The CPF team were delighted to welcome around 100 guests to an evening drinks reception during the Party conference in Birmingham. Voluntary Director Hannah David had the honour of introducing our NEW Chairman George Freeman MP, Mid Norfolk, Chairman of the Prime Minister’s new Policy Board in No.10 and tasked by the PM with making sure people at the grassroots and frontline have more input to policy development.
George thanked everyone for their support of, and input, to the CPF. The Forum, he said, had made a valuable contribution to the development of policy during the last Parliament and is being taken even more seriously by the new Government. This seriousness, George told members, is reflected in his appointment by the Prime Minister as chairman of both the Policy Board and the CPF.
Serving with George on the Policy Board are John Godfrey, Director of the No.10 Policy Unit, Ben Gummer MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office, the PM's two Chiefs of Staff and key officials from the Government's Implementation Unit. With the support of the CPF, their remit is to develop a coherent and forward looking policy agenda that builds on the success of six years’ Conservative-led administration under David Cameron and responds to the ongoing and fresh challenges and opportunities that now face the country, post Brexit and in the face of the global and domestic landscape.
Following the conference the Policy Board is setting out a number of key policy themes that we will be invited to explore over the coming months and, in the coming weeks, we look forward to publishing a timetable of future national discussion paper topics and meetings. One of George's priorities is to use the CPF's network and history to help use policy-making as a way to refresh and make more accessible the Party's appeal to those who care deeply about policy but are less interested in traditional Party Branch social events - in particular the under-30's and those in enterprise and new businesses.
The Party’s Director of Outreach, Colin Bloom concluded the formal presentation for the evening by promising that by next year’s conference we would be able to “look back with a real sense of achievement of all that we will have been able to accomplish together.” Thanks were extended to CPF Treasurer, David Parkinson for “enabling the reception to happen” and to CPF Manager John Hayward for “keeping the show on the road.”
Overall, conference was a wonderful opportunity to put faces to names and to renew old acquaintances. Members of the CPF team thank everyone who visited our exhibition stand and who joined our reception.
Image (c) Nick Denys