Along with Mary Reid and (impressively well-organised) Kingston Liberal Democrats, I’ve been putting together an amendment for the Community Politics motion set to be debated at the Liberal Democrat conference in Birmingham.
The idea is to take the good ideas in the motion and take them a little further, especially into practical follow-up.
The text is below and if you are a voting conference rep willing to put your name to the amendment, please email your name, membership number and local party to Mary on firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks!
Amendment to F41: Community Politics
Line 33, replace ‘organise’ with ‘empower, enable and encourage’
After line 37 insert, then renumber:
3. The principle of subsidiarity to be adopted by elected representatives at all levels of government, ensuring that decision-making is devolved to the lowest feasible,democratically accountable level.
In lines 38-39 delete ‘ensure dialogue with the communities they serve’ and insert
listen and respond to the communities they serve by engaging with community groups and by seeking out those without advocates, and to ensure dialogue and personal contact
Add at end of motion:
and to help ensure these calls are turned into effective action, Conference calls on:
a) the Party President and the Federal Party to work with those responsible for candidate approval processes at all levels in the party to encourage changes in the approval processes to place a high value on would-be candidates having an understanding of, and commitment to, community politics;
b) the Federal Policy Committee to ensure that community politics runs strongly as a theme through the party’s policies and policy development process, and in particular to ensure that future policy papers contain an analysis of how the proposed policies will help community politics;
c) the Federal Executive and Federal Party staff to work with others such as ALDC and State Parties to ensure that the skills necessary for community politics have a prominent place in the party’s training programs and to provide grassroots campaigners with templates and materials to support community politics activity;
d) the Federal Party to use Federal Party communications to supply party members and supporters with campaigns they can directly participate in which support the party’s national policy priorities;
e) the Federal Executive and Federal Finance and Administration Committee to make support for and promotion of community politics one of the criteria when allocating grants to party bodies;
f) Liberal Democrat ministers to use the language of community politics rather than adopting the vocabulary of other political parties; and
g) the Party President, the Federal Executive and the Federal Policy Committee to report back on their own contribution to progress in these areas as part of their reports to the 2012 federal party conferences.