To Nottingham for the seventh summit conference of England's Core Cities - Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, and Sheffield.
Representing more than 16 million people, our cities are working collectively to improve the fortune of our urban areas and to influence government thinking on urban policies.
These conferences don't always make the headlines but when you think of the sheer volume of people, particularly young people, that are represented in Core Cities, then there is definitely a powerful machine here.
Working together we have convinced government that cities are the economic motors for growth in their regions, and are a vital support to the growth of the UK economy as a whole.
We need now to encourage Government to trust and encourage our cities and local leadership. We must sustain and expand our successful economic recovery. We need to build on the key ingredients of our competitiveness - our economic diversity, our skilled workforce, our connectivity, our innovation, the quality of life we offer and our capacity to take strategic decisions.
I take part in a question and answer session along with Hazel Blears at the opening plenary. The conference actively involved young people and it was a pleasure to meet the 3 young people representing Manchester. I was also very impressed with the way Nottingham are trying to run a more green conference with limited paper distribution. No flyers or print-outs are being unnecessarily circulated. Well done!