I dashed from the School Governors conference to the NLGN Annual Reception where John Healey made a great speech showing why we will miss him in the local government brief but also giving encouragement that he will take his commitment to working with us as a central part of his approach to housing, and in particular to social housing. Later I went on to the MJ Awards. This annual showcase of good practice and achievement by councils around the UK gave me alot of heart about the success, and in particular the innovation, that local government is capable of. Highlights of the night for me were seeing my home town Kettering in the limelight when David Cook and his team won the ‘more active’ award. I went over and chatted to them after and heard all about it… the badminton, curling, and other activities that they organised throughout the Borough with great success. I was also pleased to see a well deserved win for Stephen Greenhaulgh and his colleagues at Hammersmith and Fulham who took home the ‘Political Team of the Year’ Award. And the final award of the night went to Jason Stacey and all his colleagues at Ealing Council who won the overall ‘Council Achievement of the Year’ award. Jason’s policies such as adopting the London Living Wage have marked out clear blue water amongst Conservative councils and it is interesting to see this diversity of approaches playing out, particularly across London. A great night for local government and well done to all the team at MJ.