APSE's annual seminar took place this week at the Albert Halls in Nottingham and proved a huge success. The delegates, exhibitors and sponsors all gave APSE tremendous feedback and when the event concluded in the early hours of Friday morning the dance floor was still packed with some of the 800 guests who attended the service awards dinner.
The conference opened on Wednesday with Local Government Minister, John Healy MP, addressing the audience and taking a range of questions, I then had an opportunity to have a private meeting with John for a half hour before he dashed off on his hectic schedule. That evening we held the AGM of APSE and had an audience with former England goalkeeper and record cap holder, Peter Shilton.
On Thursday morning I chaired a lively session with the outspoken John Seddon who makes a great case for ignoring the legislative and regulatory framework imposed on local government and just concentrating on the service user. John talked a lot of sense and his vision is one that many of us who have worked on improving service delivery for many years have been frustrated at not being able to fully implement because of rules and regulations. Now all we have to do is convince central government and their regulators to hand over the tax yield and allow us to pursue the outcomes we think the customers want rather than what they think they do. Should be fairly easy now that all of the main political parties are committed to localism!!!
The main plenary closes with a highly entertaining talk from on mind surfing that gets people up out of their chairs and involved.
Its onwards to the annual dinner and awards at Nottingham's National Ice Arena, we have floored the ice and the room looks spectacular when the 800 guests arrive, Annabel Croft proves a first class host for the evening and Hull win the overall award.
When it's all over and done with I just want to go and lay down in a darkened room for a week, roll on next year.