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Solace News

Solace News

The latest from Solace

A round-up of all of the latest articles and features including references to Solace and our spokespeople.

If you have a media enquiry send an email to Senior Policy Officer David Paine at David.Paine@solace.org.uk.

An invitation to Homes UK

  Homes UK would like to extend an invitation to our members to attend their exhibition and conference in London this November. Please see below for details. What is HOMES UK? 6,000 Attendees | 350 Speakers | 7 Theatres | 2 Days HOMES UK will look at the entire ecosystem of home building and maintenance […]

Solace Response to the 2019 Spending Round

Martin Swales, UK President of Solace, said: “Solace welcomes the short-term financial certainty that this Spending Round brings for the sector. It is encouraging that the Government has listened to our extensive work and calls for much needed clarity over local government finances, in particular, the future of crucial programmes such as the Better Care […]

Solace response to fast-track one-year Spending Round announcement

Martin Swales, President of Solace, said: “Solace has been encouraging the Government over recent months to give the sector financial certainty sooner rather than later, so the decision to hold a fast-tracked one-year Spending Round is a pragmatic outcome. “We look forward to understanding the detailed proposals, and between now and the Spending Round Solace […]

Collaborative Contract’s Don’t Work… Do They?

Join Bevan Brittan and Blake Newport for a panel debate around collaborative contracts. Collaborative Contract’s Don’t Work… Do They? What is the reality of collaborative contracts? In this session, we will discuss the pros and cons – do certain standard terms encourage a more collaborative approach? Do they go far enough? How much is the success […]

Solace response to the prevention green paper

Solace response to the prevention green paper Paul Najsarek, Solace spokesperson for Community Wellbeing, said: “A commitment to put prevention at the centre of decision-making at both a national and local level to further enhance integrated working between local authorities and the NHS for the benefit of our communities is welcomed. “We encourage the new […]

International Election Observation

Solace in Business in partnership with David Kidger Associates Limited have a call off contract to provide Election Observation Monitors for International Elections organised through the Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, (ODIHR) which is a part of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Although referring specifically to Europe the 57 […]

Volunteers Wanted: Environment & Climate Change

Solace has many opportunities for you to use your talents and interests to become engaged and to play a role on the national stage. We are now looking for volunteers to support our ‘Environment and Climate Change’ activities. In addition to a Chief Executive interested in formally leading the profession’s activity, we are also looking […]

2019 Interim Management Survey Results

We are delighted to announce that today, our profit for purpose subsidiary, Solace in Business has been recognised by the Institute of Interim Management (IIM) as one of the UK’s leading Interim Management service providers. Solace in Business are now ranked 6th on the IIM 2019 survey, an improvement to last year’s ranking of 7th, […]

Housebuilder Hill tackles the council housing shortage through innovative Investment Partnerships

Hill Investment Partnerships (HIP) – a subsidiary of Hill Group – is an innovative subsidiary designed to consolidate our skills and experience and work in partnership with local governments to deliver a range of affordable and market housing. At Hill we have a strong track record of delivering, with local authority partners, a variety of […]

Solace and its international partners launch report on the value of storytelling in local government

At a time when respect for traditional institutions and professional authority is in decline, public service leaders have been found to adapt their leadership techniques to take account of a radically changing world. This shift is brought to life in ‘Storytellers in chief: How top local government managers use storytelling to lead’, an empirical study […]

New Solace Leadership Lead

Solace Statement: Joanne Roney, Chief Executive of Manchester City Council, is Solace’s new lead on leadership and learning. This is a statement from Graeme McDonald, Managing Director of Solace in relation to the role:  Following Jo Miller’s recent move to New Zealand, the Solace Group Board has approved the nomination of Joanne Roney (CEO Manchester) […]

