Solace is a non-political, pan-public sector, UK wide organisation which represents individuals from all tiers of management and across a wide range of professions. The breadth and depth of our membership gives us a unique, strong and credible voice in the policy arena. Directed by our members, the Solace team seeks to: influence the debate about the future of public services; ensure that national policy is based on robust evidence about what works on the ground and is shaped around the expertise of our members; and assist in the delivery of effective local policy implementation.
Our policy work is led by a team of policy spokespeople and deputy spokespeople leading on a range of issues across local public services policy, and headed up by our President.
Key policy work for the President and spokespeople includes representing the sector in conversations with government officials, as well as the media; sharing best practice across the sector; forming effective partnerships with relevant organisations; and, contributing to proactive policy thinking and development.
The policy team also contributes to the Society's events programme. These events are designed to provide opportunities for Solace members to learn about the latest thought leadership and research in specific policy areas and to share, learn from and network with colleagues from local government, the wider public sector and the third and private sectors. The Events diary, as well as information about past events, can be found here.
The President of the Society is elected at the Society's Annual General Meeting for a period of office of two years. The President leads the Society's policy work as well as attending the Group Board of Directors. The chief role of the President is to be the visible ambassador for the Society and for the profession.
Children and Families
The Children and Families team will continue thinking about the role of local authorities in education, responding to changes in the inspection regime and thinking more fundamentally about the future shape of children’s and family-related services.
Civil Resilience and Community Safety
The Civil Resilience and Community Safety network will act as a sounding board to provide a forum for open discussion on current civil resilience and community safety policy issues. It will provide a Local Authority perspective on the impacts of UK civil resilience policy on service delivery and provide advice to government on aspects of policy that need to take account of Local Authority operations. For further information about the network, click here
The Community Wellbeing spokespeople will continue to influence the national policy agenda around national health and care services and support reform and health and social care integration.
Solace's Digital Leadership work focuses on increasing the understanding and development of ‘digital’ in local public services and local authority transformation, working with partners across the sector to harness its potential. Read the latest policy statement here.
Economic Prosperity & Housing
The Economic Prosperity and Housing network will look at the critical role local authorities play in promoting economic growth and prosperity in their places. It will look at how councils work with LEPs, Combined Authorities and others in partnership approaches across the public, private and voluntary sectors. For further information about the network, click here
Elections and Democratic Renewal
The Elections and Democratic Renewal network will conduct research into the policy challenges posed by the move to individual electoral registration (IER), the development of pilot Electoral Managements Boards across England to improve consistency and standards, as well as issues related to the upcoming General Election in 2015. For further information about the network, click here
Evidence Based Policy
The Evidenced-Based Policy network will work to ensure that policy implementation and commissioning decisions at the local level are based upon robust evidence whilst delivering the analytics required for building the evidence of the future. For further information about the network, click here
Innovation and Commissioning
The Innovation and Commissioning team will lead the development of Solace’s guidance and advice on local government innovation, commissioning, sourcing and procurement and it will work to influence national policies and standards. For further information about the network, click here.
Leadership and Learning
The Leadership and Learning network will lead Solace’s thinking about the future leadership requirements of senior officers in local public services, the changing workforce in the sector and how the Society helps contribute to individual and organisation development.
Deborah Cadman OBE
Local Government Finance
The Local Government Finance network will work to address the increasing challenges posed by funding cuts for local government and advise the government on policies related to this area.