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Round up of Chinese Liberal Democrats in Glasgow

September 23, 2013 3:57 PM

Graham Watson MEP at CLD fringe event in GlasgowUK-China Twinned Cities

On Sunday 15 September, CLDs hosted a lunchtime fringe event on "UK-China twinned cities: a gesture of friendship or a viable channel for trade and investment for Regional Cities" at the Morar Room of the SECC.

CLD's post graduate researchers Carl Carlstedt and Chris Georgiou gave a slick presentation with slides showing how twinning between cities and regions can bring in new jobs and opportunities to the regions and help UK companies find new markets overseas. Based on their qualitative research looking into 4 pairings (Liverpool and Shanghai, Sheffield and Chengdu, Nottingham and Ningbo and Manchester and Wuhan) they were able to extrapolate some six key ingredients that help make such collaborations work.

Panel speakers Graham Watson MEP, Duncan Hames MP and Sheffield entrepreuner Jerry Cheung lent their views on how European funding could be tapped to kick start some of these long term projects, on questions surrounding human rights and the invaluable role of the local British-Chinese communities. A lively discussion ensued with members of the audience (including Lord Tim Clement-Jones, Cllr Richard Kemp from Liverpool) sharing views on the term "twinning" given their post war connotations and on strategies local councils should pursue to foster these cross border relationships.

Immigration Fringe

Merlene Emerson chaired an evening fringe meeting on Monday 16 Sep jointly organised by EMLD with APPG on Migration and Migration Matters Trust entitled: "Where is the Leadership Going on Immigration".

The keynote speaker at the fringe event was Sir Andrew Stunell, head of the party's immigration taskforce and a proponent of the need to have immigration policies that are popular with the electorate as well as being liberal. Migrants Rights Network Director, Don Flynn, gave an impassioned speech calling for real solutions to current problems with over stayers and suggested that a more regionally-focused immigration policy might provide a solution.

Julia Onslow Cole from Migration Matters spoke of the negative impact of current policy on skilled workers and students and agreed that 'regionalisation' could be part of the answer. Catherine Bearder MEP lent a more European perspective to the debate whilst lawyer and blogger, Nick Thornsby, shared his understanding of the views of liberals as well as of the general public on the great immigration debate.

EMLD executive member Dr Turhan Ozen, tweeted that it was "the most interactive conference event I have attended."

Merlene Emerson speaking at Glasglow ConferenceChinatown or Casinotown?

One of the motions passed at Conference was on High Street Betting Shops and this was passed by Conference on Tuesday 17 Sep, calling on the Liberal Democrats in government to push for:

"1. Betting shops to be put in a new separate planning use class, allowing local authority planning committees to control their number within town centre or high street areas and reinforce local authorities capacity to do so by way of appropriate amendments to the national Planning Policy Framework.

2. The Gambling Act to be amended to allow council licensing committees to take into account the cumulative impact of a proliferation of gambling activities when considering applications."

Don Foster proposed the motion whilst Merlene Emerson was one of the speakers called to speak in favour of the motion.

CLD Birthday Dinner with Lord Paddy Ashdown

Conveniently located in the historic Rotunda just outside the SECC, Yen Oriental Restaurant turned out to be the perfect venue for CLD's 7th birthday celebrations.

Neville Farmer, Merlene Emerson and Sarah Yong welcomed some 65 guests including a group of ladies from the Glasgow Chinese Women's Association. The dinner was also well supported by guests from the Parliamentary Candidates Association, the Leadership programme, Euro candidates as well as from various local parties.

Surprise guests on the night included Baroness Sue Garden, Ramesh Dewan and Chief Executive Tim Gordon. Despite the extra numbers, the restaurant coped admirably without any compromise in the high standard of the food, nor did Paddy disappoint with his address (in both English and Mandarin) concluding with a quote from the poetry of Tagore, as we remain "united in our diversity".

Here is a full page spread of Singtao's coverage of the events in their weekend issue 21-22 September: click here