Solace is pleased to announce PA Consulting as its newest Business Partner

As an innovation and transformation consultancy with over 2,800 specialists operating globally, PA believes in the power of ingenuity to build a positive human future in a technology-driven world. Founded in 1943, PA is proud of its strong focus on working with the public sector and how its innovative thinking and breakthrough technology can help […]

Statement on the Evaluation of the Troubled Families Programme

Evidence published today by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government shows that hundreds of thousands of people have been helped by the Troubled Families Programme. Commenting on the figures Martin Reeves, Solace spokesperson on Local Government Finance said: “While the sector has long been confident of the achievements of the Troubled Families Programme, […]

Spring Statement Response

Martin Reeves, Solace spokesperson for Local Government Finance, said: “We welcome the prospect of a three-year Spending Review and look forward to working with our partners to make the case for a more radical approach to the way councils are financed, including fiscal devolution and reform of local tax-raising mechanisms, so that the sustainability of […]

Martin Swales, new President of Solace, sets out his vision in annual dinner speech

Local government needs a “long term cross-departmental financial settlement” in the upcoming spending review in order to “give our communities the fairness and stability they deserve”, according to the new President of Solace, Martin Swales. Mr. Swales urged the sector to unite and “build on our existing relationships” across local and central government as the […]

Martin Swales sets out a vision for his Presidency

Last week the new Solace President spoke to the sector press about his vision for his two-year Presidency. In February, the Solace Policy Board will meet for the first time with the new President and will discuss the key challenges impacting on the sector and where Solace should focus on its policy energy over the […]

This is a statement from Martin Reeves, Solace Spokesperson for Local Government Finance, in response to the 2019/20 provisional local government finance settlement

“While it is helpful that the publication of the provisional local government finance settlement has not gone down to the wire this year, there is not much other cause for holiday cheer. We are now in the final year of a 4-year settlement, with no certainty about what the future holds. Ultimately it contains little […]

Solace Statement: Solace next President

Next month Solace will have a new President. This is a statement from Graeme Mcdonald, Managing Director of Solace in relation to the role: After two years Jo Miller (CEO Doncaster MBC) concludes her term of office as Solace President on 31st December 2018. Following a wide-ranging nomination process earlier this year, Solace members have […]

Solace Response to the Autumn Budget 2018

This is a statement from Martin Reeves, Solace Spokesperson for Local Government Finance in response to Budget 2018 on 29 October: “Today’s funding announcements for social care and potholes offer a bit of relief but do little to take local public services off the critical list. Unlike the NHS, which has been offered both multi-year […]

Solace President’s welcome speech 2018

Solace President Jo Miller’s welcome address to the Solace Summit on 17th October 2018 We’ve come a long long way together Through the hard times and the good I have to celebrate you baby I have to praise you like I should For anyone who doesn’t recognise that song, it’s “Praise You” by Fatboy Slim. […]

Statement from Martin Swales, Solace Spokesperson for Economic Prosperity and Housing, in response to the Prime Minister’s announcement at Conservative Party Conference that the HRA borrowing cap would be lifted

“It is excellent news that the Prime Minister has recognised what we have long been saying: this country will only solve the housing crisis if councils are freed to build at scale again. This vote of confidence in the sector is very welcome.” “By enabling councils to play a bigger part in increasing the supply […]

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

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 […]

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

“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 […]

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

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 […]

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

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 a significant impact on increasing demand for NHS services. As a sector, we want to support people […]

Statement from Jo Miller, Solace President, on NAO’s report “Rolling out Universal Credit”

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 […]

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

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 trialing 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 […]

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

“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 […]

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

The Prime Minister’s recent speech tackling the 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. In order to bring the Prime Minister’s plans to life and ‘build […]

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

This is a statement from Jo Miller, President of Solace, in response to the provisional 2018/19 Local Government Finance Settlement: “It will come as a relief to most local authorities that the planning assumptions underpinning the budget proposals they have already had to go out to public consultation on are not significantly challenged by the […]

