Federal Conference Committee (FCC) chair Andrew Wiseman has announced plans to end this autumn’s Liberal Democrat conference on Tuesday rather than on Wednesday when it is held in Brighton this autumn.
Part of the plan is to make bigger use of the Saturday. This means the party can preserve the total amount of debating time for motions whilst reducing costs for people coming to conference by concentrating it in a shorter time period. Keeping down the costs to the party is also a factor in the minds of some of those who were debating the proposal.
Way back, conference used to end on a Thursday, with the preceding weekend used very little. Increasing use of the weekend went with switching to a Wednesday end, and so this latest move is in some ways a natural evolution.
Whether it will really save time for attendees remains to be seen. How many more people will feel they have to travel down on the Friday to be there for conference business first thing on the Saturday, so adding an extra cost at the front which cancels out the cost saved at the end?
That said, the move to both weekend days being ‘full’ conference days is a good move as it makes conference more accessible for people with work commitments, as they usually are freer at the weekend than in the week (e.g. teachers).
What do you think of the plans?
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