Jo miller and trevor holden
JM: There’s been some great work done these last couple of years to refocus Solace. We need to build on that, to have wider links with other key national players and public service bodies to help shape public service reform, enabling more collective and impactful policy influence, together with a leadership offer fit for 21st century public service leaders.
Solace can sometimes feel like a clique, so I’d like to sort that out, harnessing the contribution of the whole membership. I’ve had some great feedback and offers of help from Solace members across the geography, tiers and layers of local government to do just that, so I’d intend to use it.
TH: I need to start by saying that Solace is a great and important organisation for our sector, but this is a vital question and we do need to address our key weakness which I see as member engagement. We need a strong voice in the sector and a reputation as an innovator and solution finder – that comes from a strong membership mandate. The fact that half our regional bodies are not populated and that this is our first election (with only one post contested) gives a real clue as to our ‘critical success factor’. Communication is more than an email push every week; we need to focus on listening to, and engaging with, our membership to unlock the potential of our great society.