In the absence of Rose Crozier, the SOCITM President, who is holidaying in New Zealand having attended its version of the SOCITM Annual Conference, I chaired my first National Council meeting, in Euston.

The National Council is SOCITM Limited's board of directors, with all regions and activity groups represented. The Planning and Urgency Group's invocation of urgency powers to appoint KPMG to undertake a corporate services review was obviously high on the agenda.

The NC supported our decision, and were keen to be involved in the feedback from phase one, which will be completed by Christmas. We have therefore planned a workshop on 11 January to consider its results.

We decided to cancel this year's Spring Conference, but instead plan to present the outcome of the full review to the Membership at a special event, to include SOCITM's AGM. We also plan for this to be video-cast to ensure the fullest possible coverage. Meantime, all members will be receiving, anytime now, an overview of the process and invitation to feedback views through a consultation web-site.

I sent apologies for the Chemistry Club's eighth anniversary dinner, this evening, in order to drive to Warwick for the Quarterly Review Meeting of the Shared Learning Group. Manoj Shetty, Microsoft's Head of Local and Regional Government, and I took the opportunity for an informal update over a bar meal in the hotel.