The conference had a really upbeat mood, and the feedback that I received from councillors was very positive. There were lots of outstanding fringe events covering a wide range of policy issues that matter to local government, including devolution, housing, social care, homelessness, and domestic violence.
“If we can get Brexit done, we will have the opportunity to focus fully on our domestic agenda
I am grateful to my LGA Conservative Group colleagues who spoke at many of these events.
The LGA hosted two events at the conference: our fringe meeting, which was titled, ‘Why is the Queen’s Speech important for local government?’, and our ever popular evening drinks reception.
The debate allowed us to publicise and discuss our key asks of the Government ahead of the Queen’s Speech. Writing this a day after it was delivered, I am pleased that it contained a number of welcome announcements for local government, including a renewed focus on devolution in England, a commitment to bring forward proposals to reform adult social care, legislation to improve building safety, the announcement of a national infrastructure strategy, and measures to further protect the environment.
I was also delighted to welcome Robert Jenrick MP, our recently appointed Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, to our drinks reception. Robert thanked our councillors for their hard work on behalf of their local communities and recognised the crucial role that they play within the Conservative Party.
Rishi Sunak MP, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury (and former Local Government Minister), and Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, were also present and received a warm welcome from our guests.
I believe that if we can get Brexit done, we will have the opportunity to focus fully on our domestic agenda, allowing us to build a country that works for everyone, with a strong economy and world-class public services.
With a General Election possibly only a few weeks away, I came away from the conference more motivated than ever for the fight that lies ahead.