Conference Diary - Tuesday

Having been back in Copeland for a meeting last night I was up very early to drive back to Conference for the Health and Education discussions. Arrived in the hall just as the Health session got under way.

Both the public service sessions - health and education - featured people involved in providing the service, from doctors and a first responder to a group of teachers.

Andrew Lansley is in the almost unique position among government ministers in that his budget is ring-fenced - but rather tha sit back and assume things will be easy he described measures being taken to reduce bureaucracy and transfer the money saved to patient care. He also described measures being taken to get greater tranparency and accountability of how health money is spent.

Michael Gove gave a very impassioned speech about the the need to raise standards and improve school discipline so as to give children who want to learn the strongest possible opportuities and incentive to do so.

Then to a very interesting Nuclear Industry Association fringe meeting with Lord Marland (the minister whose remit includes the NDA) and speakers from Sellafield and Energy Solutions.) Interesting straw in the wind was that there didn't seem to be a single anti-nuclear voice there - and although most Conservatives are pro-nuclear I don't recall nobody expressing the anti-view at a nuclear fringe meeting at Conference before.

There does seem to be an emerging clear cross-party consensus in favour of nuclear new build and taking action for a long-term solution on nuclear waste.


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