The Conservative Party Conference starts today in Birmingham. I am not going to be there.

I like the conference, and this one, our first in control in 13 years will I am sure be superb!

Sadly I cannot spare the leave from work to pop to Birmingham for a few days. As a Council leader who works full time, I use over half my annual leave allowance to be in Harlow, attending to issues here in my home town, so sadly this year I will be missing out on the conference scene. I will however be keeping an eye on the tv and the blogs of many people who will be there, and I wish everyone an enjoyable and fruitful time in Birmingham.

I hope that the conference will make clear that we face a difficult financial future for one reason only, Labour left us with a massive financial mess! A message that will not be unfamiliar to those of us in Harlow!

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