A day out of the big city for English Council in England's second city, Birmingham. Typically, Virgin had chosen the weekend for major track repair so, given the similarity in journey times from Euston and Marylebone, I picked the more scenic (and slightly cheaper) route via High Wycombe and Banbury. And with the pleasant company of our Regional Policy Chair, Havard Hughes, the journey sped by, even if the train itself didn't.
A brisk but quite impressive stroll through the shopping area brought us to Victoria Square, dominated as it is by the rather grand Civic Buildings, our venue for the day. In the sunshine and with the fountain with what my friend, Grant, described as the floozie in the jacuzzi outside (there's another one of those in Dublin, but that's another story), it was a lovely day to be in the fresh air. Unfortunately, English Council was inside...
Not the most thrilling English Council ever but then, it isn't really intended to be. What it does do is give you prior warning of things that are expected to happen and will impact on you, as a Regional Officer, or Local Party Chair, or whatever. It also gives you an opportunity to challenge the hierarchy, or perhaps influence them to head in a direction that you favour.
I had arranged to meet up with an old friend from my Young Liberal days afterwards, Grant Williams, from Walsall. Grant is currently studying for his LLB (law degree) and is very likely to get it with an impressive pass. Picking me up from the meeting, we walked back through the city centre before heading to Lichfield for a leisurely afternoon of alcohol, food and conversation in the scenic surrounds for a pub just outside the city (it isn't a town, it's got a cathedral...).
Then, back to Moor Street for a late train to Marylebone and on to bed... a good day out, all in all.