I am delighted to see more local government leaders than ever before occupying the top slots in the LGC 50 list of most influential people in the sector - eight of the top 10 are council chief executives and leaders.
This is testament to the considerable achievements that often don’t make the headlines. BT’s experience suggests that there is a wealth of creative and inspirational leadership at local level.
The LGC 50 and the year long Leadership Programme that we are supporting are an important way of providing formal recognition of this quality. Such acknowledgement is much needed in the face of recent comments from parts of central government and the media.
Strong, effective leadership across the local government functions will, of course, be all the more important in the coming year as the savings challenge is brought into sharp relief. Transforming public services is not going to be an easy task.
Leaders in local government will be presiding over a period of significant change and development involving finding new ways of working, both internally and in front-line services. They will need to influence and lead external stakeholders, business partners, other local agencies and citizens.
The LGC 50 includes local government people who are leading in each of these areas and more. In doing so, it provides a useful starting point from which to share best practice. For the rest of the year, the Leadership Programme will continue to enable people to learn from each other and replicate the things that are really working.
As part of the programme, a series of special focus articles will explore some of the key leadership challenges. And while the LGC 50 celebrates the top leaders of today, the Future Leaders Network, launched this week, will highlight the up and coming leaders of tomorrow in the coming year.
Congratulations to BT’s Director of strategic development Max Wide who was among the LGC 50. He is best known for his pivotal involvement in two of the country’s most high-profile council transformation programmes Barnet and Suffolk. Max has spent 20 years at London Boroughs and has worked with 60 authorities to delivery change programmes and is currently on secondment with Suffolk where he is developing new ways of delivering services through social enterprises, employee mutuals and community groups.
Chris Ainslie, Vice President BT local, regional and devolved government