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.

Understanding 'community wellbeing': a recent masterclass – 0

By Judith Barnes, Partner, Bevan Brittan LLP

In the context of reduced funding and increasing demand for services around 40 SOLACE members came together to consider how to build strong, sustainable, cohesive communities and a healthy, skilled workforce to support local inclusive growth at a 'Masterclass' event, hosted here at Bevan Brittan.

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If we’re going to build (and I think we should), let’s do it well and let’s do it in partnership – 0

By Manjeet Gill, Interim Chief Executive, Wokingham Borough Council, and Deputy Spokesperson, Economic Prosperity and Housing

Traditionally, councils that had transferred their housing stock focussed their involvement in housing on development control, investment of Section 106 funds, homelessness services and housing options. House-building itself was largely left to Registered Providers (RPs) or the private market. In recent years, we have seen a number of councils moving back into the development game through a variety of approaches from local housing companies, regeneration schemes, and joint venture partnerships.  

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Communications as the language of membership – 0

By Piali Das Gupta, Head of Policy, Solace

I once came across a quote somewhere that has stuck with me: the art of communication is the language of leadership. It is also the language of membership. Our effectiveness as a membership body is intrinsically linked to our ability to communicate – with each other as well as those whom we seek to influence.  

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A focus on digital delivery – supporting your leadership role – 0

By Matt Prosser, Chief Executive, Dorset Councils Partnership and Solace Spokesperson for Digital Leadership 

In this day and age we should all be digital leaders, advocating the beneficial use of technology for our customers, residents and members – and this year’s Solace Summit will help us take a step forward on this.

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Next generation STPs – 0

By Merran McRae, Chief Executive, Wakefield

Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs), the NHS- led plans developed with partners within population footprints, had a controversial start with heavily criticised deadlines, accusations of secrecy and media claims that they were simply a vehicle to reduce hospital services.  

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The seven tests of health and social care funding and reform – 0

By Paul Najsarek, Chief Executive, London Borough of Ealing and Solace Spokesperson for Community Wellbeing

The general election result and the continuing focus on Brexit would suggest that reform of public services will not be centre stage for a while in government. 

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Exploring new methods to bridge the funding gap – 0

By Paul Bradbury, Executive Director of Business Development, Civica

Today’s austerity climate demands commercialisation strategies and partnerships within local government which will deliver increased efficiencies as well as boost income.

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Helping to shape a successful Brexit – 0

By Martin Swales, Chief Executive of South Tyneside MBC and Solace Spokesperson for Economic Growth and Housing

Last month, the Prime Minister signalled that Government is open to considering all ideas and contributions to tackle the complex negotiations arising from Brexit.

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Industrial Strategy and skills – 0

By Nick Bell, Chief Executive of the Prospects Group

Since taking up the leadership of her Party and becoming Prime Minister just over a year ago, Theresa May has advocated the development of an Industrial Strategy as a key means of advancing her declared ambition for “a country that works for everyone”, as well as preparing the country to prosper outside of the European Union. Whilst a lot of political water has since passed under the bridge casting doubt over a number of her policies, this one has staying power, within both the Conservative and the Labour parties.

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What working at a council has taught me about policy – 0

By Piali Das Gupta, Head of Policy at Solace

Coming to the end of my fourth week as Head of Policy at Solace, an uncomfortable realisation has hit me. I spent 15 years working in policy, but it is only now after finishing an 18-month hiatus from that world that I truly understand that my job is not about being clever. There are loads of clever people out there with shiny theories that set out nice neat solutions in a series of easy steps. (Incidentally, we met a lot of people wanting to sell us their shiny wares when I was at Birmingham City Council; it is one of the hazards of working at an authority engaged in a well-publicised process of transformation.)

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