We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Wera Hobhouse

Saturday 15th June 2019

GLD Conference at Nottingham University

Keynote Speaker - Wera Hobhouse MP

Final Conference Programme

See also : PDF version of timetable and Single Column version for phones

This is now the definitive programme for the day. There are several changes from the earlier draft programme
There will be separate strands during the morning after Wera Hobhouse's Keynote Speech

There will also be a separate "training strand" for New Councillors, running from 10.15 onwards, so please make every effort to arrive if you are booked onto that strand.

The registration desk will be open in the Foyer from 9.30 onwards and tea coffee and biscuits will be available as you arrive. Networking over coffee is a significant exercise in itself, There is plenty of room to circulate and make connections. The main programme opens with a Plenary session starting at 11.00 am

The separate discussion strands start at 11.45

Room A26 will host a session with Bill Newton Dunn MEP talking about his hopes for a cross-national approach to tackling the Climate Crisis, with a brief Q & A session before he has to dash off to several other pressures of being our local MEP. This will be followed by Professor Edward Hanna from Lincoln University explaining the latest research into the rapid Ice Melt on the Greenland Ice sheet. Have we yet reached a significant "Tipping Point" or not? Chair Natasha Chapman

Room A24 will host two sessions from 11.45 to 12.30 and from 12.30 to 13.15 dealing with aspects of the "Natural World" both chaired by Keith Melton Vice Chair (Campaigns) for GLD

Birdgirl (Mya-Rose Craig)


Hugh Warwick -

Hedgehog Hugh

  1. The first of these sessions will feature leading Blogger "BirdGirl" - Mya-Rose Craig who already has a vast following and reputation at the tender age of 16. She will be talking about biodiversity loss in the bird world as well as the issues encompassed in ecouraging ethnic minorities into environmental activism. Mya-Rose will be followed by Hugh Warwick, often referred to as Hedgehog Hugh, who will also be addressing biodiversity loss, but also about habitat fragmentation being at the heart of ecosystem degradation.
  2. The second session will review ways of promoting natural biodiversity. Our own Cllr Pippa Heylings LD will look at what has been possible since the Liberal Democrats took control of South Cambridgeshire DC and what more may be done by Local Authorities & Richard Hebditch the Government Affairs Director of the National Trust will tell us about the huge tasks the National Trust face in managing their spectacular natural heritage sites to protect and improve biodiversity.

NEW Councillors training session

Room C01 will host the NEW Councillor training strand (starting at the earlier time of 10.15 before the first plenary session)

  1. The first of these sessions from 10.15 until 10.50 is entitled "Setting the agenda: 33 things Councillors can do" and will feature inputs from Cllr Steve Mason (a new councillor himself, but also Vice Chair - Politics for GLD); and Chris Crean a leading campaign specialist from Friends of the Earth. The session will be chaired by Mary Page
  2. The second session from 11.45 to 12.30 will review the processes involved in "Establishing Priorities for Environmental Action" in Local Authorities. Cllr Pippa Heylings - Environmental Committee chair for South Cambridgeshire District Council will advise about the powers available for Local Authorities to act positively on environmental issues and how to use them. And Cllr Louise Harris wil regale us with her many successful case studies as a councillor for Eastleight Borough Council. She is now a councillor in South Gloucestershire. GLD Chair Cllr Graham Neale will chair this session and also the third session below.
  3. The third session from 12.30 to 13.15 will look at the possibilities for "Divesting from fossil fuels" for LA pension funds led by Katie Critchlow. Then Councillors Louise Harris and Jane Brophy (now MEP!) will explain the detailed protocols involved in "Introducing Green topics into councils" from direct experience. All the sessions in this strand will have plenty of opportunity and time for Questions & Answers.


Room A07 will host the strand designed just for Young Green Lib Dems (or just the young at heart!)

