Busy few days at the Labour Party Conference opened with a fringe meeting on commissioning on the Sunday night. CLG Minister Parmjit Dhanda MP opened our joint fringe with the LGIU followed by there Chief Executive Andy Sawford, myself and finally John Tizzard. We have a healthy debate and agree that we cannot allow the agenda on commissioning to recreate false barriers like client / contractor splits and shift towards local government becoming an enabler without also fulfilling its crucial role as a provider.
We hold other fringes on the economic footprint of local government (with CLES), insourcing, social housing and joint waste authorities (with Enterprise). They all go fairly well despite the intense competition on the fringe programme.
I am also asked to respond to Local Government Minister John Healey MP at a Fabian breakfast fringe on the future of public services and colleague Mo Baines speaks on a UNISON platform with Communities Minister Hazel Blears MP.
Prime Ministers wife Sarah Brown visits our stand along with a host of Government Ministers. All in all a useful few days which allowed APSE to promote its policies and research to the highest levels of Government.