Solace Special: workstreams update [Weds am]
LGC is supporting the Solace Summit as media partner and throughout the event we’ll be summarising the discussion points.
Solace has identified five workstreams, which will be revisited at breakout sessions during the event. This morning kicked off with two sessions on each workstream. Here is a brief summary of the points raised:
Workstream 1: Your local future
- Identity - how others see you. You need to be in control of this.
- Sense of place and belonging
- Connecting past with future - identify and use DNA
- Growth and outcomes - need to define what you mean by this.
- Sweat your assets. Fuzzy geography - not defined by a boundary.
- Politicians are important as they provide local connection.
- We can conflict with business audience so how are skills developed to help them let go/drive from back seat
- Discussions about place should extend beyond political timeframe. We are all guilty of short termism at times
- Difficult when structures e.g. LEPs do not match up to others’ sense of place though LEPs are opportunity to bring politicians and businesses together
Facilitated by John Till, Deborah Tate and George Pye from thinkingplace (www.thinkingplace.co.uk)
Workstream 2: A democratic path?
- Charter for member and officer commitment
- Building local democratic leadership
- Using scrutiny to engage with the public and make good decisions – focusing on the positive rather than what’s gone wrong
- Scrutiny about influence in the community
- Here and now focus versus middle and long term for members
Workstream 3: The expectation of prosperity
- It’s not regeneration and planning, it’s about facilitating and enabling economic growth…
- We’ve seen a profound shift in how local government considers economic development: from nice to have to essential. Unless you have economic growth you can’t have your other priorities.
- There appears to be a disconnect in perceptions – between how local government thinks it is working with business – and the attitude business has to local government
- Opportunities do exist despite the poor outlook. These include:-
o Opportunities to borrow at low interest rates for infrastructure development
o Prudential borrowing
o Taking a more innovative approach to risk
o Joint ventures with private sector.
Facilitated by Max Wide and Martin Cresswell of iMPOWER
Workstream 5: An informed future
- Culture change is needed about understanding and use of evidence – this for decision-makers, politicians and the public
- Evidence producers need to improve their understanding of the needs of practitioners
- Making evidence gathering more flexible and less resource intensive – looking for alternatives to RCTs and pilots
- How to reconcile the tensions between evidence and innovation – to evaluate interventions
- ‘Keeping it real at a local level’ – making sure evidence is locally relevant and understandable.
Facilitated by Jonathon Breckon of the Alliance for Useful Evidence
For a look ahead, see the Solace Summit programme
More Solace Summit articles:
- Solace managing director Kathryn Rossiter and LGC editor Emma Maier on the summit
- Interview with outgoing Solace chair Derek Myers
- Public sector commentator and former LGC editor Richard Vize sets the scene for the summit
The Solace Summit is a unique and unrivalled opportunity for senior management professionals to engage in peer-to-peer learning. It provides new entrepreneurial opportunities for dialogue and shared endeavour, with new and existing contacts. LGC is supporting the event as media partner and will be reporting on the themes before and after the event.
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