Statement from Martin Swales, Spokesperson for Economic Prosperity and Housing, in response to the publication of the Industrial Strategy White Paper

This is a statement from Martin Swales, Solace Spokesperson for Economic Prosperity and Housing, in response to the publication of the Industrial Strategy White Paper: “Solace believes that national prosperity is rooted in unlocking local prosperity. The very welcome recognition of “place” as one of the five foundations of the Industrial Strategy shows that Government […]

Statement from Martin Swales, Solace spokesperson on Economic Prosperity and Housing, looking ahead to the Industrial Strategy White Paper

“Solace welcomes the Government’s announcement earlier this week to provide more R&D investment and transport infrastructure, both of which are critical components of supporting economic growth. However, as recent downgrading of productivity estimates show, there is still much to do, not least in reducing the economic disparities we see across the country. The Industrial Strategy […]

Statement from Martin Swales, Solace spokesperson on Economic Prosperity and Housing, on the housing borrowing cap announcement in the 2017 Budget

This is a statement from Martin Swales, Solace Spokesperson for Economic Prosperity and Housing, in response to the announcement in the 2017 Budget on the housing borrowing cap: “Solace agree with the Government that we need to see a big increase in all types of homes being built. History has shown us that we can […]

Statement from Solace President Jo Miller on the 2017 Budget

This is a statement from Jo Miller, President of Solace, in response to the 2017 Budget: Local government needs certainty, stability, and flexibility. Sadly, this Budget falls short, despite some positive measures. The Chancellor has set out a package of housing measures that stand to increase supply across the country. These could go even further […]

Solace President’s Welcome Speech 2017

Solace President Jo Miller’s welcome address to the 2017 Solace Summit. Last year I stood before you as your newly elected President – and thank you again for putting your faith in me – and gave you a taste of what you could expect from me. I spoke about the importance of female leadership, about […]

Solace publishes Initial Position Statement on Skills and Local Economic Growth

Yesterday Solace published an Initial Position Statement on Skills and Local Economic Growth. This is a statement from Martin Swales, Chief Executive of South Tyneside MBC and Solace Spokesperson on Economic Growth and Housing: Yesterday Solace launched its new paper on skills and local economic growth with the clear message that ‘Only by maximizing skills […]

Institute of Interim Management (IIM) Survey, 2017 – Results

The Institute of Interim Management annual survey is a key event in the world of interim management providers. The survey asks senior interim managers and their clients to rate providers, such as Solace in Business – against a series of criteria. Over 2.300 individuals took part in the survey, the full results of which will […]

ADASS Budget Survey 2017

This is a statement from Paul Najsarek, Solace Spokesperson for Community Wellbeing and Chief Executive of the London Borough of Ealing, in response to the ADASS Budget Survey 2017: It’s clear from the survey that though the additional injections of funding have been welcome, this has only temporarily held the system back from tipping over […]

Statement from Solace President Jo Miller on the 2017 Queen’s Speech

This is a statement from Jo Miller, Solace President and Chief Executive of Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council in response to the June 2017 Queen’s Speech: I am disappointed that key legislation – absolutely fundamental to ensuring the future sustainability of local government – has now been dropped. Local government urgently needs clarity around our future […]

Statement from Solace President Jo Miller on the UK General Election 2017

This is a statement from Jo Miller, President of Solace, following the UK general election held on 8 June 2017. Solace would like to congratulate all Returning Officers, Elections Administrators and their staff on the successful running of another smooth, efficient and robust election. In recent years we have borne witness to an unprecedented number […]

CfPS, Solace and The Alliance for Useful Evidence publish new guide to help councils make evidence based decisions and counter ‘fake news’

Solace, the Centre for Public Scrutiny and The Alliance for Useful Evidence (supported by Nesta) are today publishing guidance for local government scrutineers aimed at helping councils make better, evidence-based decisions. Using evidence in scrutiny: A practice guide for local government scrutiny sets out the importance of evidence-based decision making in local government policy, how to […]

