For the first time in three years, the showpiece event of the local government calendar will take place in person when we gather in Harrogate for the LGA’s annual conference at the end of June.
We will meet in a world much changed from the summer of 2019 in Bournemouth, and this conference will provide an opportunity for us to reflect on the two seminal events that have occurred since then: the pandemic and Putin’s war in Ukraine.
While I believe it is important to look forward and consider how we can build back better from COVID-19, we will no doubt take the opportunity to reflect on the crucial role that local government played during the pandemic and the lessons that we can learn from that.
Equally, I am sure that we will be united in condemning Russia’s atrocities in Ukraine and in expressing our solidarity with the Ukrainian people, including those who have found new homes here in the UK.
“Annual conference will provide an opportunity to discuss our response to the current cost-of-living pressures, as well as more long-standing issues”
The conference will also provide an opportunity to discuss our response to the current cost-of-living pressures – which are overwhelmingly due to the re-opening of the global economy and the economic impact of the war in Ukraine – as well as more long-standing issues, such as the future of adult social care, civility in public life, levelling up, special educational needs and disabilities, planning, and local government finance, to name but a few.
The Conservative Group will hold three group meetings and a dinner on the Wednesday evening. Further details about these events will be provided in our email bulletin just before the conference (see also www.local.gov.uk/conference). As usual, we will have a stand in the exhibition area, where you can meet the group office staff and find out more about our work.
The return to an in-person LGA conference marks an important milestone in our recovery from the pandemic, and I am really looking forward to seeing many of you in Harrogate for what promises to be a busy and enjoyable event.