In his closing address to the association's annual conference, Mr Hurford told delegates: 'Those of us who work locally should not be complacent simply because we are ahead in the game. There is still much to do locally and nationally.'
The delivery programme was unambiguous, he said: 'It is a big promise and accountability will have some sharp edges. The government knows that. It is so important that we succeed.'
Mr Hurford said the conference had allowed delegates to look at the bigger picture, and had emphasised the 'need to look over the horizon and not get blinkered by the forest that always seems to be in the way'.