Supporting our electoral administrators: Letter from Solace President Jo Miller

This is a letter sent by Solace President Jo Miller, Chief Executive of Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council to fellow Chief Executives in England, as well as regional leads in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland: Dear Colleague, On behalf of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers, following last week’s local and mayoral […]

Solace responds to the Industrial Strategy Green Paper

This is a statement from Martin Swales, Chief Executive of South Tyneside Metropolitan Council and Solace Spokesperson on Economic Prosperity and Housing: Solace welcomes the Industrial Strategy. Solace believes that the focus on solid economics within a context of local inclusive growth will positively support the UK economy. The policy intention of inclusive growth must […]

Diversity in our sector: Letter from Solace President Jo Miller

This is a letter sent by Solace President Jo Miller, Chief Executive of Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council t fellow Chief Executives in England, as well as regional leads in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland: Dear Colleague, You may have seen recent coverage about the Northern Powerhouse conference, with only 1 in 7 female speakers, and […]

Statement from Solace President Jo Miller in response to the publication of the Housing White Paper

Today Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid introduced the Housing White Paper to Parliament and set out the Government’s housing strategy for England. This is a statement from Jo Miller, Solace President and Chief Executive of Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council, in response: “Solace welcomes the publication of the White Paper which […]

Solace statement on publication of Government’s Industrial Strategy

Today Prime Minister Theresa May set out the Government’s plans for a Modern Industrial Strategy aimed to improve living standards and economic growth across the country. This is a statement from Martin Swales, Chief Executive of South Tyneside Council and Solace Spokesperson on Economic Growth and Housing, in response: “Solace welcomes the Government’s new Industrial […]

Statement from Solace President Jo Miller in response to the Local Government Financial Settlement

This is a statement from Jo Miller, Solace President and Chief Executive of Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council, in response to the Local Government Financial Settlement: Whilst increasing the social care precept will give short term relief to a few local authorities, ultimately, relying on a regressive taxation system is not a long term solution to […]

Statement from Solace President Jo Miller in response to the Autumn Statement

This is a statement from Jo Miller, Solace President and Chief Executive of Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council, in response to the Autumn statement: The measures announced in this year’s Autumn Statement to stimulate housing delivery, to devolve borrowing powers, and to support regional infrastructure, are welcome. However, the elephant in the room is social care. […]

Statement from Martin Swales, Solace Spokesperson on Economic Prosperity and Housing, in response to the Autumn Statement

This is a statement from Martin Swales, Chief Executive of South Tyneside Council and Solace Spokesperson on Economic Prosperity and Housing, in response to the Autumn Statement. “The Chancellor today has announced a set of measures from national government that recognise the urgency of the housing challenge. The link made between housing supply and infrastructure […]

New Solace President’s Address

Delivered by Jo Miller, Chief Executive, Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council at the Solace Annual Summit on Wednesday 12 October 2016. When our much awaited first child was born, my husband’s first words were: ‘Blimey Jo, it’s enormous!’ After some berating by me, we established said child was male, and in good working order. I’ll never […]

Solace elects a new President

Over the last week, Solace members have been asked to elect a new Solace President. This is a statement from Gavin Jones, interim Chair of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers (Solace) in relation to the election: “Mark Rogers (CEO Birmingham) concludes his term of office as Solace President at the […]

Solace and LGA joint submission to the Ofsted ‘Future of Social Care’ consultation

On 9th September 2016 Solace responded jointly with the LGA to the Ofsted consultation on ‘The Future of Social Care Inspection’. We welcomed the opportunity to respond to Ofsted’s consultation on the future of social care inspection. We also welcomed the shift towards more proportionate inspections the proposals indicate. However, our response also highlights: – […]

Solace statement in response to the launch of the review into the role of local authorities in children’s services

