16/07/2014 Leave a comment
As is tradition before the LGA Conference proper the political parties gather and at the Conservative group meeting I was delighted to be announced as re-elected to the Conservative Group Executive. A real honour and I was quite chuffed at the faith shown by colleagues after what has been a bruising year, (self-inflicted I might add) and I hope I can use the role to, in some small way, help local government have that vital voice, it needs, in setting the local government policy agenda at Westminster and across the increasing partnership working with Health .
As is the way of these things the conference was its usual mixture of networking, breakout sessions, some interesting and some less than interesting plenary sessions, drinks, food, and many, many planned and casual conversations. Beyond these I had a couple of formal contributions to make as I was booked to make 2 speeches and take part in the subsequent discussions. The first was in the, well……innovative, innovation zone hosted by the great Chairman of the LGA Innovation Board, Cllr. Peter Fleming, how was his usual self, fun, irreverent, enthusiastic and beyond the somewhat colourful outfits actually someone who has really championed and driven innovation as a key way we are going to continue to serve our communities as the money diminishes. I gave a short speech about my commitment to the Networked Councillor programme being delivered by the excellent Public-I and hopefully contributed to the important debate about the role of social media in how we connect with our residents, and hopefully explain and co-produce some of the new ways we need to deliver services in the future.
Then later, as other headed down the pier or to this or that venue for drinks receptions, I delivered a speech on Complaints with Mick King, Executive Director of the Local Government Ombudsman about the value and way in which we interpret complaints both to Councils and ultimately to his organisation, are they a reputational threat or something to inform organisational learning, which was the point I hope I got across.