We’re packing up for the seaside here at the Centre for Cities as party conference season is upon us once more. We’ll be holding a flagship fringe event at Lib Dem, Labour and Conservative party conferences, alongside a number of private policy roundtables. As you would expect, we’ll be talking about how cities can deliver the economic growth that all the main parties are focused on. While rumours over Clegg’s future and Conservative wrangling over Europe might make the headlines, we’ll be focusing on how we can kickstart the economy, jobs and business, and why place matters to people and therefore to policy.
Our flagship fringe event at Lib Dems will be asking what a fair deal for growth – for different places, sectors and people - might look like, especially in the context of a weak national economy. We’ll be joined by Cllr Gerald Vernon Jackson, Leader of Portsmouth City Council; Sean O’Grady will be sharing his views on prospects for the economy; Vicky Pryce will no doubt be ready with a review of Vince’s industrial strategy; and Lord Shipley will speak about the progress made by City Deals as well as the challenges still to come.
From the wider conference, we’ll be looking out for any mention from Nick Clegg on the next wave of City Deals. Vince Cable’s speech on Monday may give us more details on the Government’s plans for a Business Bank. And overall it will be interesting to see the mood of the delegates and how much emphasis is placed on keeping the Coalition partnership together, compared to the need to set out a distinct identify for the Lib Dems before, during and after the next election.
Full details of our fringe programme are available from www.centreforcities.org/partyconferences.
We hope to see some of you along the way over the next few weeks. For those missing the pleasures of party conferences, we’ll be keeping the blog and twitter updated with the latest news and analysis from Brighton, Manchester and Birmingham.