The ministerial platform was an employee development conference run by the Convention (or Confederation, as one of the myriad consultancy firms described it) of Scottish Local Authorities.
Appropriately, the conference was sponsored by Tesco - motto "every little helps". Perhaps, as one waggish colleague suggested, the supermarket giants now expect to see some sympathetic planning decisions.
Keith Geddes, Cosla's president, gave the opening address. The leader of Edinburgh City Council said some of his more waspish Labour colleagues suggested he might like to attend the workshop on leadership.