Guardian Public Services Summit 2012

This blog was originally posted on http://www.localgovernmentmatters.co.uk The Guardian Public Services Summit is a rarity on the Summit circuit as it draws together people from across the public, voluntary and private sectors to share views on current issues and future opportunities in public service.  It provides an interesting snapshot of the zeitgeist and I have…

The Tale of the Town Hall Clock

I wrote this shortly after joining Local Government, in 2001…. The Tale of the Town Hall Clock Once upon a time there was a town hall clock.  It was quite a famous clock because it kept very good time, and people for miles around liked to see it, and hear its chiming bells.  Lots of…

Solace Summit 2011 – Musings

Last week saw the Solace Summit 2011 – a deliberate change in format from the normal “Conference” event.  I think it worked well.  One of the key changes was the creation of a communique as an output from the whole thing.  It’s here and it’s worth a read as a snapshot of some of the…

Town Councils – 2

After my fictional blog looking back at the success of a Town Council from the vantage point of 2015 I was delighted recently when someone pointed out this – Frome Town Council’s strategic plan is written in a similar way to the blog. It would be nice to think that the blog was mildly influential in…

Wexton Town Council – May 2015

Wexton Town Council Speech of the Incoming Town Mayor, David Sander, to the AGM 5th May 2015 (Check against podcast) I feel a tremendous privilege to stand here today as Town Mayor for Wexton, and a sobering responsibility.  The last four years have been incredibly active for our town council and our community and before…

Guardian Public Service Summit 2011

Last year I blogged about the summit .  Here are my thoughts from this year: What is the Summit and Who Goes? The Guardian Summit is held annually, lasts two days, and attracts a good range of speakers – examples this year included  Nick Clegg, Katherine Kerswell (Kent CC), Peter Marks (CE of the Co-operative…

The Chief Executive Salary Trap

A short piece I wrote for a recent LGC section, reproduced with their permission.  All the other stories, including an analysis by LGC that shows that contrary to past trends many incoming CEs are now paid less than the incumbent, is here. Two years ago many authorities found that upward CE salary pressures meant they…

A Model of Community Leadership?

Following a very useful and broad ranging conversation with Daniel Goodwin, I was motivated to write this as a thought-starter – it has certainly given me new insights into the role of community leader that we may need as part of the “Big Society”… A Model of Community Leadership David is a Community Leader. David…

Dreaded Science: Solutions to Food and Energy Security

I am a Trustee of Rothamsted Research, an organisation which through world class research is helping tackle some of the biggest issues facing us – including Food Security (ie making sure that as a nation and eventually – as soon as possible – as a world, we have enough to eat) and Energy Security (making sure…

The Voter’s Role in Election Congestion

This is the text of a short article published in this week’s LGC The recent experience of people “denied a vote” is a potent example in the ongoing debates about “behaviour change” and the responsibilities as well as the rights of citizens within their community and the state.  There is something absolute about the right…

The Future of Local Organisational Structures

Recently published in the MJ Up to now the structure of authorities has been largely prescribed by statute or convention.  Although there is more variety at District Level, top-tier authorities have remarkably common structures, often driven by the existence of certain statutory roles, not least the Director of Children’s Services. That is already beginning to…