October: A month of conferences, meetings and a trip down under.

October has been a very busy month starting with the CCRi conference in London where I chaired the Litigation stream.

The Association had a stand ably manned (if that is the correct word) by Jacky Cooper and it was good to meet so many members.

A week later I attended the South West regional meeting and am pleased to confirm that Kat Quinton has now taken on the mantle as vice chairman to assist Martin Wood. Whilst it may only be a small group they are very keen and I am certain Martin and Kat will begin to generate more interest in the area.

Of course the big event was our conference on 16th and I am very grateful to all those who took part and the organising committee. The comments from those who attended were extremely favourable.  I am certain everyone finds it useful to hear from the officials the reasons for problems and the proposals to improve the service. The survey on users attitudes to the Courts has received considerable coverage from the trade press and will be something we will be doing on a regular basis; thanks to those who took the trouble to complete it.

The conference dinner was an excellent occasion and the guest speaker Adam Parsons, the broadcaster, regaled us with stories from the Olympics. It was however interesting to hear that as a claimant he had dealings with the county court and he was far from complimentary about their service; unfortunately he had suffered at the hands of Central London and all those present sympathised with him.

Once the dinner was over the delegates retired to the bar but sadly as I had to go to London early the next morning I was unable to stay until the end (whatever time that was).

My working month then ended as the following week my wife and I jetted off to Melbourne to visit our son and daughter in law; and excellent time was had especially visiting the wine cellars in the Yarra Valley, but that is another story.

November sees meetings planned with the Ministry; firstly on our bi monthly liaison group meeting and secondly to discuss our paper on Small Claims. We have asked to see the Minister to provide her with our views on that and on the service in general, we hope to have the audience in the near future.