This morning saw the Kent Conservative Group from KCC coming together for a "Group Awayday" just outside Maidstone.
These days are immensely useful as, outside of normal County Council business, it's difficult to find time to meet as local elected Members and discuss political business. Today we talked about local issues, joint working with our District colleagues, and the 2009 County Council elections - only 52 weeks away today!
Other items were election strategies, target seats, and new technology-based methods of campaigning.
And we discussed our recent CPA result - the Audit Commission inspection for which, despite their much-vaunted "harder test" nature, Kent was this week awarded the highest rating: a 'four star excellent authority'. Only ourselves and Hampshire remain as the only County Councils nationally to have retained the four star excellent rating since the inspections began.
It was a lot of hard work for both staff and Members alike, and since the inspectors specifically mentioned our strong political leadership, we felt we should celebrate the fact.
Thanks to the generosity of our Leader, we enjoyed a glass of champagne and a well-deserved pat on the back.