“The SE Regional Policy Conference was the best yet: great debates, great Speakers, a serious agenda, great food and clear messages for us to feed into No.10 and CCHQ about the appetite from members for bolder policies for Party and a national renewal. Thank you all.” (George Freeman, CPF Chairman)
Just under 200 members and panelists attended the SE region policy conference on Saturday 18th May at the Hilton in Gatwick Airport. After hearing from SE region Chairman, Ajaz Ahmed and sponsor David Ward-Penny from Citipost, MEP Daniel Hannan addressed the audience about the importance of voting Conservative at the Euro elections. Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP spoke and answered questions for 30 minutes before the conference broke into the panel sessions. There were three panels before lunch and another six after (see below for topics and panellists) . Each panelist spoke for 5-10 minutes before a lively discussion with delegates. All the discussion and points made will come to the CPF to give to No.10’s Policy Unit.
After tea, the conference heard from Nirj Deva MEP about the campaign for Thursday’s European elections. Flick Drummond, CPF voluntary director, spoke about the importance of holding CPF groups around the country and feeding in policy ideas to No.10’s policy unit; and of including non-members and experts in the discussion groups.
CPF Chairman, George Freeman MP, closing the conference, received a standing ovation for a positive speech about the way forward and how the Conservative Party can renew itself through dialogue with members and the public. George spoke about One Nation Conservativism and how we must all work together to build our country after Brexit.
It was a very successful day, so many thanks to the SE Region team, especially Jeannette Towey, who did the majority of the organisation. There will be more policy conferences around the country so keep an eye out for one in your area.
Panel Session A
Rethinking central-local Government relations to improve local services: Cllr Martin Tett, Neva Sadikoglu-Novaky and Jonathan Werran chaired by George Freeman MP.
Building Beautiful: Prof Robert Adam, John Moss, Kia Trainor chaired by Jeannette Towey
New Deal for Funding Adult Social Care: Cllr Liz Fairhurst, Harry Fone, Tom Kenny, Paul Saper chaired by Mims Davies MP
Panel Session B
Building, Agriculature and environment: where is the balance? Prof Robert Adam, Andrew Davies, Richard Knox Johnston chaired by Julian Ellacott
Combating county lines and the criminal exploitation of our young people: Matthew Barber, Dean Coady OBE, Julian Wadsworth MBE chaired by Flick Drummond
Major Wealth Creators in their Communities: Harvey Bowden, David Godfrey, Cllr Louise Goldsmith, chaired by Ian Young
Panel Session C
Making Towns and villages attractive to young people: Elena Bunbury, Aine Lagan, Kia Trainor, Ellie Varley chaired by Alison Swaddle
The Future of the High Street: Andrew Colborne-Baber, Harry Fone, Nusrat Ghani MP, Cllr Louise Goldsmith chaired by John Belsey
Improving countryside transport: Tim Cairns, Gareth Davies, Anita Donnelly, Patrick Warner chaired by Cllr Mike Whiting