Why join Solace?
Solace is the UK representative body for Chief Executives and senior managers working in local government and the public sector. We are committed to promoting public sector excellence.

Solace members access learning, development and networking opportunities through attending our seminars and conferences, participating in our policy networks and mentoring schemes and receiving member-only knowledge resources.

We publish statements, articles, reports and consultation responses and undertake influencing activities in order to ensure that the debate around the future of public services and related items of legislation reflect the expertise and experience of our members.

There are Solace members in 90% of the UK’s local authorities and over 85% of local council Chief Executives are currently Solace members.

Who is Solace Membership for?
Solace membership is open to current and former Chief Executives and senior managers at all UK local authorities as well as aspiring managers, including members of recognised graduate or management development schemes, and those working in related public sector organisations.

Whilst the vast majority of our members work in local government, some occupy senior positions in health and social care organisations, police and fire authorities and central government departments. We are a non-political, pan-public sector, UK wide representative body.

What are the benefits of Solace Membership?
Network: Meet with other Solace members through participating in our policy networks and mentoring scheme, getting involved in your regional Solace branch or attending our regular seminars, conferences and social events.

Development: We offer a range of master classes and training courses on emerging policy agendas and the skills required to lead effectively in the public sector as well as mentoring, exchange and shadowing opportunities. In addition, our articles, reports and guides offer innovative recommendations and learning on a range of policy areas as well as practical counsel on a wide array of leadership issues.

Representation: Share your views on the issues that matter most to you with colleagues, sector leaders and our strategic partners by responding to one of our surveys or calls for evidence, joining a policy network or taking part in a Solace roundtable discussion or other event. We can’t guarantee that our output will reflect your views at all times, but Solace endeavours to make sure that politicians and policy-makers understand the views of the professionals tasked with implementing change on the ground.

Support: The Solace network offers its members a wealth of experience and knowledge which can be accessed through a variety of tools including our mentoring scheme and confidential advice service.

More information about the benefits of SOLACE membership are available here

Please note that SOLACE and ALACE are quite separate organisations (although we work closely together and have many members in common). SOLACE is a professional society; ALACE is a trades union. Membership of one does not bring with it membership of the other. If you are also interested in joining ALACE, click here.

Past Service and Retired membership is only available to current members of Solace or if a membership has previously been held. To apply for this level of membership, if eligible please email



All local authority Chief Executives, heads of paid service and senior managers fulfilling equivalent roles are invited to join Solace. Individuals in corresponding roles in central government departments, other public sector organisations and related sectors will also be considered for membership- please contact Sarah at for more details. Membership rates are based on the population of your local authority area and start at £31.42 per month. 

Benefits include:

  • Opportunities to influence opinion-formers and policy-makers in local government, Westminster, Whitehall and beyond.

  • The ability to participate in Solace policy networks, which investigate and generate research reflecting members’ expertise on emerging policy agendas and leadership challenges.

  • Membership of geographical Solace branches, which offer members the chance to understand the issues facing their authority from a regional perspective and to get to know colleagues in their area.

  • Weekly policy briefs, E-Bulletins and briefings summarising the latest policy developments in and affecting local government.

  • Master classes, seminars and events specifically designed to address your learning, development and networking needs.

  • An Annual Summit where Chief Executives can reflect, share best practice and learning, and shape the future direction of local public services together.

  • Access to Solace research reports offering innovative policy solutions and recommendations on a range of policy areas, as well as guides containing practical counsel for members on a wide array of leadership issues.

  • The Solace Confidential advice and support service, through which you can discuss concerns with fellow Chief Executives or public sector professionals.

  • Access to mentoring schemes and to exchange and shadowing opportunities.

  • Discounted admission to all Solace events and to training and development courses and opportunities offered by our commercial subsidiary. 

We must continue to support each other in our leadership challenge and to truly celebrate what is great, innovative, inspirational and life-changing about working in public services and particularly local government.
Martin Reeves
Past Solace President & Coventry Chief Executive
Local government is officially the most efficient part of the public sector.
David Cameron
Former Prime Minister
Solace is an important source of innovative public policy ideas and research for local government.
Tom Riordan
Leeds Chief Executive
I enjoy getting things done. My philosophy is the edge, the edge of something. There's where we have to go in local government, in not only the philosophy but the creativity in people around you. They have to go to the edge.
Richard M. Daley
Mayor of Chicago 1989-2011
Solace is an invaluable voice in the ongoing debate about the future of our public services- working to ensure that policy is shaped to reflect the experience and expertise of senior local government managers and embodies the spirit of public sector excellence.
Stephen Hughes
Former Birmingham Chief Executive
There is no nobler sphere for those who have not the opportunity of engaging in imperial politics than to take part in municipal work.
Joseph Chamberlain
Mayor of Birmingham 1873-76 & Cabinet Secretary for Trade 1880-85, Colonies 1895-1903
Solace seminars and conferences provide vital learning and networking opportunities for public sector professionals from across the UK.
Elma Murray
North Ayrshire Chief Executive
Local Government has a key responsibility in shaping places- connecting the unique and distinctive capabilities of our areas with the opportunities of an ever more inter-dependent world.
Barry Quirk
Lewisham Chief Executive & author on public leadership
I couldn't have applied for my current job without the experience I gained through my time on the Solace Springboard scheme. I owe Solace a big thank you for that.
Elissa Rospigliosi
Strategic Development & Transformation Officer at Dacorum Borough Council