Saturday, June 12, 2010

Regional Conference

The morning started with the news that Angela Darnell, Head of Egglescliffe school, was awarded the OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list. She is quoted in the press as saying that the award isn't just for her but for the whole school, and that's typical of her. She's a strong leader who knows the value of her team. Congratulations Angela and all at the school, now and in the past, who've helped to get it to the high standard it is at and to maintain it there.

Today was the spring conference of the North East Lib Dems - perhaps a little nearer summer than spring but we did have an election to deal with first! It was a really useful and interesting day, with updates from our MEP, Fiona Hall, on the view from Europe of the coalition government and the way in which some of the more extreme views in the Conservative party are being moderated by coalition working. We heard from John Shipley, soon to be Lord Shipley, and from Diana Maddock about what's going on in the House of Lords and what will be happening there soon. Sir Alan Beith filled in further background on how things are working out in the Commons and the tensions which will inevitably lie ahead. It's not often we see both Sir Alan and Diana on the same platform answering questions about how the Lib Dems will deal with the same issues in the Commons and the Lords.
But of course conference isn't all about sitting and listening to others and there was plenty of opportunity to discuss campaigning with people from other areas, to share stories of the election gone and look forward to the election to come next year.
And of course to compare notes on which local party saw the biggest membership increase this year! There is certainly no truth in the Labour story that Lib Dems are leaving in droves. We are still getting new members, right across the region. It's good to see that so many of them are young people too, bringing all their energies to the campaign.

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