News & Press

There are many ways that members and public sector professionals can stay up to date with the work of Solace, our policy networks and our partners. On this page you can view news bulletins and press releases from the Solace team, and in addition:

  • Members will receive the Weekly Member Briefing and Policy Brief by email
  • Members who join a policy network(s) will receive regular E-bulletins updating them on its activities
  • You can follow Solace on Twitter (@SOLACE_UK)
 

Statement from Martin Swales, Solace Spokesperson for Economic Prosperity and Housing, in response to the publication of the Social Housing Green Paper – 0

“The Social Housing Green Paper represents a significant opportunity to make social housing a key part of the Government’s wider housing strategy. The content of the Green Paper now needs to be carefully considered but we welcome the fact that Government appears to have been listening to Solace and our recommendations, most notably by dropping the proposal to force the sale of high value council homes and by opening the door to more flexible use of Right to Buy receipts.

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Letter from Paul Najsarek, Solace spokesperson for Wellbeing, to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Rt. Hon. Matt Hancock – 0

To the Rt. Hon. Matt Hancock, 

On behalf of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers (Solace), I would like to congratulate you on your appointment as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. As the representative body for over 1300 Chief Executives and Senior Managers in local government, our members play an invaluable role in ensuring the best possible outcomes for communities across the UK and in delivering the policy ambitions of both national and local politicians to this end.

 

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Statement from Paul Najsarek, Solace spokesperson for Wellbeing on the LGA's green paper for adult social care and wellbeing – 0

We support the LGA’s objective to show how local government can be at the forefront of developing pragmatic solutions, this should be the time for an informed debate with the public on the future of social care. The absence of adequate, long-term funding and reform for adult social care has already had a significant impact on increasing demand both in the NHS and across council services. As a sector we want to support people to live independent, fulfilled lives and we have shown to be effective in doing this when we have the right tools and funding. Ensuring that people and place are at heart of any reform, is the right approach to take - we now need to pick up the pace of planning to address the urgency of need.

Statement from Paul Najsarek, Solace spokesperson for Wellbeing on the announcement of the NHS 5 year funding plan – 0

It is positive that the government has shown willingness to invest in public services and that they value the NHS. However, the absence of adequate, long-term funding for adult social care and other preventative services has already had significant impact on increasing demand for NHS services. As a sector we want to support people to live independent, fulfilled lives where they are most comfortable, and we have shown to be effective in doing this when we have the right funding. Investing in the social care and prevention services is a long term strategy for ensuring a sustainable model of health and care in England.

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Statement from Jo Miller, Solace President, on NAO's report "Rolling out Universal Credit" – 0

This is a statement from Jo Miller, Solace President, in response to the publication of the National Audit Office’s report, Rolling out Universal Credit: “Today’s National Audit Office report on the roll-out of Universal Credit is grim reading that regrettably does not come as a surprise to Solace members. From the start, councils have supported the objective of simplifying the benefits system and the principle of “making work pay”. But we have also repeatedly warned that the exercise would be so complex that it could have devastating impacts on vulnerable people if it did not draw on the insights of those affected and councils who understand the impacts of national policies on the ground. It gives us no satisfaction that our warnings have come to pass. We know that behind the data about late payments and difficulties in filing claims are stories of real human misery: people worried about keeping a roof over their heads, feeding their children and just having the basic necessities of life that we surely all have a right to expect. We are grateful to the NAO for delivering their characteristically rigorous analysis while there is still time for us to make a difference. It is not too late to act on their recommendation to work more closely with local partners to understand what is actually happening on the ground and address the issues. We at Solace certainly stand ready to assist.”

Statement from Dave Smith, Solace Spokesperson for Elections and Democratic Renewal – 0

On 3rd May 2018, local government elections took place in 150 councils in England, along with six mayoral contests. This year, 5 councils were also trialling voter ID pilots which required voters personal identification before casting their ballot. Final turnout figures have yet to be confirmed but reports are that they have been around 30-35 per cent on average.

This is a statement from Solace Spokesperson for Elections and Democratic Renewal Dave Smith:

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Statement from Martin Reeves, Solace Spokesperson for Local Government Finance, in response to the Spring Statement – 0

“It is very disappointing that today’s Spring Statement does nothing to alleviate the funding crisis facing local services, given the National Audit Office’s warning mere days ago that local government is fast becoming financially unsustainable. Councils have sacrificed more than any other part of the public sector to help the public finances improve but cannot continue to do so without great cost to local residents. 

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Statement from Martin Swales, Solace spokesperson on Economic Prosperity and Housing, in response to Theresa May's housing speech – 0

The Prime Minister’s recent speech tackling supply of affordable housing is warmly welcomed.

Our 2016 survey of Local Authorities identified high land value and build costs, land banking and lack of available finance as some of the main barriers to delivering housing.

 

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Solace and Shared Press are delighted to announce the publication of Holding Up The Mirror, a unique collection of stories about post-truth challenges in public life. – 0

Grant Thonrton

Solace and Shared Press are delighted to announce the publication of Holding up the Mirror , a unique collection of stories about post-truth challenges in public life. The book and video stories includes opinion pieces, first-person narratives and fiction (that’s very close to home) that reflect both the hope and the gritty realities of work in public service. The stories cover topics ranging from: telling truth to power, dealing with the London Bridge terror attack, working with the Trans community, the EU referendum and generating income.

Jo Miller CEX Doncaster Council and Solace President says; “In these strange, post-truth times it feels harder than ever to find the space to think, question and talk to each other about what we do and why we do it. That’s why stories like these are more important than ever. It’s more than about support, learning from each other and sharing our triumphs and challenges; it’s about having space to think. The stories are written by senior managers and the people who will take on our roles in the future, many from our successful Solace Springboard programmes. 

Don’t ever tell me that our sector lacks creativity; innovation, risk taking, vision and purpose leap out of these pages – balanced by the pragmatic realism of the everyday grind. This is us – and these stories contain some of the ideas that will continue to make what we do relevant and even more important than ever over the next few years.” 

Dawn Reeves, author, story facilitator and ex-local government director, initiated the project and co-curated the collection. She says, “Post-truth in this book isn’t just alternative facts and fake news. The stories speak of uncomfortable realities that we don’t talk enough about. It isn’t about appealing to emotion rather than rationality, but it does illuminate how it feels to work in a sector under threat, dogged by doom and gloom narratives and yet relied upon to deal with issues at the heart of public and private life in the UK today. It’s honest, challenging, hopeful and inspiring by turns.”

Including 32 stories from 26 different organisations, the publication was sponsored by Grant Thornton UK LLP. Guy Clifton, head of local government advisory at Grant Thornton, says, “We were delighted to be involved in the Holding up a Mirror project and associated book.  This really resonated with us because we recognise the importance in telling stories; in terms of how people learn, communicate and as a signifier of the culture of an organisation and of a place. Local government has a key role in creating a vision for place and stories told by local leaders can significantly contribute to how successfully this vision is communicated.”

For more details, contact Graeme at graeme.mcdonald@solace.org.uk or Dawn Reeves at dawn@dawnreeves.com.

 

Statement from Jo Miller, SOLACE President, in response to the provisional 2018/19 Local Government Finance Settlement – 0

This is a statement from Jo Miller, President of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers (SOLACE), in response to the provisional 2018/19 Local Government Finance Settlement:

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SOLACE Twitter

 

A lot goes on behind the scenes at Solace. Recently the LOD & Events teams have been working hard on a special proj… https://t.co/dbMkQlSoQv

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