Solace in the Midlands Seminar


29 Nov 2016


Grant Thornton
Colmore Plaza
Colmore Circus
B4 6AT



This event was hosted by
Grant Thornton Logo


Solace Members: £50+vat.
Public Sector Non-solace members : £80+vat

Private Sector: Unfortunately private sector delegates are not able to purchase delegate places for this event unless a sponsorship or exhibition package is purchased. Please contact for further information.


To apply for a place to attend this event, download the registration form here, complete and return via email to:

To see the terms and conditions of registration please click here


‘ Local Government Post-Brexit ’


What will be the future impact of the EU Referendum result on our councils and communities?

How will Brexit affect our approach to devolution?

What does introducing a more commercial culture actually look like, and what are the pitfalls?

Working together to translate national challenges into local solutions your Solace East and West Midlands Branches have collaborated to create a very special and intensive half day seminar to look at these questions and more.

We urge you, or representatives from your council, to attend this event which gives the opportunity to access critical thinking, first-hand lessons won from the front-line and to benefit from questioning and debating these issues with, not just your fellow Solace Members – those people uniquely placed to understand and offer vital insight into your challenges, but also brilliant speakers from local government and the private sector including…



Arrival and tea/coffee


Solace East and West Midlands AGM's


Chairs' Welcome and Introduction to the Seminar

Helen Riley, Chair of Solace West Midlands Branch and Deputy Chief Executive at Staffordshire County Council

Simon Bovey, Chair of Solace East Midlands Branch and Deputy Chief Executive at Daventry District Council


Culture of Place Report Update

Mark Stocks, Director at Grant Thornton in Birmingham, has over 25 years’ experience working with public sector bodies, with a specialty in local government governance, financial planning, risk management, performance management, and alternative delivery models. Mark speaks on the Brexit implications update made to their Culture of Place report, which focusses on how culture impacts our ability to facilitate and support vibrant economies. ‘In a very practical sense, councils and their partners have to align their outcomes and strategies to make the most of their locality – getting the culture right in both their organisations and their places in order to deliver. In challenging times, with the pace of change ever-increasing, that’s no mean feat.’ 

Speaker:  Mark Stocks, Director at Grant Thornton UK LLP

To download the Presentation please click here


Devolution, Brexit – Where Next?

Dr Adam Lent, newly appointed Director at NLGN, where modernisation of local government through vigorous debate and radical thinking is embraced, attends our Solace in the Midlands event as one of his very first speaking engagements. ‘The EU Referendum result has created uncertainty over the future of devolution for a distracted Whitehall. Far from falling down the agenda, this process must now enter a bigger and bolder phase to address the challenges laid bare by the Brexit vote. The next phase of devolution needs to shift away from a general approach to growth, based on low value volume expansion, to a sharper focus on localising the tools to drive productivity growth and raising business performance.

Speaker: Adam Lent, Director at NLGN 




CASE STUDY: Commercial Culture – Aylesbury Vale District Council

Andrew Grant, Chief Executive at Aylesbury Vale District Council, gives his first-hand account of how he is shifting to a more commercial culture by running a conference centre that generated £200,000 in the last year, selling payroll services to other organisations, and by being the first council in the country to run an online lottery, and more, to generate income to help protect frontline services. Engage with Andrew on how you identify the right activities for your council and ask what he has learned that he wishes he’d known from the start.

Speaker: Andrew Grant, Chief Executive at Aylesbury Vale District Council

Presentation coming soon.


Round up and Feedback/Discussion: What Next?


Event ends with lunch and networking


(Programme subject to change)