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Bath time activities

PlaceCheck is just one several initiatives that will be featured over the four day AME annual conference to be held in Bath next week.

Starting on Tuesday night with the grand finals of the NCE Communications Competition, the conference continues through to Friday afternoon. Speakers from Westminster, the regions, and the construction sector are set to share knowledge and advice on the rapidly changing world of local government.

Procurement is first on the agenda, with speakers Steve Ashton of URS Thorburn Colquhoun, Martin Duffy of Buro Happold and Andrew Nisbet of the City of Westminster turning the spotlight on the Government's drive toward best value.

Central and local government in conjunction with the construction industry are 'breaking new ground' in their quest to reform procurement, says ICE best value taskforce chairman David Green.

The AME session 'will be no traditional powerpoint presentation' predicts Green. 'It might get a little political.' Expect fireworks.

The best value spectacular will be followed by case studies looking at innovations in partnering, and best value on parking and highways schemes.

Highlight of day one will be the minister for local government setting out the implications of the Local Government Act 2000.

Northumberland County Council head of regeneration Alan Wann will outline trends in the devolution of power to the regions. South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council director of development services Douglas Pigg will conclude the day by looking at the ways authorities are measuring and demonstrating improvement.

The second day of the conference kicks off by unveiling the PlaceCheck initiative.

Following sessions look at economic, engineering, social and policy trends in rural and urban environments and the implications for communities. Controller of the Audit Commission Andrew Foster will speak on performance measurement of local government clients and individual contracts.

The day will draw to a close with a profile of recruitment, training and management issues facing local government and the engineering profession.

Friday will be devoted to 'regeneration in action', with a site visit to the Legible City Project in Bristol.

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