I have been back at work a week and it has been manic. It is all systems go for our National Conference on Thursday 22nd at the Hilton Metropole Birmingham NEC at which we also have our AGM. As in the past couple of years we have some significant areas for voting at the AGM, not least of all new articles of association and changes to the criteria for becoming a vice president (and therefor President). These are part of the continuing development and professionalisation of Socitm. We are also voting for three new vice presidents who, jointly, will be responsible for guiding the Society through the next few years. I was due to go to the 'inaugural' meeting of the resuscitated Socitm NW Region today in Manchester, but unfortunately develop an horrendous cold over the weekend - lost my voice, the lot. I know all you women will just say 'man flu' and think me a wuss but I cannot remember the last time I was ill with anything. Anyway I just couldn't make it to Manchester so Martin Ferguson will, I am sure, do an admirable job of being me.
My voice has returned, albeit very croaky, and I am gearing myself for the Conference.
What a week we've had, a British one / two in the GP, Newcastle will take the Championship and people are talking positively about the Lib Dems, who'd have ever thought it....? Apparently Nick Clegg is now the most popular party leader since Winston Churchill see: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article7100966.ece , now it doesn't get much more surreal than that.
Talking of elections and manifestos and all things government, Socitm has just produced its 'Seven point plan for IT in public services' and will shortly be posting our analysis of the main parties’ manifestos against the plan.
Scott Mansfield a 'young professional' from the Society, who normally works with Leeds City Council, won our GWC travel award and is currently in Australia - actually NZ as of two days ago - where he has been sorting out, sorry, learning about, how government happens in Oz and NZ - and particularly regarding online gov. You can read about his trip and experiences on his blog