diverse communities both for local government and the National Health Service.

I was recruited to an NHS Trust Board to address exactly these sorts of issues, a role which few have held in general let alone in the Liberal Democrats, where we are so much in need of culture change.

This is the only political party I have been involved with and I have held many, many different roles within the party over decades.

If you want to tackle racism inside our organisation to make it more diverse, whether institutional or individual, because that’s just not liberal, give me your first preference vote.

Thank you for your attention.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Your vote matters and is a Vote for Hope, Action and Transformation.

From when I arrived in London as a teenager, Sir John Major was Prime Minister and I felt a connection with the city. Firstly at university, and later whilst living in Islington, my political views formed and I joined the Liberal Democrats.

Recently I was honoured to be elected as your London Regional Diversity Champion. With considerable success I helped increase participation and engagement within our inclusion and diversity teams. In 2020 I founded the national BLACK Liberal Democrats with the mission to make heard the voice of Black members within the Party.

Making the Party relevant to the UK’s diverse groups of voters will be key to any Liberal Democratic success and will unlock our future.

I will call out injustice and celebrate success as I find them. I will help build our Party back.
I guarantee to make our Party better reflect the diversity and inclusion of the communities we serve.
I will empower our members to fully participate in the setting of our regional agendas. I will encourage a participatory approach to decision making and foster a shared ownership of decisions. I will use patience and understanding when working with people from diverse communites, age groups, ethnicity and nationalities.
And not forget the needs of young adults and marginalized communities.

I care deeply about our unique and diverse communities and will continue to work tirelessly for the well-being of society. We are surrounded by local, regional and global change. Our work-ethics and life-styles are rapidly changing. I will bring our LibDem values to the fore when campaigning and raise awareness of what we stand for.
Following COP26, what is needed is meaningful engagement with our communities through which we can empower and build more inclusive Britain, a caring Britian fit for the 21st Century, in a safe and sustainable world.
So my vision for London is a place based on a thriving and sustainable economy, where the air is fit to breathe, a place driven by green innovation, where every child, man and woman reaches their full potential.

I believe London can maintain a global presence, founded on circular and carbon economies made widely available through our expertise in, and access to, green finance.
In this country I believe a silent majority has for too long been ignored. Taken for granted. Let us give these people a voice. Let us once again be the voice of the people. Of all the people. Promoting inclusion is everyone's responsibility. Together we can make a difference.
It is vital we truly reflect and understand the needs of our region. I can be that agent of change and with your support, advance the understanding of what we, the Liberal Democrats, represent. And gain electoral success.
I ask for your first preference vote.

Together reclaim the future. Together Achieves More.
Vote me as your First Preference.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

North Shropshire beckons!

by Mark Pack on Wed, 17 Nov 2021

Our campaign has already got off to a flying start in the by-election caused by Owen Paterson’s disgrace.

The local party had already made impressive progress in this May’s local elections. They secured a clear second place and created many marginal Conservative-Liberal Democrat wards.

Now we have a brilliant opportunity to turbo-charge that growth in our support and to see just how angry voters are about sleaze and sewage. Ed Davey is already on his third visit there.

Whether it’s by helping in person, on the phones or with your wallet, please do help too. You can donate online or sign up to volunteer. Thank you!

Thank you also to Simone Reynolds and Simon Drage, respectively our candidate and agent for the Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election. More details here.

Have your say in how the party is run

There are two musts for how our party is run. It must be run in a way that is true to our values, and it must be run in a way that helps us work together to be successful.

Sadly, our 2019 General Election Review (the Thornhill Review) found major flaws in how the party operated. That cost us votes and seats.

Since its publication, the Federal Party has been making many changes in response, as I’ve covered in previous reports. But there is still important work to do.

One of the Review’s key findings was about the Federal Board itself:

There is no clear ‘leadership team’ where the three pillars of the party – political, operational, federal – can make cohesive decisions, simply, quickly, and effectively. The Federal Board – 40+ members – is not, cannot, and should not be that team.

So the Board is consulting on options for Board reform, and will put one or more to Spring Conference for members to make a decision.

As part of this we are running a consultation survey. Please do give your views via the consultation survey here.

You can also read this summary of our current arrangements.

The survey will close on Wednesday 8th December 2021.

Why we must stand more candidates in council elections

Earlier this month I wrote for the party website about the importance of increasing the number of council elections we contest: “The merits of standing in a council by-election we have a chance of winning are obvious. So too for wards which we might hope to win in the future and where the by-election is a chance to accelerate that progress. But there are also huge benefits in standing even in wards that we are not likely to win for a very long time yet (if ever).”

You can find out what those benefits are in my full piece here.

Voting underway for Vice President

Voting is open in the election for our Vice President responsible for working with ethnic minority communities. If you’ve not yet received a ballot either by email or post, please email elections@libdems.org.uk and the team will be happy to help.

The six candidates manifestos are on the party website, along with details of the hustings.

Members have until noon on Friday 10th December to vote.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Join our Business Network!

by Sir Ed Davey MP on Mon, 15 Nov 2021

The Liberal Democrats have always understood that thriving businesses and motivated entrepreneurs are central to our communities, innovation, quality of life and international standing we all want.

