Dorset Police really are trying to make themselves popular with Conservative representatives arriving at the conference today. Not only have they caused inordinate delays in processing the security checks for conference passes (I was told this morning that they still have 500 to do), they are now adding insult to injury by having a massive traffic police presence on the road into Bournemouth - not to catch any potential terrorists, but to stop anyone exceeding the speed limit. Yes, I know that's what they are there to do, but as a PR exercise it's not very good. Fortunately for me I was just under the limit!
I don't know what security check process they have to go through but it seems ridiculous that they even have to do one for anyone who works in Parliament, because by definition they have already been security checked. Several members of the Shadow Cabinet still don't have their passes and the conference starts this afternoon. The same thing happened to Labour last week, where there were queues of up to six hours. It ought not to be beyond the wit of the conference organisers or the Police to organise it properly next year.
I'm surprised by the number of people already here. The exhibition is much bigger than last year. There are apparently 40% more representatives attending than normal, so it will be interesting to see what kind of demographic spread there is.
We have now set up the Blogging stand in the Bourne Lounge (at the top of the escalator for those who want to find us). I've already mae my first appointment in the Blog Surgery when I will be setting up a blog for a councillor in West Sussex. An MEP has also expressed an interest, so it's started very well. Later.