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.

Solace Elections Conference 2019 – 0

By Harry Chambers, Solace

The last few years have been a time of immense pressure for all members of the electoral community, which has seen its responsibility to deliver smooth, efficient, and fair elections put to the test against the backdrop of electoral reform, new mayoral elections, the 2016 referendum, and the ensuing political turbulence and 2017 snap general election.


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Why I turned my annual public health report into a graphic novel – 0

By Anna Hartley, Director of Public Health at Wakefield Council

‘To be honest Anna, and I shouldn’t really be admitting this...’ the local councillor lent closer and whispered guiltily ‘…it’s the only Director of Public Health annual report that I’ve ever read all the way through.’ To my amusement this was to be a recurrent theme over the next few weeks from other council staff, NHS colleagues, and even a few public health professionals brave enough to admit it. This was my first annual report and I had made the bold step of producing a graphic novel aimed at 11-year-olds rather than the more traditional written report format.


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The burden of cardiovascular disease on our communities – 0

By Professor Jamie Waterall, National Lead for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, Public Health England

Most of us want to live longer, healthier lives. But while we are living longer, many are doing so in poor health and stubborn inequalities persist, particularly around cardiovascular disease (CVD), where those from our most deprived communities are at greatest risk. CVD creates a huge burden for individuals, their families and communities, affecting seven million people and costing the country as a whole over £15bn each year.

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Riding the public sector transformation wave – 0

With local government operating on £15.7Bn less in 2020 than it did in 2010, increasingly it seems that the sector is a plane running on fumes in the fuel tank. But then we have #OurDay. Trending number one in the UK and fourth in the world, with 33 thousand tweets and 10 thousand contributors, it is clear that local public services are run with passion and determination.


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How should local authorities capture new local safeguarding arrangements? – 0

There have been significant changes to safeguarding legislation recently, but it's fair to say that the impact of the changes has probably not yet been felt. However, the deadline for publishing the new arrangements - 29 June 2019 - is now only sx months away.

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How prepared are you for threats to our food supplies? – 0

By Kate Cooper. Birmingham Food Council

Ensuring a population has enough safe, nutritious food to eat is a fundamental responsibility of those in charge of local and national governments. Until this summer, it was a responsibility few if any of us had considered for decades.

This summer, however, a national conversation about the threats to our food supplies began to emerge, owing to the Beast from the East earlier in the year followed by the heat and drought along with stories of stockpiling food if a hard Brexit happens.

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Strategic Preparation for Emergencies – its MAGIC! – 0

By Chief Superintendent Nicky Searle, Course Director

There has never been a time when the local authority role in civil emergencies has been more firmly in the spotlight. It is vital that strategic leaders who perform the role of Gold commander are prepared for the complexities of the role, which may be very different to their day to day responsibilities.

Recent events in Salisbury have demonstrated how wide ranging civil emergencies can be. Who would have imagined an iconic city, renowned for its idyllic setting and historic cathedral, would have to deal with the complex response to and recovery from a nerve agent attack? Similarly, terrorist incidents in London and Manchester in 2017 as well as the Grenfell Tower fire, all demonstrated the need for local authority leaders to be at the forefront of response and recovery operations when disaster strikes.

That’s where MAGIC comes in!

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New Horizons, New Opportunities- a newcomers perspective on local government – 0

By Joe Kinsella, Transformation Officer, Transformation, Calderdale MBC

It seems like a lifetime ago now, after spending the nine months in local government, trying to follow each acronym I came across. But 12 months ago, as a fresh faced graduate, I had arrived at a daunting stage of my life: a career. What would I do, where would I end up? I was applying for a plethora of roles in different organisations; local government, central government and third sector organisations. What attracted me to all those jobs? The opportunity to work in an environment that was at times political, challenging and exciting, but gave me the opportunity to influence and make a positive difference to other people’s lives, which, after eventually realising that I wasn’t going to be a professional footballer, is all I can remember wanting to do.

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Promoting good leadership and development – 0

By Karen Graves, PPMA President

I’m not sure whether the list of priorities facing public services gets longer each year, or whether there is more media attention on a small number of priorities.  Whatever, the answer to that, it is encouraging to see more focus on at least some of our priorities.  It’s also deeply rewarding to see changes in policy – the most recent being the lifting of the housing lending cap.  There’s a real internet here for HR & OD professionals in this episode.

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Improving commercialization through local authority trading companies – 0

By Vivien Holland, Associate Director of Local Government Advisory, Grant Thornton UK LLP

The landscape of local government service delivery has changed forever as austerity and the need to do more with less have triggered councils to be more commercially minded.

With local authorities increasingly seeking proactive measures to achieve financial sustainability, the adoption of local authority trading companies (LATCs) has risen as councils move to embrace new collaborative way of working. But whilst trading companies provide an opportunity for more control to respond flexibly to funding challenges, cut costs where needed, improve quality of service and generate revenue if required, it is important to understand what makes them work well. Especially as others have failed to live up to their promise, and in some cases, been dissolved.

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