Making connections at party conference

After last year’s virtual Conservative Party Conference, it was great to meet so many colleagues and friends in Manchester for this year’s event. 

Our LGA fringe event, ‘Build back better local: how do we harness the power of local government to level up across the country,’ was held on the Sunday evening in front of a packed audience.

I was delighted to participate in this discussion, along with LGA Chairman Cllr James Jamieson, LGA President Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, former LGA Conservative Group Leader David Simmonds MP, and Jonathan Werran, the Chief Executive of Localis. 

“These events were a great opportunity to get important LGA messages to key audiences

Many thanks to everyone who attended and contributed to the lively debate. 

The following evening, James and I hosted our LGA drinks reception, where we were pleased to welcome Housing and Rough Sleeping Minister Eddie Hughes, from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), as the guest speaker. 

On the Tuesday, we had a very useful briefing and question and answer session with members of the DLUHC ministerial team, organised by the Conservative Councillors’ Association and sponsored by the LGA Conservative Group. 

This was a great opportunity for colleagues to meet our new Secretary of State, Michael Gove, for the first time, and I would like to thank Michael, Eddie Hughes and Chris Pincher for answering questions across a range of topics. 

I would also like to thank Conservative Group colleagues on LGA policy boards who spoke at various fringe meetings and other events organised by partner organisations throughout the conference. 

These events provided a great opportunity to get important LGA messages across to key audiences on a wide variety of different issues.

Finally, and on a very sad note, I was so very sorry to hear the news that our former Secretary of State, James Brokenshire, had died at the age of just 53. 

As evidenced by the cross-party tributes, James was a thoroughly decent man and a dedicated public servant, who was universally liked and respected. My thoughts are with his loved ones at this very sad time.  



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