Welcome speech for dating event
I’ve done it 3 times myself now and it’s certainly a humbling experience. You represent the very best aspects of public service and of British life.
But a great many men and women did just that back in May, with thousands winning the backing of their local communities and proudly taking their seats on county councils. And it’s an honour, an absolute honour, to represent you as Secretary of State.
Twelve months ago I stood in front of you and promised to fight for county councils in the year ahead.
To speak for you, lobby for you and be an advocate for you at the Cabinet table and beyond.
There are also opportunities for closer working across county lines. They are not constrained by lines on a map, and nor should you be.
There was a time when most peoples’ lives extended no further than a day’s walk from their home, but such days are far behind us. No man is an island and – with a handful of literal exceptions – no council is either.
I’d advise you to raise a sceptical eyebrow at anyone who claims to have one. I’m sorry I’m not able to join you for this evening’s festivities. I’ve been looking at the agenda and it looks like a brilliant programme.The thread alluded to by my Labour Shadow just a few minutes ago. I know that I could stand here all night and make any number of announcements and pronouncements and promises……and you’d all nod along politely and then say “that’s great, Saj, now show me the money”.