It was great to see a real fighting spirit amongst APSE’s membership at the annual conference at St Georges Hall in Liverpool. A number of national organisations and their representatives appear to have recently become drained of spirit about local government’s future role, almost accepting that by 2020 local government will play a minimalistic part in society and the lives of local communities. That's not a view APSE shares and it was a chance to promote our 'Ensuring Council' model.
The debate amongst delegates encouraged by many of the speakers was how local government can respond to the financial and policy challenges faced, what strategies can be deployed to weather current storms and how the sector can invent its own future, rather than waiting for central government to prescribe one for it.
The event closed off with APSE’s service awards where many authorities were recognised for their excellent service delivery performance and best practice initiatives.