Monday saw an early start as my first event was at 8am, which was a discussion with Lord Sainsbury about his idea of Progressive Capitalism. This was followed by a busy day of looking round the stands and talking to various organisations, training and discussions around campaigning and the day ended for me with a great reception of the Royal British Legion which highlighted the work done by Rochdale Council in looking after service and ex service personnel.
In amongst some interesting debates on the economy, including Ed Balls speech (towel comments notwithstanding) and Liam Byrnes Panel discussion, I also attended a really good debate on the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Birmingham University are leading a policy commission on the use of UAVs and which should lead to some policy. I thought it was really interesting and I hope to get more involved int his int he future.
The final event, the RBL reception, highlighted Rochdale Council and their work in ensuring that services personnel and their families are made to feel more welcome, and when they need help, that they get it. It includes things like a Forces specific webpage on their website, and even going as far as naming roads after local soldiers who had lost their lives, as well as giving free use of leisure facilities on the production of an ID card. Jim Murphy summed it up brilliantly when he suggested if we couldn’t go back and achieve something like this in the next 12 months, then we shouldn’t go to next years RBL reception. I aim to be there 😉