Conferences 2010 - Logistics, Lib Dems and Liverpool

Posted on: Wednesday, 22 September 2010 by Mike Webb in categories Media and campaigns, Liberal Democrat

James Hookham in talks at the Liberal Democrat conferenceJames Hookham and Norman Baker at the Lib Dem Transport Hub event


Five months after the frantic activity of the 2010 general election, the party conference season kicked off as usual with the Liberal Democrat conference. There was quite a feeling of “out with the old, in with the new” about the gathering, with the Lib Dems holding their first ever main conference in Liverpool, and more importantly their first ever conference in Government. Indeed, the last time the Liberals (as the party was at the time) were in Government prior to the current coalition Britain was fighting the First World War.

For FTA, the conference was a busy one with a packed programme of meetings with MPs, policy formers and others sitting alongside the first ever Transport Hub, which has been project managed by FTA.

The Transport Hub was a great success in Liverpool, with the opening event, FTA’s discussion of infrastructure priorities alongside Lib Dem Transport Minister Norman Baker MP, seeing people turned away from the meeting room as there was simply too much demand! Mr Baker revelled in the opportunity to promise a huge transformation of the way Britain is governed following the publication later this year of the Government’s Localism Bill, and was intriguingly keen to stress that contrary to some fears the transport industry “won’t hate everything” that comes out of the Comprehensive Spending Review on October 20.

FTA also organised the Transport Hub’s inaugural Question Time event, which saw another packed meeting room quizzing a varied panel on everything from buses to the Severn tolls to planning restrictions on rail freight terminals. Please go to for more details on the Transport Hub.

One of the most important functions of conference season for an organisation like FTA is the opportunity to meet with MPs and get our points across. FTA were very active in doing this in Liverpool, discussing the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review, the Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme, transhipment and rail freight access with a range of MPs; including Transport Select Committee man John Leech; Martin Horwood, the Chair of the new backbench Transport policy committee; and the new man in Norwich South Simon Wright.



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