Thursday 4 March 2010

The Tory Summit

Sitting in my hotel room in Newcastle I'm trying to pull together the details for our Tory Summit on March 18th.

We’re now less than three weeks away from this important cross sector Summit with the Conservatives. Planning this has been a challenge. Not least the cost! I was determined we put on a good face for our sector; professional and dynamic. So we have booked the Millbank conference Centre - at a not inconsiderable price.

But if we are to be taken seriously we need to show our power and our entrepreneurial spirit. We want the Tories to see us a real alternative economic force, as well as a catalyst for social cohesion.

We heard last week that Shadow Chancellor, George Osborne MP, will be making an important Policy Statement at the Summit. Exciting to be at the centre of developments.

I have been pressing palms and milking contacts to get sponsorship to cover the costs. So what could be more agreeable than to get a call, as I stand on Newcastle station, from the splendid Andrew Barnett, CEO of the Gulbenkian Foundation, to say they will be one of the sponsors. Gulbenkian, a forward looking Foundation who want to be engaged in the development of public policy.

An impressive line up is confirmed for the day comprising most senior Conservative figures.

Shadow Chancellor, George Osborne MP, will be making an important Policy Statement.

The front bench representatives will be making keynote speeches and taking part in public 'roundtable' discussions with third sector chief executives, who have been harvesting ideas and case studies with ACEVO’s policy team to present and debate.

This is a key opportunity to really get under the hood and into the detail of Conservative thinking in the run up to the Election and to present our sector offer to them.

This is set to be the most significant event for third sector leaders this year. I am pleased to be hosting this alongside our partners the Community Alliance,bassac, Social Enterprise Coalition, NCVO and NAVCA. We have to present a united voice. This shows the set are working together.

Demand will be high and it is strictly first come first booked. You better book now. Click here.

Speakers will include:

George Osborne MP, Shadow Chancellor
Andrew Lansley MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Health
Philip Hammond MP, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury
Rt Hon Oliver Letwin MP, Chairman of the Policy Review and of the Conservative Research Department
Rt Hon Francis Maude MP, Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office and Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Nick Hurd MP, Shadow Minister, Charities, Social Enterprise and Volunteering
Alan Duncan MP, Shadow Minister for Prisons
Nick Gibb MP, Shadow Minister for Schools
Andrew Selous MP, Shadow Minister for Work & Pensions

I'm now on the "Flying Scotsman" back to London and dinner with Liam Byrne MP (chance to lay into his colleague Andy Burnham and his appalling behaviour on preferred provider!)

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