The Scottish Regional meeting was held at Stirling Council Chambers in Old Viewforth. Following Alan’s welcome comments, I was first up with my Socitm situation report and some thoughts about formalising a federal organisation.

There were a number of comments about potential dilution of focus under the new remit; my view is there’s ample scope for the organisation of special interest groups within the new structure. There were also views about engagement with other professional bodies, like the BCS, and avoidance of duplication, but overall the meeting seemed supportive of the changes.

Given that devolution has driven an increasingly separate agenda for country, it’s hardly surprising that no-one spoke against formalising a federal structure. At the conclusion of the meeting Alan confirmed that he would like the region to participate in a workshop (with England, Wales & Northern Ireland) to agree the detailed arrangements.

That there will continue to be a great deal of commonality across the UK was well demonstrated in the rest of the meeting agenda, which largely dealt with similar issues to those I’ve encountered in all the meetings I attend.

There were speakers from Scotland’s Improvement Service (IDeA equivalent) on Customer First and shared services, covering things like the NLPG, e-Planning and flexible working, and case studies on service improvement.

During the coffee break I opened an e-mail informing me that Alan Constable, my boss when I worked in the City, has died suddenly. I’d like to think that Alan and I were close friends; we had some great times together, but did not part on the best of terms.

I’ve been meaning to contact him for years – but now, of course it’s too late, and I’m full of remorse. It goes to show that life, as they say, is not a rehearsal and you have to seize your chances. My heart goes out to Eileen and his family.

I’m now on the train back to London, and again catching-up on correspondence. I see that my comments about Government Connect have been misreported in some of the media. I have expressed concerns about the delays in assembling the Support Team, but have never said there’ve been delays in providing funding.

Have a good weekend.