Thoughts arising from … #LocalGovCamp

Attended my first localgovcamp this weekend, (though it wasn’t my first unconference). These are my 10 takeaways – a clever format suggest by someone (possibly even Dan Slee) a little while ago: 1. Struck once again by how extraordinarily easy it is to enjoy the company of people who share a common passion and with…

Guardian Public Services Summit 2012

This blog was originally posted on http://www.localgovernmentmatters.co.uk The Guardian Public Services Summit is a rarity on the Summit circuit as it draws together people from across the public, voluntary and private sectors to share views on current issues and future opportunities in public service.  It provides an interesting snapshot of the zeitgeist and I have…

The Tale of the Town Hall Clock

I wrote this shortly after joining Local Government, in 2001…. The Tale of the Town Hall Clock Once upon a time there was a town hall clock.  It was quite a famous clock because it kept very good time, and people for miles around liked to see it, and hear its chiming bells.  Lots of…

Town Councils – 2

After my fictional blog looking back at the success of a Town Council from the vantage point of 2015 I was delighted recently when someone pointed out this – Frome Town Council’s strategic plan is written in a similar way to the blog. It would be nice to think that the blog was mildly influential in…

Wexton Town Council – May 2015

Wexton Town Council Speech of the Incoming Town Mayor, David Sander, to the AGM 5th May 2015 (Check against podcast) I feel a tremendous privilege to stand here today as Town Mayor for Wexton, and a sobering responsibility.  The last four years have been incredibly active for our town council and our community and before…

Guardian Public Service Summit 2011

Last year I blogged about the summit .  Here are my thoughts from this year: What is the Summit and Who Goes? The Guardian Summit is held annually, lasts two days, and attracts a good range of speakers – examples this year included  Nick Clegg, Katherine Kerswell (Kent CC), Peter Marks (CE of the Co-operative…

A Model of Community Leadership?

Following a very useful and broad ranging conversation with Daniel Goodwin, I was motivated to write this as a thought-starter – it has certainly given me new insights into the role of community leader that we may need as part of the “Big Society”… A Model of Community Leadership David is a Community Leader. David…

The Voter’s Role in Election Congestion

This is the text of a short article published in this week’s LGC The recent experience of people “denied a vote” is a potent example in the ongoing debates about “behaviour change” and the responsibilities as well as the rights of citizens within their community and the state.  There is something absolute about the right…

The Future of Local Organisational Structures

Recently published in the MJ Up to now the structure of authorities has been largely prescribed by statute or convention.  Although there is more variety at District Level, top-tier authorities have remarkably common structures, often driven by the existence of certain statutory roles, not least the Director of Children’s Services. That is already beginning to…

Notes from the Guardian Public Services Summit 2010

Broad Themes Times are going to be very tough, and it will be a tough time to be a public sector leader … (but) There are tremendous opportunities to do things better, differently …(though) We will need to create space for risk-taking…. (and) Many solutions will rely on the more sophisticated use of the third sector and…

The Challenge of New Ways of Doing Things

Last week a couple of local authority chief executives, a young entrepreneur leading a future government consultancy and I got together to discuss ideas from the emerging field of social media and – critically – how they could be adopted within local authorities. The conversation was quite wide ranging, covering some of the tools of…