14/07/2014 Leave a comment
Last Monday I covered some mileage, firstly attending a Conservative group meeting at Suffolk County Council about strategies to deal with the budget gap, then off to Bournemouth for the LGA Conference.
After 6 years in Suffolk County Council’s cabinet it was slightly surreal to sit in yet another facilitated meeting but now free to voice my opinions without having to bite my tongue at…….., quite liberating in fact. Of course the wider funding picture has many possible hick-ups ahead and the biggest issues before us are the emerging Better Care Fund thinking and the implications of next April’s Care Bill introduction. If these bite as I think they will, I talked about and pondered what the implications of these would be. after a couple of hours and speaking of the bigger picture it was then off the Bournemouth.
On the way down I reflected that this was to be my 7th LGA Conference and a return to Bournemouth since my first and how over that time my roles have changed. Even more so this year having been purged for now, along with my identifiable supporters, from the County Council political hierarchy. So I went representing Forest Heath District Council thinking about the issues facing us as a District Council, how we make sure our residents get a fair share of Suffolk’s overall spend and that our District has a voice in the national local government debates. After checking into the once grand but now fading Carlton Hotel, still with a wonderful position atop the cliffs but a shadow of the hotel I spend many a family holiday in when I was a kid, it was off to have dinner with the rest of the Conservative Group Executive and to wish Sir Merrick Cockell one last goodbye as he contemplated his farewell speech to the Conservative group the next day and then to the wider Conference at its opening on Tuesday afternoon.