Solace Blog

As well as those used in the weekly Solace News email for members, articles and blogs written or contributed to by Solace staff and Board members for external publications including the Guardian, Local Government Chronicle and Municipal Journal are republished for browsing on this page. 

A number of these can be accessed through the Solace Guardian Public Leaders Network Partner Zone.

How local authority leaders can Keep it Local to drive their preventative services – 0

by Nick Plumb, Policy Officer at Locality 

There recent Public Accounts Committee report on the ‘shambles’ of NHS England’s outsourcing of primary care support services to Capita highlights the risks of outsourcing at scale. Of late, this is a message that has been repeated time and time and again, by different people in different contexts – the NAO, the PACAC, the Labour Party, and the government itself. Increasingly, poor quality services and the risk of expensive failure are the outcomes associated with large-scale outsourcing. It appears that the tide is turning.

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It Takes a Village – 0

 by Vivienne Tong, Katie Johnston & Jonathan House

Government and Healthcare Consulting - PwC

It takes a village to raise a child.  But continued short-termism – that means we are stuck in reactive spending cycles and still working in siloes – isn’t creating the right ‘village’ of support to give children the best chances.  PwC are working in collaboration with Solace to bring together and share best practice for effective cross-system or place-based working: publishing a series of blog posts and article and a report at the October Solace Summit.


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Reflections on Solace Presidency – 0

By Jo Miller, Solace President and Chief Eexecutive at Doncaster Council

Looking back at the past year-and-a-half, all I can think is “Blimey”. And I say that not about me as President but about all of us as leaders of a sector that, in the face of conditions that would have had most FTSE100 executives running for cover, has stood firm to provide an anchor for our communities. Our jobs have gotten harder as have the lives of far too many people we serve – but I still hear from so many of you what an absolute privilege it is to do what we do. 

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Place-shaping – 0

By William Benson, Chief Executive of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council

I had a bit of an awkward moment at one of our annual staff conventions earlier this year when a speaker asked the audience to tell them the Council’s vision?’ There was silence as people looked at their shoes – no-one could remember it!

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Matching Digital Ambitions to Community Outcomes – 0

To deliver visible results from digital transformation initiatives, local authorities and service providers need to stay focused on specific goals and work out how intelligent connectivity can best support them, says Simon Haston, BT’s CIO for Scotland

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Building a more democratic, local economy – 0

By Reema Patel, Democracy Commentator 

Just over two years ago, I commenced the work of convening a Citizens’ Economic Council, a group of demographically diverse and randomly selected citizens working publicly and out in the open to define and describe some of the design principles for an economy that works for everyone. The programme itself launched against the immediate backdrop of the EU referendum vote, at a time when the quality of democratic debate was poor and deteriorating; and at a time where we felt that expertise had somehow missed the mark in contributing to that debate. A team of RSA researchers embarked upon a Roadshow, travelling across Britain in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote - visiting Port Talbot in Wales, Clacton-in-Sea, Birmingham, Glasgow and Oldham - exploring citizen views and perspectives on how best to create a more inclusive economy.


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National Democracy Week – 0

By Tim Hughes, Director of Involve

Monday marked 90 years since the Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act was given royal assent, giving women and men equal voting rights. The inaugural National Democracy Week this week is a time to celebrate that progress. But it’s also a time to reflect on the quality of our democracy and how it can be improved.

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We should be celebrating a joint 70th birthday – 0

Vanessa Lucas, Senior Policy Officer at Solace 

Today the NHS turns 70 and I do feel quite proud of it - proud that it came into being and proud that it is still alive if not completely well. It is symbol of the rich diversity of Britain and of what an aspiration of hope, equality and fairness can produce. It is still rated as one of the best and most efficient health services in the world.  However, the celebration is bitter sweet – especially for those of us working in local government. Social care, the overshadowed twin in the corner, is also turning 70 but there is no birthday cheque and the lack of fanfare is deafening.


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The Digital Declaration and why you should sign-up – 0

Matt Prosser – lead spokesperson for Digital at Solace and Interim Head of Paid
Service at Shadow Dorset Council

In this day and age any leader of public services must de facto be a digital leader. Whether
with arms open wide, or kicking and screaming, councils have entered the digital age- and
the many of our residents are way ahead of us. Digital innovation is a key pillar of the
transformation the sector is currently undergoing. The ability to build shared services and
deliver whole place-based policy depends on it. Above all, moving with the digital world
ensures the best possible experience and outcomes for local citizens. That’s why I’m
particularly happy to be co-publishing the Local-Digital Declaration on behalf of both Solace
and the Shadow Dorset Council.

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Hull's Year as the City of Culture - a proud time to be in local government – 0

by Matt Jukes, chief executive of Hull City Council 

2017 was a transformative year for the city of Hull and a truly memorable, once-in-a-lifetime, opportunity for everyone. It gave the city a new-found energy, optimism and confidence.

 As a Council, we always said our aim would be to ‘set the stage’ for the City of Culture team, the public and our many partners to tell Hull’s story and we can confidently say we did just that.  Following the £27 million regeneration of our city centre, the refurbishment of two of Hull’s cultural gems, the Ferens Art Gallery and Hull New Theatre along with the £80-million regeneration of the Fruit Market area on our riverside and a £4.2m investment in Hull’s historic Old Town, our city is transformed.

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