I spent a couple of lovely hours in Number Ten this evening at a reception for Council Leaders with the Prime Minister. I had never been inside the building, though had stared down the street from the railings like most tourists, so I was very excited to go.

Imagine my horror, on arriving in London, to be told that Whitehall was closed off with students blocked in whilst attacking police vans and burning stuff in front of the Cenotaph. I respect anyone’s right to protest, but protest peacefully people, not like a bunch of yobs! So to my¬†disappointment it seemed there was no¬†way of getting into Downing Street….

However the people organising the recption were soon emailing and phoning me with alternative routes to get to the reception, and I am very glad they did. The Prime Minister was on good form, talking to the reception and even found time to talk to each of us and have a few photos taken – Hope to get hold of one and post it for you soon.

It was an incredible experience, and I especially loved walking the staircase that has all the portraits of former PM’s on the wall; It reminded me once again how great our parliamentary democracy has been for so long.

I was privileged to go to the Houses of Parliament today, for a meeting in one of the committee rooms of the House of Lords to launch the LEP (Local Economic Partnership) for Essex and Kent.

It is always an amazing experience to walk the halls of our Mother of Parliaments, knowing that for hundreds of years, many great MP’s and Lords have walked them before you. It gave me a special feeling in my tummy…

The launch of the Essex/Kent/East Sussex LEP was a very good event, attended by many Council Leaders and Business Leaders (I sat next to the Chairman of Ford UK) who all wanted to work together.

I have strong hopes for the LEP and the M11 sub group received a nice mention from Peter Martin, the leader of Essex County Council.