Brave new skills for brave new leaders…
The LGC Future Leaders Network, in association with BT, aims to support local government’s up and coming talent. Each of our seven regional groups has now met. Here Future Leader Steve Maxey shares his reflections from the Midlands meeting.
Birmingham City Council’s Chamberlain Room, where the G8 leaders met in 1998, was certainly an inspiring setting for our first meeting. The event was split into two halves - the first focused on the current state of local government and was followed by discussion on the qualities needed to lead the sector.
LGC editor Emma Maier spoke on a recent survey of chief executives and chief officers. The main message was that local government is still an enjoyable and worthwhile field in which to take a lead. This is reassuring feedback.
Paul Dransfield, strategic director of resources at Birmingham City Council, and Coventry City Council chief executive Martin Reeves then gave their personal views on the recent tumultuous events in local government. No one would argue with Martin’s view that the financial tide has gone out and will not return.
There was, however, a positive discussion, within our groups and in the plenary session, about how we respond and what the key issues will be for the future leaders of the sector.
The importance of demand (as well as supply) management figured most prominently in our discussions, as did the need to avoid being distracted by an endless stream of supposedly cure-all initiatives.
The presentations were very thought provoking, but of course the most important element of the event was the chance to discuss these issues with other people trying to get their heads round the same problems.
The true value of the network will be if we can organise ourselves into long-lasting groups, meeting regularly to start to discuss specific issues that are common to us all.
Steve Maxey, assistant chief executive and solicitor to the council, North Warwickshire BC
The Midlands network
The Future Leaders Network comprises seven regional groups across the country. The Midlands network met in Birmingham. It heard from LGC editor Emma Maier, BT connectivity expert Bill Murphy, Coventry City Council chief executive Martin Reeves and Buckinghamshire CC’s strategic director Gillian Hibberd. View presentation slides at: LGCplus.com/5042570.article. The Midland group members are:
- Simon Adams, head of community leadership, Worcestershire CC
- James Bailey, head of highways management, Staffordshire CC
- Sharon Bailey, service director adult social care, Solihull MBC
- Robin Bates, head of revenues and benefits, Northampton BC
- Richard Beavan-Pearson, assistant director, customer service, Herefordshire Council
- Tony Dailide, assistant director, promoting independence, Leicestershire CC
- Andy Davis, Warwickshire observatory manager, Warwickshire CC
- Anne Doyle, commissioning manager social care and inclusion, Walsall MBC
- Nick Edwards, assistant director, prosperity, Wolverhampton City Council
- Marion Goodman, head of customer services and ICT, Northampton BC
- Viv Griffin, assistant director, health and wellbeing, Wolverhampton City Council
- Lisa Hyde, head of customer and community services, East Northamptonshire Council
- Keren Jones, assistant director, promotions and partnerships, Wolverhampton City Council
- Steve Maxey, assistant chief executive and solicitor to the council, North Warwickshire BC
- Clare Mitchell, head of change, Worcestershire CC
- Kim Neville, press and PR manager, Walsall MBC
- Alan Roberts, business service manager, Sandwell MBC
- Steven Shanahan, head of housing, Rugby BC
- Rachel Singer, assistant director, learning skills and education, Northamptonshire CC
- Gavin Thompson, head of policy, research and engagement, Derby City Council
- Vicky Thomson, assistant director democratic services, Breckland and South Holland DCs
- Jenny Tozer, assistant director of communications, Derbyshire CC
- Simon Walters, head of corporate review and development, Lincoln City Council
- Nina Warrington, strategic housing services manager, Worcester City Council
The future leaders on LinkedIn
The LGC Future Leaders Network has a dedicated group on professional networking website LinkedIn where contributors can discuss the events they have attended and talk about issues they face in their jobs and the future of local government. After the Midlands meeting, some of the group took to LinkedIn to discuss their thoughts.
Rachel Singer, Northamptonshire CC
“Really helpful sessions last week and chance to meet a new network which is hugely valuable - looking forward to meeting up again and continuing the learning conversation.”
Simon Walters, Lincoln City Council
“Hi. I would echo Rachel’s comment - it was great to have an initial session of the new network. The break-out sessions to discuss what we would like to achieve from the programme revealed lots of topics we could collectively gain value from debating so I am looking forward to the next opportunity to meet up.”
Lisa Hyde, East Northamptonshire CC
“Yes I agree with the above and feel it’s important now to keep up the momentum.”
Jenny Tozer, Derbyshire CC
“I found it useful too. Full programme - may be next time add in a bit more opportunity for informal discussions/networking. Thank you for organising it and for the speakers who took time out. Look forward to the next session.”