Our National Chair Cllr John Kerr-Brown and myself participated in a conference at the European Commission in Brussels today on how European legislation on services is impacting on local public enterprises. We made some useful contacts with other organisations interested in local services such as the European Centre for Public Enterprises (CEEP) and the Network of European Elected Representatives for Local Services (NEELS). Unfortunately we didn't see much of Brussels as we arrived late the night before got a bit lost in the streets surrounding the Commission and left straight after the event.
Our Policy, Performance and Scrutiny Committee was held today in my old hometown of Motherwell. This was to allow several members of our committee and myself to participate in an event organised jointly by North Lanarkshire Council and APSE on the impact proportional representation (PR) will have on the functioning of Scottish local government, when it kicks in at next years local elections in May.
Went to parliament today to lobby David Curry MP, the former Conservative Local Government Minister, on housing issues. The delegation was a joint one between the Association of Retained Council Housing (ARCH) and ourselves. The irony of the situation wasn't lost on me that we were lobbying a former Conservative Government Minister on the issue of Council Housing and that the ARCH representatives were from Wandsworth. It just shows how much things can change in under 10 years.
At a Lyon's Inquiry event in London today on Efficiencies by virtue of better Asset Management. The day didn't start well 5.30am start doesn't agree with me anyway but when the train was stuck for 1 hour and 20 minutes outside Lichfield due to a points failure it left me late for the event. Stormed into the meeting 3/4 of the way into Sue Reids presentation and to compound my embarassment Sue waved to me, said hello and thirty odd participants turned round to view the latecomer.
On a time management course today so will need to be brief. All the senior staff were present and it was great fun watching all the 'busy' people trying to suggest how they were that well organised that the systems we were being taught would need to fit in with how they operated, rather them changing their own methods.
APSE held a fringe meeting today on Transforming Public Services at the SNP annual conference in Perth. This is got to be one of the best fringes the Association has ever done, there was over 70 delegates in attendance who were all interested in the topic rather than the lunch and the speakers were excellent.