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How, if at all, would you change the focus of Solace?

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Jo miller and trevor holden

Jo miller and trevor holden

JM: We can be more out, loud and proud. As local government public servant leaders we have incredible skills, ability and knowledge. We have a story to tell and an offer to make in enabling great places and reshaping public service. We should do that with confidence and ease, supporting our members along the way.

TH: For me, our focus needs to change to be not just a strong membership organisation but a professional body that provides strong and self-confident leadership for our sector through collaboration:

* with society members to improve our membership offer at all levels, and to engage more on policy and product development;

* across local authorities on procurement, product R&D and policy development whilst being true to the things that make each place unique;

* on talent management.  As we all compete for scarce talent, we need to engage better with the National Graduate Development Programme, the Springboard programme for up-and-coming managers, and our commercial partners to ensure that we are growing and retaining the best possible, talented, leaders of our sector in the future;

* with government.  We need to be seen as part of the solution and a professional body, not a trade union for chief officers;

* with our supply chain.  If we work together ourselves, and with the Local Government Association, we should expect and enable our supply chain to do the same – delivering faster innovation, common systems and cheaper solutions ie design once through collaboration and sell lots;

* with the LGA. The mantra for some time in our sector has been ‘working more closely to drive savings’ – but this needs to be driven by Solace and the LGA working on common themes whilst maintaining our clear and individual identities.

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