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Come to Conference - Bournemouth, 19th-23rd September

August 3, 2015 3:55 PM

This autumn's Conference in Bournemouth will be a major marker in our party's history: the first UK conference since the General Election, Tim Farron's first conference as party leader, and the starting point for the review of fundamental principles that will shape party policies over the coming years.

We hope you'll be able to come.

If you haven't registered for Conference yet, it's not too late - and if you're not an elected voting representative it's not too late for you to ask your local party to appoint you; most local parties have not filled all their slots. Of course, you can come as an ordinary member, join in the debates, go to fringe meetings and socials, get to know the party's many organisations (including HSLD), and have a great time; but as a voting rep you also get a vote in every decision made by Conference.

Please join us for our fringe event and our AGM at Conference: both meetings are in hotels just outside the conference centre, so you can come even if you haven't registered for Conference.

OUR FRINGE EVENT: "SECULARISM - A CORE LIBERAL DEMOCRAT VALUE"

1pm, Monday 21st September, Clifton Suite, Hermitage Hotel

Of course, we want to ensure that secularism remains a core Liberal Democrat principle, ensuring the people of all faiths and none are given equal treatment by the state, so that's the theme of our fringe meeting.

We've already lined up Sally Hamwee (Baroness Hamwee), and Pavan Dhaliwal from the British Humanist Association, and we'll announce the rest of our speaker panel over the coming weeks.

OUR AGM, with guest speaker Keith Porteous Wood: "THE CHALLENGES FACING SECULARISM IN BRITAIN TODAY"

6.15pm, Sunday 20th September, Yeovil Suite, Marriott Highcliff

We've had another terrific year:

  • in October 2014, HSLD amendments on education and on the "Minister for Faith, Belief and Communities" become party policy for England and Wales;
  • in March 2015, Evan Harris' motion on freedom of expression was overwhelmingly carried as UK policy, while Gary McLelland's motion on assisted dying become party policy for Scotland.

We're looking forward to more achievements in the coming year, and our AGM is a great opportunity for you to become involved in making it happen. We'll be electing our entire committee, and we always welcome new talent so, if you think you might be up for it but aren't sure what it might involve, please do get in touch and talk it over with one of us. You can contact Gary at chair@hsld.org.uk or 0781 3060713, Kay Kirkham at kay.kirkham@gmail.com or 01535 275849, or me, Toby Keynes, at membership@hsld.org.uk or 0784 6396791.

But winning campaigns within the Liberal Democrats isn't enough! Our AGM guest speaker is Keith Porteous Wood from the National Secular Society, talking about why it's so important to persuade a hostile establishment that secularism matters today more than ever.

OUR EXHIBITION STAND

As always, we'll be running a stand at the exhibition. Please come along and meet members of the team.

It's a big job keeping the stand staffed throughout conference, so if you're willing to help for an hour or two please let me know (membership@hsld.org.uk or 0784 6396791) - or just come to the stand and have a word with us there.

We look forward to seeing you at Conference.