Didn't get much of a lie-in before I had to be at a "Stakeholder" meeting with DCLG. Stakeholder engagement is all the rage in Government. Bit like consultation; beats having to work. Still, never knock a networking opportunity. And it is always good to see Peter Housden, the Permanent Secretary. And I must not be cynical - we had a presentation of the results of a stakeholder survey which formed the basis of an interesting discussion about how we are involved in policy formulation. This is a Department that wants to involve the third sector. That is good!
It is clear relations with local councils are going to assume centre stage soon. ACEVO intends to get more closely involved in work with Local government. I have many links and a strong background. After all, if you have been an elected member (I used to represent the good burghers of Clapham) and a top official for over 10 years you do know a thing or ten.
Then it's bag packing, hound collecting time and off to Charlbury. A meeting in Chadlington Church tonight with our MP. Shan't take the hound though. And tomorrow I am doing a live phone-in with George Galloway. Saturday evening, talkSPORT, I think it is - on frequency 1089 and 1053 kHz . On third sector CEO pay would you believe. I shall be defending the salaries of our friends Mr Woodley and Mr Simpson. They deserve their £308.000 package. As do my members. I shall be robust. No doubt comrade George will be too. I shall make no reference to pussy cats.
Centre-stage all right. Under a very hot spotlight. Local Government delivers, over oversees, most public services except the benefit system and the health service. It needs to a)get cheaper, better, faster and b) do that on 30% less money in five years' time. As a County Councillor I am both excited at what this means for the third sector and slightly terrifed that the helicopter called Suffolk County Council will crash to the ground around 2015!
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