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Rogers set to remain president as Solace unveils top team

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Mark Rogers will remain Solace’s president for the next two years under plans to be put to the society’s membership for approval at its annual conference next week.

The Birmingham City Council chief executive is set to head the organisation’s top team following a shake-up which will see the appointment of 10 spokespeople to become commentators on specific policy portfolios.

There is no place in Solace’s new policy board for Ged Fitzgerald, the chief executive of Liverpool City Council, who has been embroiled in the Rotherham child abuse scandal.

Mr Fitzgerald is currently the society’s senior vice president and in the past the person who held that post had gone on to Solace’s top job. However, Liverpool’s mayor Joe Anderson (Lab) last month indicated Mr Fitzgerald faced a probe over his tenure as Rotherham MBC’s chief executive from 2001-03.

The full policy board line up

President: Mark Rogers, Birmingham City Council

Community wellbeing: Jo Farrar, Bath and North East Somerset Council, spokesperson; Penny Thompson, Brighton & Hove City Council, deputy

Children and families: Phil Norrey, Devon CC, spokesperson; Kim Bromley-Derry, London Borough of Newham, deputy

Civil resilience and community safety: John Barradell, City of London, spokesperson; Stephen Baker, Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Councils, deputy

Elections and democratic renewal: Dave Smith, Sunderland City Council, spokesperson; Jo Miller, Doncaster Council, deputy

Innovation and commissioning: Max Wide, strategic director of business change, Bristol City Council, spokesperson; Sandy Hopkins, Havant Borough Council and East Hampshire District Council, deputy

Digital leadership: Martin Reeves, Coventry City Council, spokesperson; Rob Kenyon, chief officer health partnerships, Leeds CC, deputy

Leadership and learning: Deborah Cadman, Suffolk CC, spokesperson; Becky Shaw, East Sussex CC, deputy

Local government finance: Paul Martin, Wandsworth London Borough Council, spokesperson; Mike Suarez, Cheshire East Council, deputy

Economic prosperity and housing: Martin Swales, South Tyneside Council, spokesperson; Simon Neilson, regeneration executive director at Walsall Council, (economic prosperity deputy), Manjeet Gill, chief executive, West Lindsey DC, (housing deputy)

Evidence-based policy: Abdool Kara, Swale BC, spokesperson; Steve Atkinson, Hinckley & Bosworth BC, deputy

There will also be a representative from the English branch regions.


Solace group board

Joanna Killian, Essex CC, chair

Mark Rogers, Birmingham City Council, president

Simon Baker, Staffordshire Moorlands District Council and High Peaks Borough Council, finance lead

Mark Hynes, director of legal and democratic services, Lambeth London Borough Council, solicitor

Lyn Carpenter, executive director, environment, leisure and residents services, London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, non-executive director

Averil Price, director of community services, Chlemsford City Council, non-executive director

Kim Ryley, chair of Solace Enterprises Limited

Chair of the Scotland Solace branch

Chair of the Wales Solace branch

Chair of the Northern Ireland Solace branch

Deborah Wood, director, Solace

Graeme McDonald, director, Solace

Terry McDougall, business development director, Solace Enterprises

Solace’s spokespeople will each hold a portfolio and are expected to engage with its wider membership, represent it in meetings with the government and other national bodies and speak publicly to the media and other national audiences.

The Solace group will set the organisation’s strategic direction.


More to follow

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