Sir Stephen Bubb

Sir Stephen Bubb

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Young , Shrove Tuesday and "M"

A relaxing pre-Lenten weekend clearing up in Brixton. Three bags of clothes to the Herne Hill Oxfam shop, making sure I filled in the Gift Aid forms. I don't want Ian Pearson MP (Robin Bogg 's Leon Pissonthepoor is inspired) stealing any of my donation!

A rather good Oxfam shop, but they better watch it. My hound was not welcomed, even though she was held charmingly in my hands. If they are not careful it will be the Witney Hospice shop in future where they love dogs!

Though I have to say the walk through Brockwell Park to the shop was not without its hazards as Sparkles took a fancy to the bag handles which she successfully detached from their accompanying bags. I also get to M&S to pick up their fresh pancake mix in time for Shrove Tuesday. I have my own lemons (as they say) on my very own Lemon tree; present from my sister Lucy!

Monday was my regular supervision with my Chair over at RNIB. We have hatched an interesting idea which we will discuss at our next ACEVO Board. Hope that is tantalising!

Then it was on to see Lord Young - the former Thatcher Cabinet Minister, of whom Thatcher once famously said "my other Cabinet ministers bring me problems but Young brings me solutions"! A fantastic meeting as we discuss how the sector will expand over the coming decade. He is advising David Cameron MP on various matters and we discuss them and how ACEVO members can help. He comments, as we leave, that I look far too unharassed for a man with 2000 charity CEOs in membership! I tell him they are all so charming and it is not at all like herding ferrets!

Tuesday is an early start at Admiralty House with a joint seminar with PWC on commissioning involving players from Government Departments, third and private sector providers. It is clear that this issue is dominating much discussion and worry in our sector. It was a fascinating discussion. Although one hardly often sees the words intellectually stimulating in the same sentence as commissioning it was thus.

A rewarding discussion, which we will continue, and we agreed that the "Admiralty House" group will meet again.

I have to say that Chairing this group, in the Admiralty House Dining Room, with centuries of Naval grandees gazing down on one was a beautiful experience. As someone suggested it might make a fitting office for the CEO of ACEVO. I could not agree more. I just need a few more battleships.

And whilst there with my estimable Head of Policy, the great Ralph Michell, he reveals that his Great Grandfather worked in said building. Indeed was the Head of Naval Intelligence, and the very model for "M" (his secretary was Ian Fleming). Worrying, but at least explains why Ralph has such an uncanny knowledge of all my movements. So, enemies of ACEVO, Beware!

Now it's back to prepare pancakes. An early morning Mass for Ash Wednesday beckons.

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