Local government leaders from across England are in Chester as the city plays host to a major conference.
Councillors and chief executives will be joined by policy makers and national commentators at the annual County Councils Network (CCN) conference, which this year is being hosted by Cheshire West and Chester Council.
Eric Pickles, Minister for Communities and Local Government, and former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Heseltine will be among the key speakers at the conference this week.
The event at the Crowne Plaza Hotel will also hear from Ben Page, Chief Executive of IPSOS MORI, and music producer Pete Waterman about his work with the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership.
The CCN, which represents 36 county and unitary councils, is an all-party councillor-led network that makes representations and seeks opportunities to influence the development of Government policies.
Council Leader Mike Jones said: “It is a great honour to be chosen to host this year’s CCN conference and a marvellous opportunity for our borough.
“As host Council, it gives us a national platform to highlight how we work in Cheshire West and our ambitions for our borough.
“The conference will allow us to share with other councils the radical way we are re-shaping how we deliver services to our residents through the pioneering Altogether Better programme.
“I am looking forward to sharing best practice, challenges and opportunities with our colleagues in other councils, enabling us to take away ideas we can use for the benefit of all our residents.
“County and unitary councils have a key role to play in the growth agenda and the transformation of public services.“
Councillor David Hodge, CCN Chairman, said: “We are delighted that Cheshire West and Chester Council are hosting the CCN Conference this year, in the historic city of Chester.
“Their support has been greatly valued by all CCN members, particularly myself.“
Chairman of Cheshire West and Chester Council Jill Houlbrook will host an opening reception for delegates at Chester Town Hall on Sunday evening.
Added Councillor Jones: “Playing host to local government leaders from across England is also a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase Chester and the wider borough as a must-see tourist destination.“