Meeting and greeting

It was great to catch up with people I know at the County Show and meet the main sponsors from South Staffordshire College and their new Rural Enterprise Academy which opens in September.

Geoff Martin and John Rowley asked me to perform the difficult task of judging the floats for the Rugeley Horse Fair with Aidan Burley, and what I witnessed was truly great community spirit. There was lots of enthusiasm despite the cold weather and well done to Rugeley Youth Centre for winning the walking float!

The following Sunday I listened to an interesting sermon asking us to cherish politicians at our new Chairman’s Civic Service, before going home to help with sheep shearing. As the sermon said we local politicians do all manner of things in our day jobs!

I’ve also been down to London again, this time for an LGA Executive and Forum meeting, travelling by West Coast Main Line high speed train. Future Local Government finance and youth engagement were both on the agenda. Clive Betts MP and Graham Allen MP Chairmen of Parliament Select Committees gave us talks on their work and their thoughts on the future local government role.

The next day I opened the Rural Strategy Stakeholder Conference at Rodbaston, with over 50 delegates coming together to agree a coordinated rural approach for Staffordshire earlier this week.

Staffordshire rolled out the barrel to welcome home narrow boat President, after her 336 mile trip down to London to represent the county in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant. Andrew Slater from Slaters Ales local brewery presented President’s crew with a barrel of their finest ale. It’s been a long journey since she first set out from the Black CountryLiving Museum in February, so the crew really does deserve a welcome home drink.

On Tuesday I was with over 100 delegates at the 8th Staffordshire Procurement Conference, hearing all about the work that’s been done, the county council’s partnership with Capita and the future plans for even more value for money from our public services in Staffordshire.

And the latest annual report to Cabinet shows people are living in a more prosperous county with even greater value for money services in the current economic climate. Staffordshire is weathering the current storms well but there is still more to do.

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