The Lib Dem ALDC local government reception last night was a rather crowded affair. I'm not sure whether that was down to people not seeing each other for 4 years, hundreds more councillors being elected since we last met or the wine being free (but limited in supply!) Ed Davey was guest speaker and I had a chat with him. We've known each other for 20 years, since he was local government spokesman in the Commons and I was responsible for all things local government in the policy unit in HQ. Last night Ed quizzed me on our gains in Gateshead, Newcastle and Sunderland in May. He was particularly pleased about our ending Labour's 90 year hold on Saltwell.