Building a Platform for Evidence Use in Local Government

This blog was originally published on Demsoc’s Open Policy Blog. I attended the “Informed Future” workstream at the 2012 Solace Summit, and whilst I won’t try to give a blow-by-blow account I want to share here some of the key things which emerged, for me.  There is a lot of hard work at many levels required before Local Government…

In the Bleak Mid-Decade: The View from Bartle Borough Council in 2017

It’s 2017.  We are halfway through the projected decade of austerity.  Bartle Borough Council is a (fictional) unitary with 250,000 residents. It describes itself as a “commissioning council” and more than 80% of its services are provided by the private or voluntary sector. Resident satisfaction is pretty good – just below upper quartile. 75% of…

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…

Themes from the LGA Conference

This week saw the annual Local Government Association (LGA) conference, which is always a great opportunity to understand the position and direction of the sector.  Here are some personal reflections: Something Must be Done The LGA presented research making projections of local government funding up to 2020.  In the style of the famous Barnet Graph…

Career Planning into Uncertainty

Originally published on the Veredus website. I recently had the privilege of speaking to a London/South East group of the LGC Future Leaders for Local Government, about Career Management at a time of such uncertainty. This blog is intended to capture a few of the key messages, and is aimed at people mid-career. It’s a…

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…

The Chief Executive Salary Trap

A short piece I wrote for a recent LGC section, reproduced with their permission.  All the other stories, including an analysis by LGC that shows that contrary to past trends many incoming CEs are now paid less than the incumbent, is here. Two years ago many authorities found that upward CE salary pressures meant they…