On Wednesday 13 July then Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan MP outlined plans in a speech titled ‘Local Excellent Everywhere’ for a review into the future role of local authorities in children’s services and education. This is a response from Phil Norrey, Solace Spokesperson for Children and Families and Chief Executive of Devon […]

Solace Statement: Tribute to Harold Bodmer

“Solace is saddened to learn of the death of Harold Bodmer, Executive Director of Adult Social Services at Norfolk County Council, ADASS President and Solace member. The tributes paid this week reflect his high standing right across the sector and that he worked incredibly hard to improve social care both in Norfolk and across the […]

Solace statement in response to Education Select Committee report on social work reform

On Wednesday 13 July the Commons Education Select Committee released their report titled ‘Social Work Reform’ which raises concerns about current government policy around children’s social work. This is a response from Phil Norrey, Solace Spokesperson for Children and Families and Chief Executive of Devon County Council: The acknowledgment this report gives to the huge […]

Solace letter to the new Prime Minister

Today Solace has sent a letter to the new Prime Minister, Rt Hon Theresa May MP, offering support in transforming public services. The letter sets out a clear and positive offer from the management of local government to the new Government. It outlines key areas where greater transformation is required and where we want to […]

Solace statement on the outcome of the EU Referendum

On Thursday 23th June 2016, Britain voted in a historic referendum on the membership of the European Union. This is a statement from Mark Rogers, Chief Executive at Birmingham City Council and Solace President: “The UK has decided to leave the European Union and take powers back from Brussels. This means local government should be […]

Solace unites with industry bodies to drive local digital leadership

In a new paper released today, Solace, Socitm the LGA, and the Local CIO Council jointly call for local leaders to champion digital innovation in their own authorities, as a vital step in building shared services and delivering place-based policy. The paper presents compelling case studies of local government and public sector organisations that have […]

Solace statement on the Government’s announcement to drop compulsory ‘Academisation’

On 6th May 2016 Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan MP, announced that the Government would be dropping plans to legislate to make it compulsory for all schools to become Academies. This is a statement from Phil Norrey, Chief Executive of Devon County Council, and Solace Spokesperson for Children and Families in response: “Many […]

Solace statement on the Budget 2016

On 16th March 2016 the Chancellor of the Exchequer delivered the 2016 Budget. This is a statement from Graeme McDonald, Director of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers (SOLACE), in response: SOLACE has previously argued that the financial settlement for local government needs a radical overhaul and that what is proposed […]

Solace statement on compulsory schools ‘Academisation’

On 16 March 2016, the Chancellor delivered his annual Budget, including the announcement that by 2020 every school must become an Academy. This is a statement from Phil Norrey, Solace Spokesperson for Children and Families and Chief Executive of Devon County Council: Today’s announcement on compulsory ‘Academisation’, which was trailed in last year’s spending review, […]

Solace statement on the Local Government Financial Settlement

On 17th December the Government announced the Local Government Financial Settlement. This is a statement from Mark Rogers, President of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers (SOLACE) in response to the announcement. SOLACE is supportive of the confirmation in today’s settlement that there will be full business rate localisation by the […]

Solace statement on the Prime Minister’s announcement on Children’s Services

On Monday 14th December 2015 the Prime Minister announced new measures to intervene to tackle ‘struggling’ children’s services. This is a response from Phil Norrey, Solace spokesperson for Children and Families and Chief Executive of Devon County Council. We welcome the recognition from the Prime Minister that how we deliver Children’s Services up and down […]

Solace ‘Addressing the Housing Challenge’ policy paper published today

On Monday 7 December 2015, Solace published a policy paper entitled ‘Addressing the National Housing Challenge’. This is a statement from Martin Swales, Solace Spokesperson on Economic Prosperity and Housing and Chief Executive of South Tyneside Council. “Housing delivery and affordable housing supply stands as one of the major social challenges that the country is […]

