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LGC100: 49-20 in local government's power list

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Lgc100 2016 index

Lgc100 2016 index

The LGC100 identifies the most influential people whose work will shape local government in 2017. Our list includes officers, members, national politicians, civil servants and thinkers.

The list was compiled using nominations from the public, the LGC editorial team and a panel of judges. Read more about how we compiled the list here.

49 Sandra Dinneen, chief executive, South Norfolk DC

Ms Dinneen will chair the chief executives’ section of the District Councils Network until elections in June. Her last few months could involve standing up for district interests in a reignited debate about reorganisation.

48 Tony McArdle, chief executive, Lincolnshire CC

The longstanding Lincolnshire CC chief executive is the current chair of the Association of County Chief Executives, a role he has been using to make a case to the Treasury for additional support at a time of growing county hardship.

47 Sarah Pickup, deputy chief executive, Local Government Association

The finance and social care specialist is the LGA’s representative on the steering group charged with making full business rates localisation a reality. There can be few harder tasks in local government than getting a compromise acceptable to many different types of council.

46 David Behan, chief executive, Care Quality Commission

Mr Behan needs his vast experience in local and central government to ensure his financially challenged regulator can improve standards in the financially challenged sectors it oversees.

45 Nick Walkley, chief executive, Haringey LBC

Nick Walkley is chair of the Society of Metropolitan Chief Executives as well as chief executive of a rapidly developing London borough. His will be a key voice in the argument for fairness of funding across all types of council.

44 Donna Hall, chief executive, Wigan MBC

The well-regarded Wigan chief was widely mentioned as a possible successor to Sir Howard Bernstein when he announced his retirement from Manchester City Council. Her work on Wigan’s ‘Deal’ has influenced other councils on how to support their populations in the era of austerity.

43 Steve Bullock (Lab), mayor, Lewisham LBC

Lewisham’s elected mayor since 2002 is also London Councils’ executive member for housing. As a member of the London Mayor’s Homes for Londoners initiative he will be seeking to spur cooperation between the city’s two tiers of government.

42 Martin Reeves, chief executive, Coventry City Council

Mr Reeves is the interim chief executive of the West Midlands Combined Authority, playing a key role in charting his region’s passage from devolution backwater to devolution pace-setter. Whether he decides to seek the West Midlands role on a permanent basis could be a pointer to the relative attractiveness of council versus combined authority leadership jobs.

41 Justine Greening, education secretary, Department for Education

Ms Greening’s attitude to devolution will be crucial after her Department for Education won back national responsibility for skills policy at a time many combined authorities seek local control of skills provision. Whether or not she shares the PM’s enthusiasm for grammar schools will also come under the spotlight, with intense debates about secondary education expected in many areas.

40 Clive Betts (Lab), chair, communities and local government committee

The former Sheffield City councillor has often given the impression of being considerably more on top of his brief than some of the ministers his committee has questioned. His committee’s viewpoints on full business rate localisation and social care pressures will be particularly well listened to.

39 Andy Street, Conservative mayoral candidate, West Midlands Combined Authority

The former managing director of John Lewis became the poster boy of this year’s Conservative conference in Birmingham, such is the party’s optimism that he could upset Labour’s dominance of the West Midlands political scene. Much of the national Tory leadership’s enthusiasm could be coloured by his chances of success.

38 Deborah Cadman, chief executive, Suffolk CC

The Norfolk and Suffolk devolution deal might have collapsed but the quest for devolution in Suffolk will go on. Ms Cadman could also be a key player if restructuring re-emerges on the agenda of her county. LGC’s judges also noted Ms Cadman’s influence in the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives & Senior Managers, especially on advancing the role of women.

37 Paul Johnson, director, Institute for Fiscal Studies

The IFS’s decision to launch a multi-year research programme examining local government finance offers the sector a huge opportunity to debate a more sustainable future. The highly respected Mr Johnson’s viewpoint will be listened to.

36 Paul Martin, chief executive, Wandsworth LBC

Having taking over at Wandsworth in 2010, Mr Martin is now also chief executive of Richmond-on-Thames LBC under an integrated management structure, the first of its kind between two London boroughs.

