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.

Ignite: Developing leadership fit for the future – 0

By Deborah Cadman, Chief Executive of Suffolk County Council and Solace Spokesperson on Leadership and Learning

Solace has done some fantastic work in ensuring that leadership potential is fostered and developed throughout our sector, developing a pipeline of Chief Executives for the future. However, in the rapidly changing landscape of local public service today, it’s vital that existing Chief Executives are equipped with the tools required for the realities of the job, and feel ready to face whatever new challenges the future holds. Even for those who feel at the top of their game, there is always room for challenge and for learning, particularly amongst peers.

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Engaging people in digital transformation: Lessons from the smart meter rollout – 0

By Claire Maugham, Director of Policy & Communications, Smart Energy GB

In November, Smart Energy GB joined the Greater London Authority and the city’s Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal, to represent the capital at the World Smart City Congress in Barcelona.

The focus of the congress, which attracted over 30,000 international delegates and representatives from 600 cities, was ‘cities for citizens’.

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White Paper must provide a fresh vision on housing – 0

By Jonathan Turner, Partner and Head of Housing, Bevan Brittan

There were some welcome announcements from the Chancellor’s ‘first and last’ Autumn Statement – but also many unanswered questions that will be troubling local authorities and those responsible for social care.

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How can we ensure that growth benefits everyone? – 0

By Paul Najsarek, Chief Executive of London Borough of Ealing

It feels like we are living in pretty tumultuous times.  I think there is some danger that recent world events get a bit over interpreted but any analysis of Brexit and the US election does raise questions about how our economy works.  For the first time for many years the policy assumption that economic growth unquestionably drives wider social good is open to debate.  At the very least we need to think about different sorts of growth and which have the most distributed benefit for all our communities.  Notwithstanding financial crises, in the last 30 years we have seen substantial growth in the world and domestic economy fuelled by trade liberalisation, technological innovation, deregulation of financial services and the fall of the Berlin Wall but we have not ended up today with all people feeling this journey has worked for them.

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Life (in local government) is a risky business! – 0

By Rod Penman, Head of Sales, Zurich Municipal

Zurich Municipal has been a Lead Business Partner with Solace for a good few years now, and the mutual benefits of that active collaboration are significant. Recently Amy Brettell, Zurich Municipal’s Interim Head of Public Services and I met with two serving chief executive colleagues and Kim Ryley to share our understanding of how risk in local authorities is changing and of how emerging new trends will need to be managed effectively if financial and reputational damage is to be avoided.

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Transform - A new leadership development programme for senior managers – 0

By Trudy Birtwell, Head of Leadership and Organisational Development, Solace Group

Solace’s purpose is to promote excellence in public service. Alongside our advisory and influencing activities, Solace exists to develop the current and future chief executives and senior managers in local government and beyond.

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Cyber security in local government: The great enabler – 0

By Andrew Rogoyski, UK Head of Cyber Security, CGI

Cyber security is hitting the headlines on an increasingly frequent basis. The reason is quite simple. More and more business, whether commercial or government, is being moved to digital channels and this is greatly increasing the opportunities and prizes for cyber criminals. In this industry, hacks make headlines as executives at Yahoo and Talk Talk will be only too happy to confirm.

When I have conversations with those in local government tasked with drastically reducing costs whilst maintaining, and even improving, service levels – ‘digital transformation’ is almost always the focus. Local authorities simply cannot deliver the budget reductions being imposed upon them without doing things differently, whether that’s using data analytics to improve the efficiency of refuse collection, or allowing citizens to access more services online. 

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Disrupting our thinking on integration – 0

By Mike Bennett, Director, Public Intelligence and Senior Adviser to Newton

It is not new to say that closer working between health and social care services is essential to achieve better outcomes for people. It may be somewhat more surprising to note that talk about integration goes back to at least Enoch Powell. In 1961 as health minister, Powell called on “local health and welfare authorities, through the bodies which represent them, to take a hand in mapping the joint future of the hospital and the local authority services.”

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Digital Transformation for Northern Ireland Planning – 0

By Niall Adams, Commercial Director of Tascomi Ltd 

The advancement and increased availability of technology over the last few decades has meant that society has undergone a global digital transformation and as a result, the public sector is faced with a growing digital disruption.

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Views invited on the draft national surveillance camera strategy for England and Wales – 0

By Tony Porter, Surveillance Camera Comissioner

As you know, Local Authorities are relevant authorities under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 and must pay due regard to the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice. Tony Porter, Surveillance Camera Commissioner, has written a few articles about this for the Solace blog last year, discussing how Local Authorities can comply with the code. 

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