Solace response to the Chancellor’s Spending Review 2015

On 25th November the Chancellor of the Exchequer set out the 2015 Spending Review. This is a statement from Mark Rogers, President of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers (Solace). While a number of today’s announcements will be welcomed in local government, measures such as the ability to retain 100% of […]

Solace statement on the announcement of local retention of business rates

On Monday 5th October 2015, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced that local authorities will be able to keep the income raised from business rates. This is a statement from Paul Martin, Solace spokesperson for local government finance and Chief Executive of the London Borough of Wandsworth, in response. George Osborne’s announcement is very […]

Solace statement on the Rural Productivity Plan:

On Thursday 20 August 2015 the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, and Environment Secretary, Elizabeth Truss have published the Government’s first ever Rural Productivity Plan. This is a statement from Manjeet Gill, Solace Deputy Spokesperson on Housing and Chief Executive of West Lindsey District Council, in response. “The measures set out in the Rural […]

Solace joint response with the LGA to the consultation on Local Authority Public Health Allocations 2015/16 In-Year Savings

Over August the government ran a consultation on the technical options for delivering a £200 million saving to the 2015/16 public health grant to local authorities. SOLACE responded jointly with the LGA. Our response states that at a time when the Government has issued its firm commitment to the NHS Five Year Forward View, with […]

Solace joint response with ADCS and the LGA to the consultation on Joint Targeted Area Inspections

The ADCS, the LGA, and Solace have today, Tuesday 11 August, submitted a formal response to the consultation issued by Ofsted on plans to introduce a new joint targeted area inspection (JTAI). The recognition that local authorities are not the sole agency responsible for safeguarding children was welcomed by the three associations, as was the […]

Solace statement on the Emergency Budget

On Wednesday 8th July 2015, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced his Emergency Budget 2015. This is a statement from Graeme McDonald, Director of Solace, in response: The living wage is a policy pioneered across many councils and its broader use is to be welcomed. Local government will need support to ensure services for […]

Solace statement on the Emergency Budget: Martin Swales, Solace Spokesperson on Economic Prosperity and Housing

On Wednesday 8 July 2015 the Chancellor of the Exchequer delivered the 2015 Emergency Budget, following the General Election in May. This is a statement from Martin Swales, Solace Spokesperson on Economic Prosperity and Housing and Chief Executive of South Tyneside Council, in response. “The Chancellor has made proposals to raise rents on council tenants […]

Solace statement on the announced closure of the College of Social Work

This week it was announced the College of Social Work is to close. This is a statement from Phil Norrey, Solace Spokesperson on Children and Families and Chief Executive of Devon County Council, in response: “We’re extremely disappointed to hear the news that the College of Social Work is going to be scrapped due to […]

Queens Speech Solace Briefing 2015

Download the report by clicking the link.

Solace statement in response to the Chancellor’s announcement outlining city devolution plan for England

On Thursday 14th May 2015 in his first speech of the new parliament, the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne offered major cities in England power over skills, transport, housing, planning, and healthcare if they agree to be governed by a directly elected mayor. The Chancellor invited cities to follow the example of Manchester, the […]

Solace statement following the UK election held on 7th May 2015

This is a statement from Graeme McDonald, Director of Solace, following the UK election held on 7 May 2015. On 7 May 2015, as well as the UK General Election, local government elections also took place in 279 English councils. In total, 161 local authorities had all out elections and there were 6 mayoral elections. […]

Code of Ethics for Local Public Service Senior Managers

This week Solace is launching a call for evidence on a new Code of Ethics for Local Public Service Senior Managers. This is a statement from Graeme McDonald, Director of Solace, on the project. Professional bodies of senior managers across local public services have come together to develop a code of ethics for their members. […]

Catherine Staite, Director of INLOGOV appointed as Local Government Research Facilitator

