CPC2019 | Olaide Oboh, First Base
Olaide Oboh, Director of Partnerships at First Base, shares her views and insights on the 2019 Conservative Party Conference.
A day is a long time in politics. Spending three days at the Conservative Party conference last week felt like a lifetime. Once you arrive and put on your lanyard, you feel like you are in a bubble where all you talk about is when the next general elections will be, who has the lowest majority and which Minister will be making the most significant announcements that day.
With the headline being Get Brexit Done; there was clearly buzz and excitement in Manchester. Protestors made their voices heard as you walked in and out; and politicians also fought for your attention with numerous announcements from schools, to policing to the NHS.
With a stellar line up of Ministers and over 200 fringe events, I was pumped up to get involved in discussions around matters that are important to me. Regeneration. Social value. Community development. Environmental sustainability. Transforming high streets.
I was disappointed. Day after day there were announcements on everything from the national living wage to the need for more buses. What about regenerating our town centres? Or delivering more homes to tackle the housing crisis? The only announcements were focused on adding two more storeys to a house to make it bigger – does this deliver more homes – No!
There was a sliver of hope when the Government announced its commitment to setting minimum environmental standards for new homes; helping to drive the culture change need to meet the net zero target by 2050. The disappointing note is that the Consultation starts later this year.
Whilst there were lots of discussions and debates, none of these really move the issues forward. We heard, talked, debated and discussed recommendations and whilst it felt that Ministers were passionate and committed, they were clearly focused on the biggest priority – Brexit.
This is my third Party Conference and probably the buzziest (if that’s a word) that I have attended. I made some great connections with and I am sure I’ll be back next year – just hope it’s not Groundhog Day...
Olaide Oboh, Director of Partnerships at First Base.
The Revo team were also on the ground covering both the Labour and Conservative party conferences. Be sure to have a read of our summaries (linked below) to find out more about the key policy highlights, fringe events and impact on retail.
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