  1. The first of these sessions from 11.45 to 12.30 will look at the success of the School Strike phenomenon inspired by teen activist Greta Thunberg and the recent huge actions of eXtinction Rebellion (XR). Sam Harris, XR and school strike activist will join the panel to speak about his personal experiences as an environmental activist and how it has informed his decision to be involved in politics to help save the planet. Our new Youth Officer, 15 yr old Pushkin Choudhury, will introduce the topic, followed by a wider discussion of the implications of these events for Changing the World! The session will be chaired by Mary Page, Liberal Democrat 2020 Mayoral candidate for Bristol
  2. The second session from 12.30 to 13.15 will look at a wide range of Green issues with a panel of young people all involved in environmental activism. The panel comprises: James and Cllr Jack Dart, Leena Sarah Farhat PPC & Senedd(Camarthenshire East and Dinefwr), Joel Baccas, Sam Harris (XR) and Aimee Challenor. The title of the session is Time for Action and will be Chaired by Pushkin Choudhury.
  3. The third session in this strand will follow the first plenary session of the afternoon and will take place from 14.45 to 15.30. It is entitled Time for Action - CAMPAIGN PLANNING and will feed in to the third plenary session on campaign planning, overall, for the Green Liberal Democrats. This session will be chaired by experienced Green Campaigner Cllr Louise Harris.


In the last 12 months the IPCC predictions about the Climate Catastrophe have become much more urgent. Recognised as such by the UN General Secretary, speaking in late 2018.

"If we do not change course by 2020, we risk missing the point where we can avoid runaway climate change, with disastrous consequences for people and all the natural systems that sustain us." António Guterres

We will focus on the Climate Crisis and other issues during the afternoon sessions of the Conference and examine the implications for politics generally and the implications for the role of the Green Liberal Democrats in particular. It will be a facilitated debate with some model guides for discussing the Transformational Change envisaged by the recent Paris UN conference about Bio-diversity held in early May 2019

We hope to have copies available of the executive summary of the report of the Party`s Climate Change working group to send to you in advance to consider. The first of these plenary sessions will concentrate on the report and will be led by Vice Chair of the Federal Policy Committee (FPC) Duncan Brack and will be chaired by Keith Melton.

The second plenary session from 14.45 to 15.30 will feature a general discussion of priorities (including more discussion of the Climate change report) and this wil be Chaired by Peter Bruce, Organisational Vice chair of GLD.

The third session after the afternoon tea-break will take a free-ranging look at our forward planning for political campaigning to raise the profile of these issues within the Liberal Democrats and on a wider canvas of UK campaigning. The session will be led, jointly , by Political Vice Chair, Steve Mason and Campaigning Vice Chair Keith Melton. GLD Chair, Graham Neale, will chair the session and try and keep order!

It is still possible (and to be encouraged!) for you to register for the GLD conference if you have not yet done so


Green Hustings

The GLD conference will be followed by our Green Hustings for the Leadership contest of the Liberal Democrats. This will be held in conjunction with the East Midlands Hustings, so conference delegates will be joined by an influx of East Midlands Liberal Democrats at 18.00 until the hustings closes at 19.30

Post Conference Dinner

There will be chance to get together after the conference, once the Hustings session has finished. The post-conference dinner will be held at Spokes Restaurant in the very nearby de Vere hotel, literally one minute`s walk away from the conference venue!

Nottingham University Business School Building 7 (Nottingham University)The Business School Building number7 at Nottingham University will provide the setting for our 2019 Conference as it did for last year`s conference in May. This is on the Jubilee Campus.

Keith MeltonIf you came to the 2018 conference and enjoyed it spread the word and bring a friend or two. We are expecting great things from our accreditation programme for council candidates who are members of GLD so there may well be a raft of new councillors sharing their first experiences of successful campaigning in the 2019 local elections - so we hope there will be plenty of great stories to tell and share. WATCH THIS SPACE…

Keith Melton - Vice Chair Campaigns (and, thus, Conference Organiser!)

short address:



See information about our 2018 conference at:

Vince speaking to Green Lib Dems conference in Nottingham, May 2018 (Kevin Daws)

Vince speaking to the 2018 GLD conference