On Friday 1st May 2015, the Society for Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers (Solace), the Local Government Association, and the Economic and Social Research Council have appointed Catherine Staite, Director of the Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV) at the University of Birmingham, to a new role as Local Government Research Facilitator to […]

Inspecting children’s services in a different way

The Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS), the Local Government Association (LGA) and Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (Solace) today publishes a tri-partite policy position paper outlining a new approach to the inspection of children’s services. The three associations are seeking to advance the case for a more focussed, flexible and proportionate regime. […]

Solace statement on National CSE Awareness Day

Wednesday 18 March is ‘National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day’. To mark the day, this is a statement from Mark Rogers, Solace President and Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council. Child Sexual Exploitation is a vicious and deep-rooted strain of sexual abuse which irrevocably damages the lives of children and young people. Tackling this abuse […]

Solace response to the 2015 Budget

On 18 March 2015, the Chancellor of the Exchequer delivered the 2015 Budget. This is a statement from the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers (Solace) in response. This Budget reminds us of the formidable task facing public services in the next Parliament. Whoever forms the next Government, we need a radical […]

Solace statement on Ofsted Social Care Annual Report

On 10th March 2015 Ofsted published their annual report on social care. This is a statement from Mark Rogers, President of Solace and Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council, in response. This report usefully highlights the ever-increasing strain local authorities are coming under from rising demand, new challenges and significantly diminishing resources. It also graphically […]

Solace Insights Report Launched

On 26th February 2015 Solace released ‘Solace Insights – changing local services’. The report, sponsored by CapacityGrid, measures the mood in local government and outlines some clear and important messages to the sector and our partners. This is a statement from Graeme McDonald, Director of Solace, to support the publication. Solace members see a predictable, […]

Solace statement on departure of Joanna Killian from Essex County Council

On 24 February 2015 Essex County Council announced that Chief Executive Joanna Killian, also the Chair of Solace Group, will be leaving the authority to take up a role as Partner at KPMG. This is a short statement from Mark Rogers, President of Solace and Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council, in response. On behalf […]

Solace statement elaborating on the Solace position on Individual Electoral Registration (IER)

This is a statement from Dr. Dave Smith, Chair of the Solace Elections and Democratic Renewal Board and Chief Executive at Sunderland City Council, elaborating on the Solace position on IER. Solace has worked with partners including the Electoral Commission, Cabinet Office and Association of Electoral Administrators to safeguard the quality of electoral processes at […]

Solace response to Independent Commission on Local Government Finance

On 18 February 2015 the Independent Commission on Local Government Finance, established by the LGA and CIPFA and chaired by Darra Singh, released its final report. This is a statement from Graeme McDonald, Director of Solace, in response. This review is a clear and unambiguous statement of the unsustainability of the current local government financial […]

Solace response to Inspection of Rotherham MBC

On 4 February 2015, the Government published the report of Louise Casey’s inspection of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council. This is a statement from Mark Rogers, President of Solace and Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council, in response. Today’s report makes upsetting and troubling reading. For too long, key agencies in Rotherham did not properly safeguard […]

Solace response to the Elphicke-House report on the role of local government in housing

On 27th January, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) published an independent report from a review led jointly by Natalie Elphicke and Keith House. The review considered how councils can help to increase housing supply for their communities across all tenures. This is a statement from Manjeet Gill, Solace Deputy Spokesperson on Housing […]

Solace response to PAC report on the Financial Sustainability of Local Authorities

On 28th January the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) published their report on the Financial Sustainability of Local Authorities. This is a statement from Graeme McDonald, Director of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (Solace) in response. This report confirms the immense scale of the financial challenge facing local government. Continued reductions without a coherent […]

Solace statement on health and care reform

On 27th January Labour announced their “10-year plan” for the NHS. This is a statement from Jo Farrar, Solace Spokesperson on Community Wellbeing and Chief Executive of Bath and North East Somerset Council setting out the Society’s views on health and care reform. We need to secure a cross-party consensus about how we create a […]