It was the Liberal Democrats who pioneered wind power generation, foresaw the banking crisis, and are today prepared to work to rebuild the trading environment damaged by Brexit and the pandemic. 

LDBN are a community of likeminded business people who know the Lib Dems are the natural political home for business. We support the party with our fees, our expertise and our insights into the practical challenges facing businesses today.

Membership of LDBN ranges from £2,500 to £25 per year, with member packages tailored to all stages in your career. 

Being a member gives you access to special events, insider briefings on our campaigns and the chance to join discussions on issues that affect the future of our economy.

We hope you will join us and become an LDBN member today.

Join LDBN!

Will you help us grow LDBN even further by sending this message to your friends and family, and encourage them to join too? 

Thank you. 

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Read the manifestos: your Vice President candidates

by Greg Foster on Thu, 11 Nov 2021

Voting opened today in the election for our first ever Vice President responsible for working with ethnic minority communities. Over the next few days, members will receive an email or letter advising them of how to vote for the candidate of their choice and members have until 1200 on Friday December 10th.

You can read the manifestos the candidates have produced for the election here:

Amna Ahmad.

Roderick Lynch.

Tahir Maher.

Julliet Makhapila.

Rabi Martins.

Marisha Ray.

Candidates appear here in alphabetical order by surname.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Challenging Tory sleaze in the North Shropshire by-election

by Liberal Democrats on Fri, 05 Nov 2021

Owen Patterson has resigned in a cloud of Tory sleaze. He’s handed us a golden opportunity to send a message to this Conservative government - but we need to grab it now.

The Lib Dems are in the best possible position to compete with the Tories. We are the clear alternative to the Tory vote. 

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Our future, your choice

by Jack Coulson on Fri, 05 Nov 2021

The 2019 General Election Review (the Thornhill Review) set out how we must change in order to succeed at future elections. Since its publication, in many areas we have made strides, but there is still much to do.

The Party is currently consulting with members on our governance. Yet more Tory sleaze this week highlights how important for the country it is that we, once again, become a competitive liberal voice in the UK.

As part of that consultation, we are hosting a range of events. These include two chances to take part in a Q&A session with Dr Mark Pack and Baroness Dorothy Thornhill.

If you would like to join us, you can register for one of our sessions:

We look forward to seeing you there.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

One rule for the Conservatives, another for the rest of us

by Wendy Chamberlain on Wed, 03 Nov 2021

Why we must stand in more council elections

by Mark Pack on Wed, 03 Nov 2021

The merits of standing in a council by-election we have a chance of winning are obvious. So too for wards which we might hope to win in the future and where the by-election is a chance to accelerate that progress.

But there are also huge benefits in standing even in wards that we are not likely to win for a very long time yet (if ever).

One set of benefits comes from the opportunity to practice, train and learn. Winning elections isn’t easy and some of the skills required are very hard to pick up outside politics.

So we should be using every opportunity to add to our experience, try out things and get better.

Even if we don’t do very much, or any, campaigning, there is still the chance for a new election agent to practice getting the paperwork right. Or to take a new person out on their very first canvassing session. Steps such as those are if anything easier in a ‘no hope’ by-election as the pressure is much less and so you can concentrate on the learning.

Those benefits are specific to by-elections on their own. There are other benefits too, which apply even if you’ve got other elections on the same day - and to non-target wards in the usual run of elections.,

First, it’s good for democracy. Having different parties put up candidates is the necessary condition for voters to make choices between them. The mere act of having your name on the ballot paper is a contribution to making democracy function – and democracy could do with all the contributions we can give.

Second, it’s good for voters. It’s deeply frustrating for many voters when they turn up to vote and see their preferred party isn’t on the ballot paper. They may just feel frustrated (and crikey, do they feel frustrated as I know having had the job of fielding such complaints from voters in the past). Or they may also blame the party for, in their eyes, treating them with disdain for not giving them a candidate to vote for. Frustration or frustration and disdain; either way, that’s not how we should be leaving voters feeling.

Third, it’s good for the party. One of the biggest challenges the Liberal Democrats face is to build up a large group of loyal supporters who persistently support us. Our core support is much smaller than that of our main rivals – and we suffer for it. It makes us more vulnerable to bad times. It means we have further to go and harder to work to get to the winning post than rival parties with larger core votes.

Yet the one sure way to ensure people don’t become persistent supporters is to insist that they should not be allowed to vote for us thanks to not putting up a candidate. No Liberal Democrat on the ballot paper means us saying to voters: ‘we refuse to let you be loyal supporters of us’.

Standing also helps the party identify better where its support currently is, and isn’t. Having a full slate of candidates across the board helps spot areas that can be promising to target and try to win in the future.

All of which is why even if being a candidate does not mean more than getting a name on a ballot paper, it’s still a valuable contribution to make.

Hundreds of party members do that every May and in between at by-elections – thank you.

With next May’s elections nearing, it’s a terrific contribution you can make if you join them and ensure another vacancy has a Liberal Democrat name next to it come May.

And in the meantime, let’s contest as many council by-elections as possible.

There is lots of support and resources available, for everyone from a possible first-time candidate through to an experienced agent working in a marginal ward. Do get in touch if you’d like to know more about how to access this.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

International Aid: What Next

by Greg Foster on Tue, 02 Nov 2021

Meet your candidates for Vice President

by Greg Foster on Wed, 27 Oct 2021

Nominations closed for the Vice President responsible for working with ethnic minority communities election today at noon and six candidates had obtained enough nominations to appear on the ballot.

Those candidates* are:

Amna Ahmad who was nominated by 52 members and 1 local party

Roderick Lynch who was nominated by 65 members and 1 SAO

Tahir Maher who was nominated by 13 members

Julliet Makhapila who was nominated by 23 members

Rabi Martins who was nominated by 7 members and 1 local party

Marisha Ray who was nominated by 55 members

*Candidates appear here in alphabetical order by surname.

You can read the manifestos the candidates have produced for the election here:

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Governance consultation 2021

by Mark Pack on Tue, 26 Oct 2021

How the Party is run, by, and on behalf of, every member is fundamental to how successful we are at delivering our liberal vision of Britain.

The 2019 General Election Review (the Thornhill Review) set out how we must change in order to succeed at future elections. Since its publication, in many areas we have made strides, but there is still much to do.

A key recommendation was that we “Review ongoing governance” at all levels, including the Federal Board. On the Board it found that:

There is no clear ‘leadership team’ where the three pillars of the party – political, operational, federal – can make cohesive decisions, simply, quickly, and effectively. The Federal Board – 40+ members – is not, cannot, and should not be that team.

These problems meant that decisions were taken in more fragmented and less accountable ways. A reformed Board, therefore, might therefore both improve decision making and also make it more accountable.

The review also identified a need to improve the coordination between different parts of the party so that, for example, different committees are more clearly working towards one overall strategy.

Turnout in the last Board election was around 10%, which suggests that greater clarity around the role of Board members would be helpful to get better engagement by and accountability to members.

A key distinction between members of the current Board is their remit. Some Board members have a specific portfolio, for instance the President is elected by party members to a job that includes chairing the Board, or the Young Liberal representative is elected by Young Liberal members to specifically add their perspective. Some Board members do not have a specific portfolio, but instead are elected to be ‘Board members’ in general. Currently, our Board is a hybrid: it has a mix of these types of members and the combination adds up to a large Board.

Therefore, this questionnaire is based around four different possible approaches:

  • Retain the status quo - the current large hybrid Board model;
  • Retain a hybrid model (portfolio holders plus non-portfolio members) but reduce the numbers of each to make for a smaller Board;
  • Have a smaller Board, comprised of portfolio holders - with possibly an additional accountability structure to hold them to account in between conferences (this additional structure might be based on a Cabinet and full council model or on a Cabinet and scrutiny committee model); or
  • Have a smaller Board, comprised of non-portfolio members.

This consultation is designed to help understand which options are most attractive to members and therefore to help boil down the wide range of possible solutions. Based on your feedback, the Board intends to bring at least one option for reform to the 2022 Spring Federal Conference.

You can take part in the consultation by responding to this survey. Before you do, you may want to read this summary of our current arrangements, or come along to one of the consultative events:

Events list 

Please note that this is a live events list and will be updated with new events as they are scheduled. 

Title

Description Time Register here!

Q&A with Baroness Dorothy Thornhill and Party President Mark Pack (1)

Join the author of the 2019 General Election review and President Mark Pack for a discussion of where the Party is and where we need to be doing. 

20:00-21:00, Tuesday 9th of November

Registration

An introduction to our current structures (1)

45 minute presentation and Q&A for members wanting to know more about our current structures. Led by our Company secretary, Jack Coulson. 

18:00-19:00, Wednesday 17th of November 

Registration

 

Q&A with Baroness Dorothy Thornhill and Party President Mark Pack (2)

 

Join the author of the 2019 General Election review and President Mark Pack for a discussion of where the Party is and where we need to be doing.

18:00-19:00, Monday 22nd of November

Registration

An introduction to our current structures (2)

45 minute presentation and Q&A for members wanting to know more about our current structures. Led by our Company secretary, Jack Coulson. 

18:00-19:00, Monday 29th of November 

Registration

Q&A with Baroness Dorothy Thornhill and Party President Mark Pack (3) Join the author of the 2019 General Election review and President Mark Pack for a discussion of where the Party is and where we need to be doing. 18:00-19:00, Tuesday 30th of November Registration 

 

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Ed Davey responds to Philip Davies

by Liberal Democrats on Fri, 22 Oct 2021

Conservative MP Philip Davies has started taking a surprising interest in the Liberal Democrats' commitment to an equal parliament, and our internal selection procedures.

Perhaps he has decided to turn his back on his sexist views, or perhaps he has a different motive.

Read Philip Davies' letter to Ed Davey, and Ed's reply:

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Another step towards scrapping the Vagrancy Act 🙌

by Layla Moran on Wed, 20 Oct 2021