Started the day with a private meeting with the civil servant charged with sorting out the mess that is the trading and charging guidance for English local government. The meeting takes place at the Chief Executive of Bedford, Shaun Fields office and Steve Cirell from Eversheds is also present.
We spend a good couple of hours outlining our significant views and experience to the civil servant, (Steve has probably the best legal knowledge of the issue in the country and Shaun is recognised has having tested the limits of the current legislation to the hilt). It's a bit disappointing when he takes very few notes and then invites us to a meeting of a fairly wide grouping of 'stakeholders'.
Oh well, I hope things prove more successful than the last time they adopted this approach 5 years ago!
In the evening we participate in a strategic debate on asset management and regeneration at Northampton Town Hall. The event is hosted by Council Leader, Cllr Tony Woods and also present is Chief Executive David Kennedy. Along with Shaun, Pete Murphy from CLG, colleagues from the private sector and other local authorities it makes for a really interesting discussion over dinner. It is really difficult not to allow things to become dominated by the credit crunch and the impact this is beginning to have on asset value, capital receipts and ultimately prudential borrowing.