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"Not only have we had a change in direction," - yeah - you're no longer leaving the EPP or the CFP!

Francis. Will Birmingham tourist board or who ever, be having a stall at Blackpool, so we can have a chat about hotels, booking etc. I do hate leaving it to the last minute, and have usually managed to get a berth around 5 mins walk away. Be nice to be able to do this in Brum as well, as one is not getting any younger!

I really wish you Europe obsessives would either (a) get a life or (b) go and post on UKIP-Home or whatever it's called.

In no universe other than the parallel one you seem to inhabit, is this a thread about Europe; the Euro; alleged apostasy about Europe; the EPP etc. etc. ad nauseam.

Does the £2 million pound contribution from Birmingham City Council count as a donation or state funding? Are such subsidies allowed by our EU partners?

Good for West Midlands marginal seats. Good decision Mr Maude!!!

Michael - save yourself the stress and call it a discount. It's called negotiation. We get a below market price, the ICC/Birmingham gets a four day booking with lots of positive spinoffs in terms of spending and publicity.

"The conference costs are to be underwritten by a £2 million subsidy from the city's council tax payers in what has turned out to be the winning part of the bid."(from Iain Dale's blog)

Praguetory;There is a clear distinction between a price reduction and a subsidy but as I do not know to whom payments are being made to/received from it is speculation.Perhaps Fingerprint Events are handling the dosh arrangements.

A good decision to move away from the seaside and into the major cities. I'm slightly concerned about the perception being promoted by some that the move is only because of the £2m subsidy and would hope that we aren't going to get hung up on, or attacked for, this perception.

Right now where do I get a Brummie/Cockney dictionary from then?

p.s. My support for the change of conference venue should not be taken as in any way support for whatever Maude thinks he means by a change of direction.

It certainly should be interesting as some of us have never set foot in Birmingham throughout our long and interesting lives.

Is this the same as the International Exhibition Centre which, on reflection I have once been to but seemed more on at a motorway interchange than really in Birmingham, or is it different?

I'll be really disappointed if it's the same, as I have been dining out for much of my adult life on the fact that I've never been to Brum and now I find that perhaps I have.

P.S. This is the sort of post where an anonymous tag is priceless, as it enables me to avoid being lynched by keen W Mids types.

Excellent news. Bournemouth was a ridiculous place to hold a conference, right on the Southern tip of the country. Birmingham is very convienient for the trains and nice and central.

As a northern Tory, I'm pleased to see the spring forum in Nottingham and conference in Blackpool this year!

Londoner, the one you're thinking of is the NEC which has excellent transport links, but isn't in Birmingham. The ICC is on Broad Street/Centenary Square in Birmingham city centre. The ICC contains the impressive Symphony Hall is not far from the shopping centre but is on the doorstep of Birmingham's nightlife from theatres to clubs.

Thanks, Praguetory. That sounds much better. Some of us might regard it as a solemn duty to spend money there.

Londoner,you should all spend a bundle in Brum because when the truth is out to the Brummies that the Conservatives have taken £2million of their Council tax they will perhaps show you how happy they are when they next visit a ballot box,and maybe even a few times after that.

Who was it that introduced the Council tax?
Who will be getting the blame for doing so?

The Brummies will be informed to ask their Conservative Councillors how they have a surplus of Council tax monies at this time of year.

Maybe they will all demand a refund and deduction in their Council taxes because they funded the Conservative Party.

Will Labour be funded by the Councillors at their next Conference?

Also,don't you think the Lib-Dems will be squealing about all this?

Of course,flagrant misuse of public monies seems to be the done thing these days in politics doesn't it?

As we read this post,the word is already spreading that there is no difference anymore between Labour,Conservatives and the Lib-Dem bitches they so often utilise between them.

"Over the last year or so, it’s been interesting to see people’s responses to the changes which we’re making to the Party."

Hasn't it just, Francis.

Here's one response - you are a fraud, Maude, not remotely conservative and an utter bloody disaster. Had it not been for your father, you would have grown up a Labour socialist rather than the faux Tory version that you have turned out to be. You are defrauding the members of this party and the electorate at large and should be held in contempt by all free Britons.

Glad to get that off my chest.

Ahh Rudyard why not just start your own website, BNPHome presumably, and cease attempting to preach to the uninterested and unlistening.

A brilliant choice as Birmingham is a great city with excellent shopping, dining and transport facilities and has a number of seats that we need to win. Roll on 2008!

M.Davis,that is a poor and unresponding post,even for you.

As for the bnp smear you make,If you were a little more read on these pages you would know my previous politics was 100% Conservative Party until very recently.Mr Cameron and his unchosen handlers is the reason I left.

However,Mr C has redeemed himself a little with his trio of topics in his interview yesterday.

I commend his desire to remove the Regional Assenblies among other things he said.

Davis,wake up,and try to concentrate on what's going on here.

Rudyard - you may be interested in my piece on this theme. I believe both the Conservatives and Birmingham will benefit from this decision. When the Tories got in in Brum, they delivered the lowest rise in council tax (1.7%) in any metropolitan authority and improved services getting additional stars for housing and social services. Less tax, better services. Birmingham council.

Back to the thread- it really is a fantastic decision to bring the conference to Birmingham!!! Not only welcome to all the marginal seats in the city but also shows the Party's commitment to the cities in general!

Fully understand the fedupness with Bournmouth after all the aggravation with the police
( were they actually put up to that by Labour dirty tricks ? )

Birmingham is an excellent idea - at the centre of England and often championed as the location of a future English Parliament .

Birmingham for Conference ??
Where are all the small, reasonably priced hotels near to the conference centre?
There were none in 1995 for Spring Forum, have many been built since?
We are not all rich enough to stay in the conference hotel

How many of those extolling the virtues of Birmingham as a conference centre live near enough so they do not need hotel accomodation

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