It’s time to build on the Party’s recent successes, Leader Stewart Arnold tells delegates in his introduction to the guide to this Autumn’s Conference.
In his welcome to the Hull Conference, which starts on Friday afternoon (October 12), Stewart says: “The past year has been another year of substantial progress for the party. We have more members, more supporters and are better organised than at any point in our short history.
“Elections in May showed that we are now the third party in much of Yorkshire. The future for the Party continues to look very positive.
“This conference will help us to sharpen our campaigning to build on our successes and to continue to develop a vision for how we want Yorkshire to look in the future.”
In addition to guest speakers already announced, the final programme features two of the Party’s parish councillors – Matt Clover and Bob Buxton, who both serve on the Executive Committee – who will talk about how the Party can help to shape local government.
Already announced as an international speaker is Anders Eriksson, one of the vice-presidents of the European Free Alliance. In 2003, Anders founded Ålands Framtid, which campaigns for self-governing Åland to be independent from Finland. He is one of the party’s two members of the Åland Parliament. He will talk about bringing decision closer to the people.
Another international speaker is Attila Dabis. Attila is Foreign Affairs Commissioner to the Szekler National Council, a non-governmental organisation representing the hundreds of thousands of Szekler Hungarians living in Szeklerland, Transylvania (in modern-day Romania). He will put an international perspective on gaining greater autonomy.
Councilor Mike Jordan, among the team assssing the devolution look
Details have also been confirmed for the panel-led discussion ‘Vision for Yorkshire: What Would Devolution Look Like?’ The Saturday noon session will be chaired by Party Chairman Arnie Craven, with a team of Stewart; recently elected Executive Committee member Laura Walker; Councillor Mike Jordan, who sits on both Selby District and North Yorkshire county councils; and Mick Swales, the Former Chief of Staff for Labour MP Gerard Sutcliffe.
Unfortunately, the session on the business case for devolution – planned for Friday afternoon – has been postponed, and Friday’s business will now start at 4.30pm in the Wesley Room at Jubilee Central with the Party’s AGM for members.
As well as formal reports, members will hear a speech from Laura on leading community campaigns, will be asked to vote on constitutional reforms, and will be asked to take part in a members’ forum to ask questions, share ideas and shape the Party’s future.
Deputy Leader Chris Whitwood, who has helped to organise this year’s event, said: “This Conference is a fantastic opportunity for members to meet, share ideas and shape the Party’s vision for Yorkshire.
“We are delighted to welcome some fantastic guest speakers and workshops – an indication of the Yorkshire Party’s growth and determination to ensure Yorkshire’s voice will be heard.”