Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Ensuring that Kent has its say

Went up to Local Government House in Smith Square, Westminster today, representing Kent County Council at the Executive meeting of the County Councils Network. I find these meetings really useful, as an opportunity for leaders of county councils up and down the country to meet and discuss issues of importance to upper tier authorities.

On today's agenda were briefings on local government finance settlements and legislative changes; updates on work we're undertaking on localism and Comprehensive Area Agreements; a debate on moving the date of the County elections next year to coincide with European elections; and news on the process towards creating Unitary authorities in Devon, Norfolk and Suffolk.

We also enjoyed briefings and robust discussions with both Stuart Jackson, Shadow Minister for Communities and Local Government, and Charles Woodd from the Department for Communities and Local Government, the architect of the "Empowered Communities - Implementing the White Paper" document from DCLG.

It's a long day - I got home around 4.30 this afternoon - but return with more information from a day like this than I could glean in weeks. And managed to ensure that Kent had its say!

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