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					SOLACE    Society of Local Authority
    Chief Executives and Senior Managers




                                            The electronic newsletter from the




                                           Focus
Jan/Feb 2003
                                            Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers



 About ‘Focus’

 Cover

 Contents

 News

 Agenda

 Partners

 Development

 Course Diary                                     Look                 Develop                  A vital
 Feedback
                                                  to the               potential                health
 About SOLACE
  Focus is produced by
SOLACE in association with
                                                  future               leaders                  service
                                                  New report GO        Joint initiative GO      Local view GO
                                   Contents
       Jan/Feb 2003


Focus
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers


                                                           January/February2003                                      People in this issue include:
                                                                                                                     Pitt, Corry and Woof




  About ‘Focus’              NEWS:                                      AGENDA                                       BT: New CRM solution at work in two
                             Celtic touch: Why Scotland is better at    Think tank: Local authorities are living     very different councils
  Cover                      nurturing local government                 systems not machines                         BT: Ten steps to flexible working
                             Serial complaints: Standards Board has     Leaders needed: SOLACE joins                 ORACLE: Why delivering e-government
  Contents                   2000 complaints in first six months        initiative to develop potential leaders      is not just about better services
                             Panel reflects: Making sure e-             Health check: Local authorities have         ORACLE: Waiting time for callers to Hull
  News                       government stays top of the agenda         just as vital a role in health as the NHS    CC is down to three seconds
                             Conference 2003: SOLACE Conference                                                      ZURICH MUNICIPAL: Local authorities
  Agenda                     returns to Edinburgh                       PARTNERS                                     must have systems that work to deal
                             In touch: Commonwealth Local               NLGN: Why the establishment of               with stress
  Partners                   Government Conference focuses on           ‘innovation forums’ is old news
                             partnerships                               UKCOUNCIL: Can technology that               TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT
  Development                Forget inspectors: Learn from Julius       allows people to vote on TV                  Demos research: Work continues on
                             Caesar at West Midlands seminar            programmes benefit local democracy?          developing better leadership skills for
  Course Diary               Harness e-government: National             IDeA: Effective scrutiny role is key, says   public services
                             strategy for local e-government launched   MP at Centre for Public Scrutiny launch      New CEX Diary: Stephen Baker reflects
  Feedback                   Post-its: Guide to postal voting           IDeA: Consultation on procurement            on life in the hot seat
                             launched by Royal Mail                     IDeA: National e-government support          Course diary: Don’t forget those New
  About SOLACE                                                                                                       Year resolutions. Why not sign up for a
                                                                                                                     new course?
                               Don’t forget the SOLACE Annual Dinner:                                                Gentle touch: Gender issues to be
 SOLACE
 Hope House
                              The Savoy Hotel on 11 February 2003. Drinks at 7pm, dinner at 8pm.                     explored at sessions in the North West
 45 Great Peter Street        Corporate tables available. Click here for details and online booking.
 London SW1P 3LT
 Tel: 020 7233 0081
       Jan/Feb 2003
                                              Local government in England can learn from Scotland
Focus
                             Take the high road
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’                                      Scotland has a better chance of             Foundation study on the impact of
                                                     nurturing a more mature relationship        devolution on local government in
  Cover                                              between central and local government,       Scotland noted the decreased
                                                     based on mutual trust and a recognition     importance of Westminster to the day-
  Contents                                           of interdependence, than local              to-day operations of Scottish local
                                                     authorities do in England, says SOLACE      government, while recognising the
                                                     vice president Paul Croft. ‘The fractured   continuing influence of UK party
  News
                                                     surface of public service in England        politics, said Croft.
                                                     feels like a snakes and ladders approach      He emphasised a comment from the
  Agenda                         Central and local   to modernisation sometimes,’ he said.       study which said civil servants still had a
  Partners                      government must        Croft, CEX Purbeck DC, told the           tendency ‘to tell things rather than to
                                                     SOLACE Scottish Conference that             listen’ and that they had a ‘command
                              learn to share, says   phrases like ‘mutual self help’ and         model’ of the world. ‘Some things are
  Development
                                     SOLACE vice     ‘mutual improvement’ had sprung up at       the same between us,’ he said.
                                                     him as he read the recent briefing note       It was important to strike a delicate
  Course Diary               president Paul Croft    on Improvement in Scotland. ‘Of course      balance. ‘Securing that essential
  Feedback                                           you haven’t the CPA to contend with,’ he    mutuality - recognising a strength of
                                                     said. ‘Though that might just morph         common purpose while retaining
  About SOLACE                                       across the border through the proposed      individuality and discretion. The closer
                                                     improvement partnership and in the          you are drawn, the easier it becomes to
                                                     establishment of a best value culture in
 SOLACE
 Hope House                                          Scottish governance.’
 45 Great Peter Street
                                                       The recent Joseph Rowntree
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       Jan/Feb 2003
                                                                  Local government in England can learn from Scotland
Focus
                             Take the high road
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’              control,’ he said. ‘And yet standing off is   that evening. So much for mutuality.’       improvement can come through sharing
                             not an option if we are to learn, share         How local government colleagues in        experiences - rather than a particular
  Cover                      and achieve together.’                        Scotland and Wales develop that             subject area. ‘Interesting times require
                               He highlighted the difficulties of          mutuality will be of enormous               flexibility and learning to help us face
  Contents                   developing a mutuality with a story           significance to local government in         the challenges of modernisation,’ he
                             from a very-successful SOLACE                 England and to SOLACE, the Society as       said.
                             exchange he had taken part in some            a whole.                                      Aitchison singled out the impact of the
  News
                             years ago. ‘I witnessed in Los Angeles          The need to learn and achieve through     Scottish Parliament, the current Local
  Agenda                     problems of adopting a fiercely               sharing experiences and ideas - the         Government Bill in Scotland and the fire
                             independent line. On the one hand             theme of the Scottish conference -          fighters’ pay dispute as particularly
  Partners                   dozens of agencies running around like        represented survival for Croft, as CEX of   challenging. Future challenges included
                             headless chickens trying and failing to       one of the smaller shire districts in       proposed reforms to the voting system
  Development                address crime-related drug issues, the        England and was the fundamental             and other changes, foreshadowed in the
                             likes of which we have never                  strength of SOLACE itself. ‘There is a      White Paper Renewing Local
  Course Diary               experienced.                                  huge talent within the Society, if we can   Democracy, in a Local Governance Bill
                               ‘And on the other, when I asked a city      tap into that effectively I think we can    due to be introduced by the Scottish
  Feedback                   manager what his reaction had been to         become a holistic Society in control of     Executive in 2003. Andy Kerr MSP,
                             the Rodney King riots on his border he        its own destiny.’                           Minister for Finance and Public Services,
  About SOLACE               told me with a glint of pride in his eye        In opening the conference, branch         gave the keynote address.
                             that he had broken open the armoury           chairman Tom Aitchison, CEX City of           SOLACE DG David Clark spoke to
                             and stationed his police on the               Edinburgh Council, said the Scottish
 SOLACE
 Hope House                  boundary bridges to stop anyone from          conference was a little out of the
 45 Great Peter Street
                             leaving Compton and entering his city         ordinary in stressing an approach - how
                                                                                                                                    Page 2 of 3
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                                                                Local government in England can learn from Scotland
Focus
                             Take the high road
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’              conference about the future of SOLACE.      their own councils, demonstrating not        ■ More information on SOLACE
                             He acknowledged that, while SOLACE          only the importance of the e-                Scotland from Tom Aitchison. Email:
  Cover                      tends to be English-centric, there are      government agenda but also that there        tom.aitchison@edinburgh.gov.uk
                             many issues of shared interest between      are several ways of achieving it,
  Contents                   the centre and the Scottish Branch. For     including in-house; PFI and partnership.
                             this reason, SOLACE has to become             Managing the People Dimension
                             smarter about the way it shares its         focused on the need to take staff
  News
                             thinking and practice, he said.             motivation, responsibility allocation and
  Agenda                       Immediate past President of SOLACE,       appraisal seriously, if significant change
                             James Hehir, led a session on e-            was actually to be achieved in
  Partners                   government in practice. It emphasised       authorities. Though less easy to
                             that the success of e-government            describe or manage than reporting
  Development                depends on the commitment of chief          structures, these were the real
                             executives to the management of             determinants of effectiveness in
  Course Diary               change, the process of modernisation        organisations said Douglas Wynn, a
                             and the careful consideration of what       senior manager at Deloitte and Touche
  Feedback                   best suits an individual authority rather   Scotland who led the session together
                             than the application of a ‘one size fits    with Alistair Dodds and Jim Inch,
  About SOLACE               all’ solution.                              directors of Corporate Services in
                               Cathy Leleux, Head of e-government        Highland and Edinburgh respectively,
                             at East Renfrewshire, Arthur McCourt,       Rory Mair, CEX COSLA, and Robert
 SOLACE
 Hope House                  CEX Highland, and Keith Yates, CEX          Wilson, a Deloitte and Touche Partner.
 45 Great Peter Street
                             Stirling, spoke about the experiences of
                                                                                                                                  Page 3 of 3
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       Jan/Feb 2003
                                                                 Investigation officers slowed by volume of complaints
Focus
                             Sticks and stones
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’              The Standards Board of England               to see what sort of penalty the             key issues on referrals. These include
                             received 2000 complaints against             adjudication panel thinks is appropriate    the vexed question of ‘gate keeping’
  Cover                      councillors alleging a breach of the         for such a simple but blatant breach of     whereby one point of contact will need
                             National Code of Conduct in its first six    the legal requirements,’ said panel chair   to decide to whom complaints are
  Contents                   months of operation. Paul Hoey of the        Janie Barrett, CEX Warwick DC.              referred, said Barrett.
                             Standards Board told the latest meeting        The Panel heard investigation officers      Paul Hoey said that a memorandum of
                             of the SOLACE Professional Matters           at the Standards Board were                 understanding had been reached with
  News
                             Panel that 50% of these complaints           experiencing problems with the sheer        the Ombudsman on complaints that fall
  Agenda                     were at parish council level with the        volume of complaints, making even the       within both jurisdictions. This will be
                             complainant being another councillor         most simple complaint take about five       published shortly on the Standards
  Partners                   on the same council. Complaints were         months to process. While the Standards      Board’s website. ‘In the New Year we
                             predominantly about ‘name calling’, he       Board is pressing for the introduction of   can look forward to a legal guide to the
  Development                said.                                        regulations that would allow complaints     Model Code that is being drafted by the
                               The first adjudication panels are due      to be investigated and adjudicated on by    Standards Board at the moment,’ said
  Course Diary               to meet this month (January) to hear a       local authorities themselves, there is as   Barrett.
                             series of complaints against councillors     yet no timetable for their introduction.
  Feedback                   who had refused to fill in the Register.       The regulations under Section 66 of       ■ More information from Janie Barrett.
                             These were councils where the Code of        the Local Government Act 2000 have          Email: dtims@warwickdc.gov.uk
  About SOLACE               Conduct had not been adopted and             been drafted and been the subject of
                             therefore came into effect                   consultation. However, a very critical
                             automatically, so that councillors did not   response to those draft regulations has
 SOLACE
 Hope House                  have to sign a declaration agreeing to       left the Office of the Deputy Prime
 45 Great Peter Street
                             abide by the Code. ‘It will be interesting   Minister having a rethink about some
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                                                                                                Staying on message - SOLACE panel
Focus
                             e-gov objectives
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’              Communicating the e-government                                                             from each other and adding value to our
                             message has been a priority for the                                                        separate and joined agendas.
  Cover                      SOLACE Management Practices and                                                              Two developments the panel is
                             e-government panel over the past year.                                                     investigating are the possibility of ‘e-gov
  Contents                     The connection between management                                                        Monitor’ providing a bi-monthly update
                             practice and the ability to                                                                to SOLACE FOCUS on e-government
                             simultaneously drive down costs and                                                        issues relevant to chief executives and
  News
                             drive up quality is directly allied to the                                                 secondly a local government web-based
  Agenda                     e-government agenda, said panel chair                                                      broadcast facility through GBTV so that
                             Bill Taylor.                                                                               chief executives can be kept abreast of
  Partners                     ‘That is why one of our objectives has                                                   best practice. Watch this space.
                             been to assist in the work started by
  Development                James Hehir who argued that the best                                                       ■ For more information on the work of
                             way to make e-government a priority          government. This is widely                    the Panel send an email to:
  Course Diary               for chief executives is to ensure it is,     acknowledged through the IEG2                 brian.lussey@westlancsdc.gov.uk
                             quite properly, located centrally to any     statements. As I am sure you are aware,
  Feedback                   discussion on service and cost               it is highly likely that IEG3 and 4 will be
                             improvements. The e-government               required in the next two years.’
  About SOLACE               agenda is very much a management               He said that during the course of the
                             rather than a teccie issue,’ he said.        year the panel examined a number of
                               ‘I am very conscious that chief            case studies of best practice and
 SOLACE
 Hope House                  executives have already made                 worked closely with colleagues in the
 45 Great Peter Street
                             significant progress in implementing e-      private sector with a view to learning
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                                                                         Harnessing innovation: SOLACE Conference 2003
Focus
                             Seeking diversity
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’              Skilled leadership is required to            ■ Do we have the skills to recognise and
                             stimulate diversity both in the              manage individual diversity and team
  Cover                      workplace and in the community - but         diversity as an asset?
                             how does local government and its              The conference will be hosted by Paul
  Contents                   partners harness that diversity and the      Croft, CEX Purbeck DC, who becomes
                             innovation that is likely to emerge? That    President of the Society in August. The
                             is the question that will be raised and      three-day conference will be held in
  News
                             debated by this year’s SOLACE                Edinburgh in October. ‘As Mike Pitt
  Agenda                     Conference.                                  conveniently stole the only obvious
                               Building on from last year’s               Dorset venue from me, I thought it was
  Partners                   conference it will consider how local        about time to return to Scotland after
                             government can create a diverse              some 12 years - too long,’ said Croft.
  Development                workforce, a diverse community and
                             how - ultimately - it can harness the        Diversity and Innovation
  Course Diary               strengths of diversity.                      SOLACE Edinburgh 2003
                                                                          14-16 October
  Feedback                   It will pose questions like:                 Edinburgh International Conference
                             ■ Do we recognise diversity and the          Centre
  About SOLACE               strength that it can give us and our
                             organisations or do we just tick the box     ■ Find out more on the
                             and move on?                                 SOLACE Conference website
 SOLACE
 Hope House                  ■ Do we trust ourselves and others to
 45 Great Peter Street
                             be different … do others trust us?
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       Jan/Feb 2003
                                   Conference asks: Can partnerships promote sustainable development?
Focus
                             Common goals
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’              Many Commonwealth countries are              set up and are often challenging and        local government in most
                             experimenting with different models of       sometimes controversial. This               Commonwealth countries. We have
  Cover                      service partnerships as a way of             conference will look at policies and        many exciting examples of local
                             delivering high quality and cost-effective   practical approaches for local              government partnerships across the
  Contents                   services. The second Commonwealth            government working with the private         Commonwealth. We can all learn from
                             Local Government Conference (CLGF)           sector and civil society, and at            these and take back new ideas to help
                             will focus on these Local Government         developing guidelines for creating and      develop innovative solutions in our own
  News
                             Service Partnerships (LGSPs).                managing successful partnerships.’          authorities.’
  Agenda                                                                    Discussions will lead to the production
                             It will ask questions like:                  of guidelines on good practice for LGSPs    Commonwealth Local Government
  Partners                   ■ Can partnership with the private           which, together with other conference       Conference 2003
                             sector help local government deliver         recommendations, will be published and      Local Government Service Partnerships
  Development                and improve key services?                    distributed to national ministries and      Tuesday 4 - Thursday 6 March 2003
                             ■ What are the different models for          local government organisations in the       Sammy Marks Centre, Pretoria,
  Course Diary               partnership working?                         Commonwealth. They will also be             Tshwane, South Africa
                             ■ How can local government                   presented to the next Commonwealth
  Feedback                   partnerships promote sustainable             Head of Government Meeting in Abuja,        ■ More information: www.clgf.org.uk
                             development and deliver the basic            Nigeria in December 2003.
  About SOLACE               services that can help alleviate poverty?      Duvall said: ‘The need for high capital
                               ‘Partnerships are not always               expenditure from a low income base to
                             straightforward,’ said CLGF chair Len        tackle issues such as poverty, economic
 SOLACE
 Hope House                  Duvall OBE (Greater London Authority).       development and providing basic
 45 Great Peter Street
                             ‘They vary considerably in how they are      services is a problem that is familiar to
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                                      Get away from ‘mind-numbing inspection trivia’ at SOLACE seminar
Focus
                             Carpe Diem…
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’              Power, politics, and honour in leadership     ‘The event is open to all staff, and
                             is the focus of a one-day workshop at a     colleagues in partner organisations as
  Cover                      two-day seminar on leadership               well as members, so spread the word to
                             organised by the West Midlands Branch       get the real task of management on to
  Contents                   of SOLACE in March.                         the agenda rather than the mind-
                               Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar will be       numbing trivia of inspectors!’
                             the model used by Ben Walden, son of        Sponsored by Zurich Municipal the
  News
                             former politician and broadcaster Brian     seminar will be at the Belfry Hotel on
  Agenda                     Walden, in identifying how to introduce     March 20-21, 2003.
                             change without losing popular support.
  Partners                     The workshop aims to help people          ■ To get on the mailing list email Les
                             become more effective leaders; more         Barnfield at l.barnfield@sstaffs.gov.uk
  Development                perceptive of people and situations;
                             better at understanding the sources of
  Course Diary               power and influence; and more aware of
                             how to develop personal skills to
  Feedback                   influence and achieve.
                               Chair of the West Midlands branch Les
  About SOLACE               Barnfield said: ‘The two-day seminar will
                             look beyond the day-to-day problems of
                             senior managers in local government
 SOLACE
 Hope House                  and concentrate on an inspirational - as
 45 Great Peter Street
                             well as entertaining - theme.
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                                                                        National strategy for local e-government launched
Focus
                             Strategy launched
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’              Local authorities must harness the
                             power of e-government to engage
  Cover                      people, and to increase participation in
                             how councils run their services and lead
  Contents                   their communities This was the view of
                             Local Government Minister Chris Leslie
                             when he launched the new national
  News
                             strategy for Local e-Government.
  Agenda                       The strategy, published by the ODPM,
                             gives council leaders, members and          greater choice, convenience and             government: www.info4local.gov.uk
  Partners                   senior managers a clear view of what        accessibility for customers - and greater     This will provide access to and updates
                             can be achieved, the issues they will       cost effectiveness for councils.’           on a new website built specifically to
  Development                have to tackle and what the                   The strategy aims to help promote         help and guide local councils in
                             Government and local government             local economic vitality, by encouraging     implementing local e-government. The
  Course Diary               nationally are doing to help.               councils’ work with regional                site: www.localegov.gov.uk provides
                               ‘Local government is central to our       development agencies and other              policy information and guidance, best
  Feedback                   ambition to reform public services -        partners to build thriving economic         practice examples and contacts and
                             80% of people’s day-to-day dealings         communities with effective                  information on partnership agreements,
  About SOLACE               with Government are delivered by local      communication networks and skilled          model contracts and business cases.
                             councils,’ he said. ‘This strategy will     workforces.
                             provide a framework to transform              Support for the strategy is available
 SOLACE
 Hope House                  council services, joining them up with      electronically through the Government’s
 45 Great Peter Street
                             other public services and offering          information service for local
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       Jan/Feb 2003
                                                                                Guide to postal voting launched by Royal Mail
Focus
                             The votes are in…
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’              To ensure there is the same level of          voting, not only the local authority and      includes stage-by-stage checklists and an
                             confidence in postal voting as the ballot     Royal Mail but also other suppliers.          eight-week intensive implementation
  Cover                      box, the Royal Mail has produced a best         Partnership and communication are both      chart to be completed in discussion with
                             practice guide for postal voting to offer     important aspects of the Guide. Winham        the local Royal Mail account handler. It
  Contents                   practical help and advice.                    emphasised: ‘Working together and             discusses choice of paper, envelopes and
                               ‘Many of our electorate are choosing to     communicating through every stage of          design to give tips for efficient handling.
                             exercise their democratic right to vote by    planning provides an excellent foundation       Winham said, ‘The Guide is intended as
  News
                             post,’ said Rachel Winham of the Royal        for successful postal voting. The guide       a starting point and we welcome your
  Agenda                     Mail. ‘This is raising new challenges for     includes a section for named Royal Mail       continued feedback and ideas on how we
                             organising elections. The increased level     personnel so that you can establish your      can continue to improve the operational
  Partners                   of trust in postal voting to deliver is at    specialist election team early.                             best practice of postal
                             the centre of the Royal Mail approach.’         ‘Where effective partnerships have                        voting. We would like to
  Development                  After the pilots in 2000 and 2002, and      been developed, postal voting has been                      thank those who have
                             the experience of postal voting being         more successful and easier to manage.                       contributed to the guide
  Course Diary               available to all in the General Election in   Even changes which might not seem                           and to wish you well with
                             2001, Royal Mail felt it was important to     significant can have a huge impact on                       your forthcoming elections.’
  Feedback                   consolidate and share with all what we had    your postal voting. Tell us about any
                             learnt about best practice, said Winham.      changes you need to make and we can           ■ All local authorities should receive a
  About SOLACE                 The guide was developed using the views     work together to minimise any impact          copy of the Guide. More information
                             and feedback of key stakeholders,             they could have.’                             from rachel.winham@royalmail.com
                             including SOLACE. It emphasises the             Planning, particularly early planning, is
 SOLACE
 Hope House                  importance of a partnership way of            the key to success in holding a postal
 45 Great Peter Street
                             working for all those involved in postal      vote ballot, said Winham. The Guide
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       Jan/Feb 2003                                                           People need space to make mistakes
Focus
                             Look to the future
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’                                          Councils change continuously but they
                                                         transform far less often. How to move
  Cover                                                  from changing to transforming is the
                                                         focus of Flying High, a compelling
  Contents                                               SOLACE report that analyses the varied
                                                         ‘life experiences’ of some 30 chief
  News                                                   executives to seek to identify the critical
                                                         factors for success. It goes well beyond
                                                         the familiar list of academic leadership
  Agenda
                                                         skills and lodges its theories firmly in
  Partners                                               local government practice.
                                                            The report concentrates on the
  Development
                              Your local authority is    contribution made by the chief executives
                                not a machine, it is a   and the impact they can have on the                The report, initiated by SOLACE
  Course Diary                                           quality of life of the public they serve. It     president Mike Pitt, explores
                                       living system.    says the usual ‘lists of competencies’ can       transformation, complexity and what it
  Feedback                    Councils need people       oversimplify the reality of life at the top of   calls ‘post-conventional’ leadership
                                                         a modern local authority. Indeed, they           styles. It says the word
                             with the space to make      could even hold back individuals and             ‘transformational’ is overused.
  About SOLACE
                              mistakes and have an       organisations and stand in the way of step       Nevertheless, it is possible for people to
                                                         or transformational change. It gives its
 SOLACE
 Hope House
                                       impact, urges     own list of ‘personal skills’ with a health
 45 Great Peter Street
                             challenging new report      warning!
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       Jan/Feb 2003                                                                         People need space to make mistakes
Focus
                             Look to the future
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’              distinguish the difference between
                             steady progress and a ‘step change’.
                             Most chief executives have had to
                                                                            It is not always necessary for the CEX to be
  Cover
                             confront major problems - budget               post conventional but it is important that
  Contents                   difficulties, weak performance or poor         they develop or recruit this capacity
                             staff morale. Traditionally, it says,
  News                       recovery strategies have tended to be
                             ‘transactional’, based on command and       display different characteristics, says the   organisation acting like a machine that
                             control.                                    report. They have become post-                can produce predetermined and
  Agenda
                               This is where the report charts the       conventional, with people at all levels       replicable products and results. In
  Partners                   different leadership patterns on a Red      feeling empowered to use their initiative     contrast, Green Curve organisations rely
                             Curve/Green Curve graph. In the red         and take risks. Complaints from the           less on centrally driven plans and more
  Development                curve, performance is based on the          public, mistakes and rule breaking            on responsible locally driven initiatives
                             organization as a ‘machine’. It plans the   become opportunities for learning.            and their ability to self-organise and
  Course Diary               way forward and designs systems for         Everything, even the authority and views      evolve by sensing and adapting quickly
                             control of the plan. In the green curve,    of the chief executive, is up for             to changes in their environment.
  Feedback                   the organization is seen as a ‘living       discussion and challenge. Ideas and their       In the red curve, results are all that
                             system’. It learns the way forward and      development become core business and          matter; in the green, learning is as
  About SOLACE               designs systems for connecting people       people are comfortable dealing with           sacred as results. In the red,
                             up to learn. The red curve rises more       uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.        breakdowns and dilemmas are to be
                             quickly but then fades; the green curve       Red Curve organisations are seen as
 SOLACE
 Hope House                  starts more slowly but then soars away.     those that rely on centrally planned and
 45 Great Peter Street
                               Organisations on the green curve          controlled initiatives, with the
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Focus
                             Look to the future
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’              solved; in the green, they are welcomed
                             as a rich source of learning. In the red
                             curve, people work heroic hours with
                                                                              High priority will be given to customer care
  Cover
                             little time for reflection; in the green,        and front line services. Your council will also
  Contents                   there is a balanced life with time built in      be easy to work with and will empower other
                             for reflection. The red curve emphasises
  News                       communication to create alignment and            ‘organisations’, giving them the credit for
                             action; the green recognises the                 shared successes … and so it goes on.
                             centrality of conversation as distinct
  Agenda
                             from communication to create
  Partners                   responsive and committed                      hand, it acknowledges the other             to make mistakes and have an impact. It
                             organisations.                                extreme is even more damaging -             says, ‘It is not always necessary for the
  Development                  The report concludes organisations, in      ‘basket-case’ organisations run out of      chief executive to be post conventional
                             reality, need both red curve and green        control, chaos reigns and services fall     but it is important that they develop or
  Course Diary               curve ‘capacity’. Chief executives need       apart. The leadership challenge, it says,   recruit this capacity or give more time
                             continuously to be able to adapt their        is to know when and how to hold the         and space for those who demonstrate
  Feedback                   leadership style and behaviour                organisation in what it calls the           post conventional behaviour. This is
                             according to circumstances.                   Transition Zone, the place between          sometimes difficult, as quite often post
  About SOLACE               Understanding the difference and              stability and chaos where systems,          conventional individuals, by their very
                             knowing when to switch is vital.              processes and relationships, are            nature, will be challenging, disturbing of
                               The report recognises that local            continuously dissolving and reforming.
 SOLACE
 Hope House                  authorities are often ‘risk-adverse’,           The report insists we need people who
 45 Great Peter Street
                             preferring to seek stability On the other     thrive in this transition zone with space
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Focus
                             Look to the future
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’              the status quo and more likely to be          are constantly being exchanged and               This will reflect on people throughout
                             seen as “mavericks”.’                         challenged. The ways things are done           the organisation. The report says, ‘They
  Cover                        Dealing with the political interface, the   are largely left up to the individuals         will think their jobs are exciting and
                             report says, some chief executives will       concerned. Importantly, however, the           your council is a great place to work.
  Contents                   want to ‘control’ what is going on, to be     system is not chaotic. All the players           They will surprise and delight you,
                             kept informed and to personally               understand the big picture, share values       trying new ideas without seeking formal
  News                       intervene in order to calm down a             and are absolutely committed to the            approval; even breaking the rules to
                             difficult situation. The advantages of        organisation’s goals.                          speed up or increase the chances of
                             such a regime are clarity and focus but         Drawing the threads together, the            achieving an important outcome’. High
  Agenda
                             such structures can become inflexible,        report suggests some of the advantages         priority will be given to customer care
  Partners                   lack capacity and depend too heavily on       to be gained from study of red/green           and front line services. Your council will
                             the views and ability of the very small       curve principles. It says, ‘You might find     also be easy to work with and will
  Development                number of people. Organisations on the        yourself seeking less credit and               empower other ‘organisations’, giving
                             green curve, however, would see the           recognition for what goes on and less          them the credit for shared successes …
  Course Diary               interface in a very different way.            envious of the accolades showered on           and so it goes on.
                               Leadership would be viewed as a             those around you. People leaving your
  Feedback                   dynamic system or network of people           office will feel trusted, able to take risks
                             whose position would change according         and responsibility, experiment with new
  About SOLACE               to their contribution and the                 ideas and without fear of failure. When
                             significance and frequency of                 things do go wrong you will relax and
                             conversations with those around them.         see them as opportunities for learning.
 SOLACE
 Hope House                  This is a zone of creativity and              You will not feel the need to know about
 45 Great Peter Street
                             innovation where information and ideas        everything that is going on.’
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                                                          Local government needs a ‘leadership culture’
Focus
                             Nurturing talent
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’               SOLACE has joined      A leadership ‘vacuum’ could lie ahead in
                                                     local government unless greater efforts
                                                                                                   to the development of methods like
                                                                                                   coaching and mentoring.
  Cover
                               a new initiative to   are made to develop potential leaders.          The success of the commission from a
                               develop potential       This fear was expressed by Annie            SOLACE viewpoint, she said, would be
  Contents                                           Ralph, who represented SOLACE on a            whether it would, over the longer term,
                                leaders for local    new groundbreaking partnership                meet the need for local government to
  News                             government        initiative to establish a Leadership          start setting the agenda in terms of
                                                     Development Commission for local              leadership requirements as opposed to
                                                     government.                                   reacting to someone else’s agenda. ‘It’s
  Agenda
                                                       Welcoming the initiative, she               early days!’ she said.
  Partners                                           emphasised the need to ‘grow’ leaders           The new body is steered by the
                                                     and, in particular, to fill what she called   Employers’ Organisation (EO) and the
  Development                                        ‘the current deficits in leadership           IDeA and supported by the main national,
                                                     development’ around issues of diversity       regional and local players. The inaugural
  Course Diary                                       and democratic accountability.                meeting in October was attended by some
                                                     ‘Leadership in local government must          30 people, including representatives of
  Feedback                                           also take account of the role of elected      the Cabinet Office and the Office of the
                                                     members,’ she said.                           Deputy Prime Minister. SOLACE was also
  About SOLACE                                         She hopes the establishment of the          represented by Danny Chesterman.
                                                     commission reflects a commitment to             The first meeting focused on
                                                     developing an effective leadership
 SOLACE
 Hope House                                          ‘culture’ in local government, including a
 45 Great Peter Street
                                                     move away from ‘training and learning’
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                                                                                Local government needs a ‘leadership culture’
Focus
                             Nurturing talent
The electronic newsletter
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Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’              identifying key areas for joint activity to   ■ find new ways of better meeting the          shortcomings of leadership
                             improve the effectiveness of leadership          challenge of leadership                     development activities were identified
  Cover                      development activity within the local         ■ produce a sector-wide response to a          as the lack of emphasis placed on
                             government sector. It was chaired by             wider public sector leadership debate.      motivation, innovation and vision. Their
  Contents                   Martin Horton, IDeA’s Director of             The group recognised a significant             fundamental importance to developing
                             Knowledge and Learning. He said, ‘The         amount of leadership development               an effective leadership culture was
  News                       quality of today’s leadership and             activity was already taking place. Local       highlighted.
                             perhaps more importantly the quality of       government had developed a culture of            Attention should be given to attract
                             the next generation of leaders, is a          influencing. The soft skills that are useful   people who wanted to become ‘leaders’,
  Agenda
                             critical factor in the ability of local       in leadership like motivating people,          then opportunities should be provided
  Partners                   authorities to improve. This is the           empathy and people management skills,          that would motivate them to stay within
                             starting point.’                              were already being developed.                  the public sector. The LDC understood
  Development                  Putting the initiative in perspective, he     Diversity was seen as key to increasing      there was no one definitive answer to
                             said, ‘This will not be a one size fits all   participation and for developing               leadership development but it wanted to
  Course Diary               solution, but a common language to help       devolved leadership within the                 raise the profile of leadership
                             local authorities. We aim to make             organisation. A culture of devolved            development by stimulating debate.
  Feedback                   authorities an attractive place to work       leadership was needed to encourage the           LDC findings will be promoted
                             for career development, as well as            development of different people who            nationally at a series of road-shows. A
  About SOLACE               retaining good people.’                       can lead in different situations, at all       national conference is planned for early
                                                                           levels within the organisation.                in 2003.
                             Key aims of the group will be to:               The group questioned the way in
 SOLACE
 Hope House                  ■ develop a National Leadership               which leadership development was
 45 Great Peter Street
                               Development Strategy                        currently delivered. Potential
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       Jan/Feb 2003                                                                The SOLACE Health Check
Focus
                             Staying healthy
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’                  How to use    Provisions of the Health and Social Care
                                               Act, soon to come into force, will give
                                                                                           population and addressing health
                                                                                           inequalities.
  Cover
                                 scrutiny to   local authorities the power to scrutinise     ‘Done badly it can set back partnership
                                improve the    and report on matters affecting their       working, cost a fortune and achieve
  Contents                                     local health service.                       nothing. ‘Effective scrutiny looks at
                               health of the     To promote the SOLACE view that           what WE (local authorities, NHS,
  News                           population    effective scrutiny can be a powerful        voluntary organisations) are doing and
                                               mechanism for improving the health of       makes positive recommendations for
                                               local communities, the SOLACE Health        improvement. Ineffective scrutiny looks
  Agenda
                                               Panel has drawn up a health check           at what THEY (the NHS) are doing and
  Partners                                     framework. The key is that scrutiny must    makes negative criticism.
                                               be of HEALTH not just of the NHS. The         ‘Health is much wider than illness and
  Development                                  briefing paper does not give detailed       treatment and local authorities have just
                                               guidance on the operation of health         as vital a role in promoting health, as do
  Course Diary                                 scrutiny. Government will issue such        NHS bodies. To achieve this we need to
                                               guidance and Regulations later this year.   look at all of the factors affecting health
  Feedback                                       Health Panel chair Bob Coe said: ‘The     and all of the organisations working in
                                               purpose of the briefing is to encourage     the health field.
  About SOLACE                                 local authorities to recognise the wide       ‘Reducing inequalities in health is one
                                               influence they have on the health of        of the key roles of Primary Care Trusts,
                                               their area. Done properly, health
 SOLACE
 Hope House                                    scrutiny can be an extremely powerful
 45 Great Peter Street
                                               force for improving the health of a
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Focus
                             Staying healthy
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’              but they cannot deliver this alone. Local                                               SOLACE would welcome details of good
                             Authority scrutiny of health can be a         Local authorities have                    practice. Please send examples to
                             very positive start to identifying the key                                              healthscrutiny@solace.org.uk
  Cover
                             inequalities and how they could be
                                                                           just as vital a role in                   ■ Be open and constructive. The more
  Contents                   addressed.’                                   promoting health, as                      open local authorities are about the
                                                                                                                     process, the more open other
                             The health scrutiny framework urges
                                                                           do NHS bodies                             organisations will be.
  News
                             people to:
                             ■ Identify the current situation using       ■ Choose the topic after consultation      ■ Read the full briefing document on the
  Agenda
                             local authority data, NHS data,              with NHS colleagues, and by agreement      SOLACE website: www.solace.org.uk
  Partners                   community views and priorities. From         wherever possible. It is important to
                             that to identify the big issues for areas.   avoid duplication, rather than follow up
  Development                ■ Establish who should form the              on an inspection by, say, the
                             Scrutiny Committee. In two tier areas        Commission for Health Improvement;
  Course Diary               the District Councils will provide many      the potential for health gain is much
                             services and its representation needs to     greater if the committee looks at a
  Feedback                   be decided. The committee may well           completely new area.
                             need advisers from social services and       ■ Don’t just look at what is happening
  About SOLACE               environmental health departments.            locally. Good scrutiny considers what is
                             Strong consideration should be given to      happening elsewhere and learns from it.
                             co-opting a director of public health and    There is a possible role for a national
 SOLACE
 Hope House                  there is a good argument for co-opting       organisation such as the IDeA in
 45 Great Peter Street
                             a voluntary sector adviser.                  disseminating such information.
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                                                                              NLGN: Stretching the boundaries
Focus
                             Flexible ‘friend’
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’                                     To close readers of the Government’s       Forum does more than involve
                                                    announcement on new freedoms and           authorities to whom the new freedoms
  Cover                                             flexibilities for local authority top      and flexibilities agenda will apply. Rather,
                                                    performers, there may have been a          those on board include people whose
  Contents                                          familiar ring to at least one of the       ambition means that they are willing to
                                                    proposals - the idea of an innovation      think differently and have a sense of the
                                                    forum. The plan to establish an            journey they are on. NLGN aims to both
  News
                                                    Innovation Forum to discuss the            support and understand this.
  Agenda                                            proposed freedoms will certainly hit         Since it was established, the Forum
                                                    home with those already participating in   has developed a unique work
  Partners                     Executive director   the work of a group of ambitious           programme enabling both ‘high level’
                                                    authorities - albeit one created by the    policy development and practical
  Development
                                of the New Local    New Local Government Network more          learning opportunities. Regular
                                     Government     than 18 months ago.                        discussion with individuals from central
  Course Diary                                        NLGN’s Innovation Forum was              government both engages participants
                              Network Dan Corry     designed to allow a space for a small      in early thinking and allows them to
  Feedback                   says the proposal to   number of like-minded authorities to       explain how things feel on the ground -
                                                    stretch the boundaries of thinking and     a mutually beneficial process. Topics
                             establish innovation   practice, engage in policy debates, talk   tend to be varied and can be member
  About SOLACE
                              forums is old news    to central government and learn from       driven, with a focus in 2002 on e-
                                                    one another. With the current 17
 SOLACE
 Hope House                                         members stretched right across the
 45 Great Peter Street
                                                    CPA divisions from top to bottom, the
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                                                                                                     NLGN: Stretching the boundaries
Focus
                             Flexible ‘friend’
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’              government, CPA, the Local                   are being done in different authorities.     ■ For more information on the
                             Government White Paper, community            Soon after, the outcomes from the visits     Innovation Forum visit:
  Cover                      leadership and new localism.                 are written up in partnership with the       www.nlgn.org.uk
                               The Forum seeks to maintain an             IDeA, and then disseminated to local
  Contents                   element of cross-sector engagement           government and other agencies.
                             into learning-based activity, such as our      NLGN has found that working in cross-
                             Knowledge Exchange programme of 24-          sector groups in non-confrontational
  News
                             hour visits to examine innovation within     situations is one of the aspects of the
  Agenda                     member authorities. Recent examples          Forum most valued by members. The
                             have included a focus on e-government        varied opportunities on offer make its
  Partners                   and organisational transformation in         work different from any other group or
                             Liverpool and Hertfordshire, and Local       organisation, and members can identify
  Development                PSAs in Middlesbrough and Kent.              areas of most relevance and interest to
                               These visits aim to ‘test’ the vision as   them, participating as they feel
  Course Diary               set out by the senior team, by visiting      appropriate. One 24-hour session
                             service delivery centres and talking to      scheduled for 2003 will consider the
  Feedback                   frontline managers, staff and                potential impact of the freedoms and
                             customers. Hosting councils benefit          flexibilities agenda upon all local
  About SOLACE               from the final group feedback.               authorities - but this is just one element
                             Meanwhile, participants - usually senior     of the ‘original’ Innovation Forum’s
                             managers and members, plus                   planned activities during what promises
 SOLACE
 Hope House                  individuals from the private sector and      to be another fascinating year.
 45 Great Peter Street
                             central government - learn how things
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                                                                 UKCouncil: Numbers voting in Britain on the increase
Focus
                             The winner is…
The electronic newsletter
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and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’              The numbers of people voting in Britain      football and rugby clubs are
                             is escalating at a record rate - but it is   among those using
  Cover                      not the municipal ballot box but reality     webcasting as an additional
                             television competitions that are             communication tool. Some
  Contents                   attracting their votes. More than 11         local authorities are right up
                             million people voted electronically in the   there with them.
                             television show Pop Stars, the Rivals -        ‘The concept of
  News
                             more than voted in last year’s local         webcasting is neatly in tune
  Agenda                     elections.                                   with the government’s modernising            More than 30 councils have already
                               ‘This has come about because the           local government agenda,’ said David         webcast council and other public
  Partners                   private sector has been quick to             Marshall of Stroud DC, which ran a pilot     meetings. The first council to webcast its
                             capitalise on the latest communication       webcast. ‘More than 1,700 people             meetings was Hounslow in early 2001,
  Development                technologies that make electronic            listened to either the live or archived      followed by Camden and Newcastle
                             voting easy to use, anonymous and            version,’ he said. ‘It is probably fair to   councils just over a year ago. All three
  Course Diary               flexible,’ said Keith Young, CEX             say that the number must roughly             use technology provided by UKCouncil, a
                             UKCouncil. ‘There is no doubt that there     equate to the total number of members        Sussex-based firm currently seen as the
  Feedback                   is a huge opportunity for the public         of the public who have been to council       only major player in the field.
                             sector to benefit from these                 meetings since we were formed in               A survey by Mole Valley DC showed
  About SOLACE               developments.’                               1974!”                                       82% of residents want to be able to
                               One of the newest technologies whose         The LGA will be providing a range of       access information on council services
                             use is growing in local authorities is       briefings to all its members using a
 SOLACE
 Hope House                  webcasting - broadcasting over the           webcasting facility currently being
 45 Great Peter Street
                             Internet. Young said premiership             installed in Local Government House.
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                                                                 UKCouncil: Numbers voting in Britain on the increase
Focus
                             The winner is…
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’              through a local authority website.             He suggested a council’s ability to use    extremely easy and thorough. It is
                             Heather Kerswell, CEX Mole Valley, said:     webcasting for internal as well as           possible to monitor the total number of
  Cover                      ‘We are introducing webcasting to be         external communications, could prove         hits, the number of viewers, and even
                             more open and inclusive in providing         invaluable with the increased threat of      the time each viewer spent watching
  Contents                   access to council meetings. Elderly or       terrorism.                                   the meeting.
                             disabled people will be able to watch          Christopher J Trinick , CEX Lancashire       ‘Recent surveys have identified a need
                             proceeding from their own homes.             CC said: ‘Like most authorities, we are      to demystify the operation of local
  News
                               ‘People who want to view one item -        exploring new ways in which we can           authorities. Webcasting can help do this.
  Agenda                     such as a nearby planning application -      promote democratic engagement and            The e-democracy agenda encourages
                             will be able to do so without the            public involvement in the local decision     the use of technologies to engage
  Partners                   inconvenience of having to travel to our     making process. Opening our doors to         residents in local debates. The recently
                             office in Dorking.’                          the public of Lancashire is one of our       announced egov@local strategy
  Development                  Transparency and accessibility, leading    highest priorities. For a relatively small   encourages technologies that are more
                             to increased participation, are key in the   outlay, we have the potential to reach a     open and more inclusive if they are to
  Course Diary               delivery of the local government             large number of people.’                     achieve the goals set of re-engaging the
                             agenda, as highlighted in the                  ‘Webcasting is convenient and flexibile’   electorate.’
  Feedback                   government’s e-democracy consultation        said Young. ‘Speaker names and details
                             paper. Webcasting council meetings said      can be provided, so too can a range of       ■ More information from UKCouncil at:
  About SOLACE               Young, is seen as a simple non-invasive      feedback facilities either through           www.ukcouncil.net
                             technology that allows the council to        interactive polling, e-mailing or a more
                             continue with its current operations         detailed consultation process.
 SOLACE
 Hope House                  while increasing the involvement of the        ‘From a council’s point of view,
 45 Great Peter Street
                             residents.                                   evaluating the efficiency of webcasts is
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                                                                                             IDeA: Launch Centre for Public Scrutiny
Focus
                             Safe from harm
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’              Overview and scrutiny is emerging as the        developing best practice in this field.’        to profile individuals involved in scrutiny
                             most challenging aspect of modernisation         The CfPS started in 2001 with a meeting        for press and media promotion. This will
  Cover                      said Tony Wright MP, at the launch of the       of interested parties at the IDeA. Its key      involve Chairs of Select Committees and
                             Centre for Public Scrutiny. ‘It is becoming     priorities are to:                              Chairs of Scrutiny in local and regional
  Contents                   increasingly evident that an effective          ■ promote the role of scrutiny and to           government.
                             scrutiny role is a key element in the             raise its profile                               The Centre will seek to draw practical
                             development and delivery of services that       ■ develop a more rigorous understanding         lessons from the existing range of
  News
                             genuinely respond to community needs,’            of the different approaches to scrutiny       scrutiny activities across the public sector
  Agenda                     said Wright, chairman of new Centre               and how to make it effective                  including the House of Commons,
                             (CfPS).                                         ■ facilitate links between different tiers of   Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly,
  Partners                     Robin Cook MP, Leader of the House of           government and their scrutiny activities      local councils and Regional Assemblies.
                             Commons, who officially launched the                                                            While the scrutiny function is different in
  Development                Centre said: ‘The effectiveness of our          Colin Barrow, chair of the IDeA, said: ‘To      each organization, said Barrow, there are
                             democratic institutions, in Westminster,        strengthen democratic accountability in         emerging principles of what constitutes
  Course Diary               Cardiff, Edinburgh and London, as well as       the public sector, it is vital local            effective scrutiny including agreed
                             local authorities across the country,           government begins effectively to act on         protocols, adequate officer support and
  Feedback                   requires representatives that are able to       behalf of citizens in scrutinising service      clear objectives.
                             scrutinise and hold to account their            delivery. This will attract politicians of      ■ For more information contact:
  About SOLACE               executive bodies. Good scrutiny means           talent and ambition. I believe the CfPS will    Paul Bailey. Tel:020 7296 6529.
                             good government, whether it is at the           help make this happen.’                         Email: paul.bailey@idea.gov.uk
                             national or local level. I believe the Centre     The Centre will work with a range of
 SOLACE
 Hope House                  for Public Scrutiny will perform a very         organisations including SOLACE, the
 45 Great Peter Street
                             important role in promoting and                 Hansard Society,LGA and political parties
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                                                                      IDeA: Consultation on Procurement Best Practice
Focus
                             From every angle
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
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and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’              Two new procurement consultation          establish their future procurement         ■ To read the consultations and
                             drafts have been released by the IDeA.    training needs.                            for other procurement best
  Cover                      The drafts, on procurement skills           The second draft, Implementing           practice advice visit:
                             frameworks and guidance on                Sustainable Procurement in Local           www.idea.gov.uk/procurement
  Contents                   implementing sustainable procurement      Government, provides practical advice
                             in local government are the first in a    on how a commitment to sustainable
                             series of documents on which the          development can be turned into
  News
                             Agency will be consulting over the        effective procurement policies and
  Agenda                     coming year.                              practices. The guidance moves beyond
                               The first draft includes two skills     the traditional arena of environmental
  Partners                   frameworks, both prepared with the        purchasing to address issues relating to
                             Employer’s Organisation and the 4ps.      food procurement, opening
  Development                The first looks at the strategic          opportuntities for small to medium, and
                             procurement skills required by elected    social enterprises and the voluntary
  Course Diary               members, top managers and project         sector.
                             teams. The second looks in more detail      It is hoped the guidance will sweep
  Feedback                   at the professional procurement and       away the myth that council
                             contract management skills and            procurement cannot effectively
  About SOLACE               knowledge required by local               support sustainable objectives, and
                             government personnel. The                 that councils will realise that the
                             frameworks are ready-to use, and          mainstreaming of sustainability is a
 SOLACE
 Hope House                  authorities are encouraged to use them    reflection of best value.
 45 Great Peter Street
                             to map their competencies and
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                                                   IDeA: Giving support for the national e-government strategy
Focus
                             Key foundations
The electronic newsletter
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Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’              The IDeA is to play a key role in the      development of authorities’ action plans
                             implementation of the national strategy    and the subsequent support they
  Cover                      for local e-government. It will offer      receive.
                             authorities a peer-led support package       The IDeA has developed an online e-
  Contents                   to help them develop tailored e-           government toolkit which provides case
                             government action plans that support       studies, guidance and information on all
                             local priorities.                          of the building blocks of e-government.
  News
                               John Thornton, IDeA Director of e-       The toolkit on IDeA Knowledge will also
  Agenda                     Government, said: ‘The strategy gives      be available through the national
                             every council a model to work to and a     strategy website.
  Partners                   shared language of implementation.
                             The IDeA was pleased to play a central     ■ Find out more about IDeA’s range
  Development                role in the development of the strategy    of e-government services at
                             and has developed a range of initiatives   www.idea.gov.uk/egovernment
  Course Diary               to support local authorities. This new
                             service will provide dedicated help to
  Feedback                   those authorities wanting to accelerate
                             their e-government programmes.’
  About SOLACE                 The centrepiece of the strategy is the
                             model of the ‘e-organisation’, which is
                             based on the building blocks model of e-
 SOLACE
 Hope House                  government developed by the IDeA.
 45 Great Peter Street
                             This model will be a key tool in the
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                                                                                        BT: Launch new CRM solution
Focus
                             Customer focus
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’              Managing customer        Copeland BC serves a population of
                                                      71,000 in rural Cumbria. