Great to see you again!

Celebrating our local election successes and sharing good practice were at the centre of our offer at the LGA’s annual conference in Harrogate in late June. 

I was delighted to be able to welcome the Liberal Democrat Leader Sir Ed Davey MP to the conference – the only party leader who attended. 

Ed used the opportunity to showcase our councils’ successes up and down the country, and remind people of our three impressive by-election results, the most recent in Tiverton and Honiton, which saw Richard Foord’s stunning win. 

Harrogate was the largest gathering of Liberal Democrat councillors and council leaders at an LGA conference for some years. 

I was pleased to welcome Cllr Bill Revans, our new Leader at Somerset County Council, to his first conference, alongside Cllr Ann-Marie Barker, the new Leader of Woking Borough Council, and celebrate our return to control in Hull with its new Leader Cllr Mike Ross. 

“The growing cost-of-living crisis continues to dominate the agenda for a lot of councillors”

We also used the occasion to celebrate new Liberal Democrat-led administrations, including the new unitary authority in Westmorland and Furness, Huntingdonshire, Wokingham, West Oxfordshire, Colchester, and Powys – our first Lib Dem-led council in Wales since 2012. 

The growing cost-of-living crisis continues to dominate the agenda for a lot of councillors, so we used the conference to showcase the best from our councils, led by Bedford’s directly elected Mayor Dave Hodgson.

Whatever your political affiliation, everyone I spoke to was pleased to be back at an in-person event: congratulations to the LGA’s events team on a great conference.


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