Back in 2007, Rob Smith (a Liverpool Young Green at the time) and I pretty much organised our national Spring Conference at the Everton campus of Hope University, with some assistance from national conference organisers. It was a last minute booking after the original venue in Oxford was cancelled. It felt like we did a tremendous amount of work in a short space of time, while also helping on the election trail. It was a relatively small affair, but it did help generate some local coverage as we went into that election defending John Coyne's position as the only Green councillor in Liverpool.
In 2012, Spring Conference came back to Liverpool, this time at the Adelphi. Last year, Spring Conference was at St Georges Hall, and the feeling from a great number of the delegates was that this was a "real" party conference, based on the size of the venue. Guess what? We were booked at St Georges Hall again, but the #Greensurge of members and people coming to conference means we've had to move to the BT Convention Centre, next to the Echo Arena. We've sent out this press release locally today.
The Green Party of England and Wales have announced a change of Liverpool venue to accommodate the huge number of registrations for their Conference in March.
After initially booking St Georges Hall, where a previous Conference has been held, the Greens will now be meeting at the BT Convention Centre, attached to the Echo Arena . The location of the Conference, in the middle of the Liverpool Riverside constituency, a national target for the Greens, is a clear indication that they are targeting disaffected Labour voters.
Cllr John Coyne, leader of the Greens in Liverpool said:
“This is the fourth time we’ve brought Conference to Liverpool since I’ve been a Green councillor and the change in venue reflects our huge local and national growth.”
“In the last month we’ve seen Labour MPs abstain on the abolition of Trident and a moratorium on fracking. 4 out of 5 Liverpool MPs also supported George Osbourne’s “austerity charter” which commits the country to a further £30 billion of cuts.”
“We are seeing many former Labour and Liberal Democrat supporters move to us because they want a genuine alternative to further central government cuts which will reduce police on the streets, close our libraries, close our children’s centres and impose austerity on the people least responsible for it.”
Martin Dobson, Parliamentary Candidate for Liverpool Riverside, a target constituency for the Greens, added:
“We now have more than 50,000 national members, with more than 60,000 if you include the Scottish and Northern Irish Greens. This is many more than either the Liberal Democrats or UKIP and we are Britain’s 4th largest party by membership.”
“We’ve also seen huge growth in Liverpool, increasing to more than 500 local members last week. We are seeing many new members who are active in supporting party campaigns and that is going to make a big difference to our local election challenges to the Labour Party.”
“It’s an exciting time to be involved and we’ll be advertising events open to the public at the conference a little closer to the date.”
 Conference details here http://greenparty.org.uk/conference.html