From last Friday until Sunday I have been in Birmingham for the Labour Party
's Spring Conference, which combines the European, Local Government and
Friday started off with the usual introductions followed by speeches from
Hazel Blears, Tessa Jowells, Ken Livingstone and Ed Balls, with particular
emphasis on this years local government and London Mayoral elections.
Fringe / training events on the Friday included a session on campaigning
with new media, along with a session on looking at carbon trading schemes
and if they can benefit the poor.
Saturday started off with a breakfast briefing around encouraging more
people from different backgrounds to become councillors including a speech
from Tameside Councillor Johnny Rennolds.
Gordon Browns give a good speech around the theme of building the Britain of
our dreams, followed on by a lunch time fringe meeting on the theme of
transport, at which Rosie Winterton attempted to reassure those in
attendance that the Government was listening to concerns over the Woodhead
A Policy forums session on cleaner greener communities, along with an
introduction to the IDEA's (improvement and development agency) leadership
academy followed, followed by a young councillors event and a fringe meeting
done featuring an interview of Hazel Blears by a journalist from the
Sunday started off with a session on tips for improving your skills as a
councillor, followed by closing session speeches from Alan Johnson on
health, a very good speech from Ed Milliband on issues around the next
manifesto, Tony Dubbins from the Trade Unions finished off by the first
spring conference speech from deputy leader Harriet Harman, which whilst
good didn't quite give us the same send off as a speech from John Prescott
would have done.
All in all a good weekend in an interesting venue in the heart of