35 Duncan Selbie, chief executive, Public Health England

As chief executive of Public Health England, Mr Selbie has roles in two major factors affecting local government; the Five Year Forward View, to which he was a signatory, and the sustainability and transformation plan process, overseeing which he has a role.

34 Richard Leese (Lab), leader, Manchester City Council

Sir Richard has been in office since 1996 and is vice chair of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority. Much of the city region’s future will depend on his working relationship he and the the leaders of the other nine Greater Manchester boroughs have with the new metro mayor, once the latter is elected in May.

33 Lord Kerslake, cross-bench peer

As chair of the Centre for Public Scrutiny, the former DCLG permanent secretary has overseen various studies of transparency and accountability in devolution. Lord Kerslake also mounted a one-man campaign in the Lords to allow councils to keep more of their right-to-buy sales receipts for social housing this year, but was defeated by the government.

32 Rob Whiteman, chief executive, Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy

Mr Whiteman became chief executive of Cipfa in September 2013. He has positioned the institute as a voice of authority on the impact of public spending cuts and this year broadened his focus to include health.

31 Lesley Seary, chief executive, Islington LBC

Ms Seary is becoming increasingly influential as the chair of the London branch of Solace. She played a key role with London Councils in securing devolution of the work and health programme to London.

30 Martin Tett (Con), leader, Buckinghamshire CC

Cllr Tett has launched an ambitious bid to create a county-wide unitary, replacing the two-tier structure in Buckinghamshire. Communities secretary Sajid Javid has spoken in praise of the proposal. If it is successful, Cllr Tett’s influence will grow on at a national level.

29 Jane Scott (Con), leader, Wiltshire Council

The creation of Wiltshire Council from a previously two-tier system is often held up as a paradigm by proponents of reorganisation. Baroness Scott has been vocal about the cost benefits and service improvements arising from Wiltshire’s restructure.

28 Izzi Seccombe (Con), leader, Warwickshire CC

Cllr Seccombe leads a hung council which, after some deliberation, joined the West Midlands Combined Authority this year. She chairs the LGA community wellbeing board and has been increasingly critical of government policy on social care funding.

27 Eleanor Schooling, national director of social care, Ofsted

Appointed in September 2015, Ms Schooling’s role is to lead the design, delivery and review of Ofsted’s improvement regime as it relates to council. She was previously director of children’s services at Islington LBC.

26 Tony Travers, professor, department of government, London School of Economics

Mr Travers is quite simply the go-to expert on local government financing. London mayor Sadiq Khan appointed him as chair of the reformed London Finance Commission, which will report in January 2017.

25 Meg Hillier (Lab), chair, public accounts committee

Ms Hillier had a hard act to follow in former chair Margaret Hodge when she took over the role in June 2015. Since then her committee has set its sights on transparency in devolution and local enterprise partnerships, commercialisation in local government and children’s services.

24 Pat Ritchie, chief executive, Newcastle City Council

Ms Ritchie has held her post at Newcastle since 2012, having previously been chief executive at the Homes & Communities Agency. She is also the clerk to the North East Combined Authority and its lead on transport.

23 Paul Carter (Con), leader, Kent CC

The County Councils Network chair has been leader of Kent since 2005 and is noted for having taken such a large authority ‘chiefless’. Cllr Carter has called repeatedly for a system of funding that would treat counties more favourably, openly criticised Sajid Javid for an insistence on elected mayors in exchange for devolution.

22 Jim Mackey, chief executive, NHS Improvement

Mr Mackey, a former chief executive of Northumbria Foundation Trust, is highly influential in NHS reform. Our judges said he forms half of a “double act” with NHS England chief Simon Stevens.

21 Jonathan Slater, permanent secretary, Department for Education

Although he has only been permanent secretary since May 2016, Mr Slater has made his presence known; he is said to be influential on policy regarding skills and in particular the possible resurgence of grammar schools.

20 David Gauke, chief secretary, Treasury

Mr Gauke has held this post since July 2016, having previously been financial secretary to the Treasury. It is rumoured he is to take on the work on infrastructure, productivity and devolution, following the departure of Lord O’Neill earlier this year.

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