Down the Procurement Pub with Lost Tenders, Parmesans, Hugh Barrett and Frank Turner

One real advantage of the self-employed / small business / portfolio life is you can have senior management meetings in the lovely beer garden of the Stag and Hounds, Binfield, rather than the windowless meeting room of the Nat West tower block in Kings Cross. On the other hand, your starter portions are TOO BIG, Stag and Hounds…

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LOST!

First expected on the 16th of May, then delayed, finally promised on August 1st but did not appear as planned; a set of tender documents for the Crown Commercial Service Legal Services Framework to cover all UK central government bodies.   Thought to have been mislaid between Norwich, Liverpool and Holborn station. We are worried about our tender, as it is very shy and not used to being out on its own. Many law firms are also concerned. If found, please approach cautiously then return to BenGummer@cabinetoffice.gov.uk

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We love to bring you the latest cultural news here, so just a word of warning – the Parmesan House may be coming your way. Teesside was the British birthplace of the Parmesan (or “Parmo” as it is known in those parts), but it is slowly spreading – to Newcastle and moving north and now as far south as Bradford. I have observed this on my regular trips north in recent months. A slab of chicken or pork, coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried, served with a béchamel sauce and cheese (probably not parmesan, to be perfectly honest), it is a healthy eater’s nightmare. But watch out. When this spreads south, the NHS will actually go bust!

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Hugh_Barrett 960wX640h_v2_1Hugh Barrett has announced that he is leaving the Legal Aid Agency at the end of September and despite his advanced age (i.e. about the same as me) is “taking a gap year”, he tells us -  a sabbatical that involves some serious travel, anyway.

Hugh had a private sector background, including Mars and BT, then ran OGC Buying Solutions, as some of you may remember. He has been in post as Executive Director, Commissioning since 2008 at what was the Legal Services Commission, then became the Agency. As a Commissioner (non-exec) of the Commission at the time, I was involved in his appointment, and it really is an incredibly tough, challenging and politically sensitive job. It says a lot for Hugh and his character as well as his professional skills that he has stayed for so long and seen the organisation through some major changes. We hope we might get the chance to interview him before he goes, and wish him all the very best for whatever he does after the break!

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We’re only two weeks away from Reading Festival, when you get your annual three days’ worth of detailed live music reviews (whether you like it or not) courtesy of Spend Matters ageing rockers. One of the highlights is going be Frank Turner opening the Festival on main stage Friday lunchtime. The man is a legend, with a record ten consecutive appearances behind him, most of which we have seen. In that time, he has become a bit of a superstar, and can now fill the O2. Ten years ago he might have filled the local pub …  In keeping with our summer theme here of cover version Friday, here he is with a Kinks classic. Love the mandolin!

First Voice

  1. RJ:

    From the headline I was expecting this to be an extended summer edition looking at the latest releases. Guess I’ll have to wait for reviews of the albums from Lost Tenders and Parmesans, though… but I do like Frank’s mandolin.

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