Councils can 'fix it', says Solace president
Councils can, in the style of Bob the Builder, ‘fix it’ for their communities, Solace president Martin Reeves has said in his closing address to the organisation’s summit in Coventry.
Dr Reeves, chief executive of Coventry City Council, said the Bob the Builder character inspired him as was “someone who has epitomised the characteristics required to lead through challenging times and someone who remains pathologically optimistic!”
To help create prosperous places and stimulate leadership for a sustainable future, Dr Reeves said councils could succeed in this role only if they “continue to celebrate the power of people in our places to make positive change happen and last, [and] to always consider the assets to be unleashed in our places and the new conversations to be had, new relationships and partnerships to be formed”.
He said councils must “stimulate the conditions in our places in which demand and supply can be matched, jobs created and the alliance of local government, business of all shapes and size, the voluntary and community sector, schools, colleges and universities produces a compelling and competitive proposition for local growth and prosperity”.
This would require a move beyond the “rhetoric and often hyperbole of commissioning” to a focus on outcomes.
Dr Reeves also called for “a new sense of place leadership in which local government energises, inspires, catalyses and helps lever new opportunities but is comfortable with the new leaders who will need to emerge”, and in which it could celebrate a radically change role for councillors providing “strong, community-focused political leadership”.
He said chief executives should, through Solace, “speak as one with a coherent, evidenced-based voice, “which has confidence and legitimacy and we do this across those focused policy areas that really matter to our places - then we have everything before us”.
We hope you enjoyed the above article, to get unlimited access to all articles on LGCplus.com you will need to have a paid subscription. Subscribe now to save yourself £100 off the standard subscription rate.