Just arrived back from our annual seminar and awards at Cardiff and it was a great success.
The event opened with a bit of scene setting from the Welsh Local Government Minister, Dr Brian Gibbons and Emeritus Professor of Local Governance at LSE, George Jones. This could have been a 'we're all doomed session', however the quality of contributions by both speakers enabled delegates to keep the financial pressures faced in perspective.
Another day one highlight was World Champion Hurdler Colin Jackson who spoke about overcoming challenges to ultimately become the best in the world at his sport.
Our annual general meeting went smoothly with delegates entertained by former British Lion great, Phil Bennett.
A major debate took place around future models of service delivery with contributions from Professor John Tizard, Brian Devlin of AMEY PLC, Nic Cox of Solutions SK, Kath Moore of Newcastle City Council, Byron Davies Chief Executive of Cardiff City Council and myself. With so many speakers and overruns it was difficult to get beyond views expressed into real debate but it was a worthwhile exercise.
Onto APSE's annual service awards in the evening with 700 people present and it all went well despite one or two minor hiccups. We had the usual mixture of elated winners, sporting runners up and bad losers - who appear unable to accept that an independent panel of judges decided someone else was better.