The Conservative Party conference has been in Manchester the past few days and I managed to attend a few fringe meetings on APSEs behalf.
Shadow Treasury Minister Greg Hands and leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Stephen Greenhalgh spoke at the first event on regeneration. Stephen linked successful regeneration to the return of business rates to local government and improving local housing and infrastructure.
At a separate event on localism and economic resilience Leader of Westminster City Council, Colin Barrow spoke along with Mike Whitby, Leader of Birmingham City Council. Mike makes a very impressive case for Birmingham as a global city and understands the need to ensure community benefits from both public and inward investment. He suggested that the ingredients for local economic success were around keeping council tax rises small, streets clean, a decent housing stock in place, communities safe and educational attainment high.
George Osborne's pay freeze on public servants on salaries above £18,000 in 2011 was a bold move. With inflation likely to be on the rise again by this point it could prove a significant cut in real terms for those who are just above this benchmark.