Solace Blog

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.

What is it like to be a 21st Century Public Servant? – 0

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

Earlier this month we had the great pleasure of launching a new and inspiring publication developed jointly with the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Public Services People Managers’ Association (PPMA). The e-storybook is entitled Walk tall – Being a 21st Century Public Servant.  The stories we tell ourselves and others can help us change the way we think, feel and act. In this unique book, we have taken that well known idea and used compelling stories to illustrate the experience of being a 21st century public servant, and to inspire colleagues to develop the characteristics of this new breed.

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Leadership in Action Series: Bridget McIntyre, Founder of Dream On – 0

To download a PDF version of this article, please click here 

Many people have ambitions, big ideas or perhaps a dream job. Bridget had just that. Read on to find out more about how Bridget has maximised her learning and experiences from the corporate world into the social enterprise that is now dream on. She has added looking at increasing social value and inspiring women to be the best they can be is the end goal.

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Whereto for Housing now? – 0

By Hugo Stephens, Commercial Housing Partner, Bevan Brittan LLP

The Chartered Institute of Housing's annual conference at the end of June was, unsurprisingly, dominated by the EU referendum result, with the overwhelming majority of delegates in a state of bewilderment that the country voted for Brexit. Much of the conference was taken up with discussion of Brexit's implications for housing and the view seemed to be that it would make housing providers' job harder. This was based on financial markets turbulence increasing the costs of borrowing, the loss of EU funding and the risk that housebuilders and developers would not be able to hire the staff they need because of restrictions on immigration.

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Delivering Accelerated Housing Growth – 0

By Manjeet Gill, Chief Executive, West Lindsey District Council and Solace Deputy Spokesperson on Housing

‘Delivery’ and particularly ‘accelerated delivery’ are the key words we have been hearing from Government, and this is consistent with the new Government Ministers. The recent changes in Government have resulted in having a new Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, who has indicated that as a result of the European Union referendum outcome to leave the EU, there is a need to increase investment in infrastructure. 

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Public Services contracting – the agony and the ecstasy! – 0

By Kim Ryley, Chair, Solace in Business, Solace Group

The problems of contracts where the private sector run public services are not new. Over 200 years ago, Jeremy Bentham said of such contracts: "the savings are quickly forgotten and the profits exaggerated!" Britain moved early to become the "Contract State" but, even in the more recent past, there has been only lukewarm Government support for the private sector running public services,(even among many Conservative politicians). The case for their advantages has not been well put and the media have often been hostile.

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What makes successful community transformation? – 0

Jim Saunders, Group Director of Business Development at Pinnacle Group, outlines key factors to consider in locally-based public/private joint ventures to transform communities. 

Pinnacle Group is a family of integrated businesses delivering community solutions across the public and private sectors. At the heart of what we do is place-making and community stewardship – this means an integrated, long-term coordinated approach in partnership with the public sector to create places where people want to live and, consequently, where investors want to invest.

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Elected mayors: The key to strong local leadership post-Brexit? – 0

By Catherine Staite, Director of the Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV) at the University of Birmingham.

When people ask me ‘elected mayors: yes or no?’ I can see the disappointment in their eyes when I reply ’maybe’. That’s not surprising, because we all seek the comfort of certainty. However, the evidence about the effectiveness of mayors is very contradictory. Put simply, effectiveness depends on a combination of factors. The issue of elected mayors has been much contested over the past five years but, whatever people think and regardless of the seismic shock of the EU referendum result, they are definitely coming.

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Unlocking value in local authority capital assets – 0

By David Cowans, Group Chief Executive of Places for People

An increasing number of councils are thinking creatively about how they can use the value locked up in the assets they own to deliver a much needed revenue return at the same time as delivering new homes for their communities. 

But rather than just focusing on the short-term benefits of selling assets, we are starting to see local authorities shifting towards a more strategic approach that maximises capital assets by turning them into sources of funding for long-term revenue.

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Health - What's employment got to do with it? – 0

By Hannah Butler, Communications Manager, Social Finance

Social Finance today launches Health and Employment Partnerships, which aims to help every person with a health condition improve their wellbeing through fulfilling, sustained employment. The event in Parliament will bring together commissioners, service providers and impact investors looking to develop new services that span the traditional boundaries of health and employment provision.

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Recovering from civil emergencies – 0

By Stephen Baker, Chief Executive, Suffolk Coastal and Waveney Councils and Solace Deputy Spokesperson on Civil Resilience

As Chair of the Suffolk Local Resilience Forum I recently attended a national conference for LRF Chairs. I was encouraged to hear several speakers refer to the importance of the ‘Recovery’ phase in relation to civil emergencies, particularly as this is something I have been ‘banging on’ about for some time! Of course the initial response, invariably led by colleagues from blue light services, is critical, but until recently the Recovery phase has not, in my view, had the attention it deserves. That may be about to change.

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