Spend a couple of days in London at a variety of events and meetings.
Attend a Fabian event on the future of local government at parliament where local government Minister John Healey speaks along with Simon Jenkins from the Guardian. It quickly turns into a debate about localism and whilst it's all interesting I started to think that I have been hearing the same arguments over and over again for the last 15 years. And I think some progress has been made with devolution to Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland and London. However my mind starts to drift to the fact that there may be some more urgent priorities facing local government at present.
I go over to the MJ and meet the Editor and Deputy Editor, Michael and Heather for a catch up. This weeks edition has already gone so we exit to the pub for a chat, where I wax lyrical about how local authorities can deliver business process reengineering themselves without bringing in external help. I should have known better the next day I receive an email from Heather asking for 700 words on the subject for the next edition.
The following day I attend a rountable discussion with the Centre for Public Service Partnerships and Unison on 'Public Service Partnerships and the Workforce'. It was Chatam house rules so I can't really say to much but I put forward points about a lack of uniformity of approach to the workforce by contractors, how we need joint monitoring on agreements that are in place, that we need research in this area and that we need to understand local economic value rather than just looking at cost.
The event was chaired by John Tizzard and Dave Prentis of Unison made an opening contribution. It was good to have such heavy hitting representatives of the private and public sector together and it brought an interesting dynamic to the discussion.
It was a lively discussion and I think it is one which will run for a bit.