Thursday 07 September 2006
Sir Robin Wales opens the conference in a talk about the contribution the 2012 Olympics will make in regenerating the East End of London, the ripple effect elsewhere in the country and the important role sport plays in promoting social inclusion and cohesion within communities. Sue Reid from DCLG gives some great plugs for APSE in her talk on the future for local government, recognising how integral we can be to driving the improvement and efficiency agenda. Over 200 delegates here the endorsement and I am very pleased at this point. Sue and me then go off to do an interview with the Local Government News Channel who are covering the conference, the questions are pretty general and it appears to go fine.
The second plenary produces some great moments with Irene Lucas an absolute star as usual, even the other speakers praise her contribution and she really captures the mood of what local government should be all about, making the rest of us jealous that we can't quite articulate our views as coherently. Dick Sorabji from NLGN and Oona Muirhead from the LGA also put in some high quality thoughts and Fergus Chambers from Glasgow brings the house down with some humorous video clips that he has incorporated into his slot, risky to say the least but everyone appears to take it in the spirit of things.
The session breaks and delegates head off to the exhibition area for lunch before spending the afternoon in the themed breakout sessions.
The evening activities begin with the AGM and the mood of the hall seems fine with the strategy I outline for the future and the review of the year that Mark Bramah and me present. Some food and entertainment in the shape of casino tables with background music follows. The evening is sponsored by Newham Council and Sir Robin Wales practicises his repottaire of jokes on the audience, the Council prove to be great hosts.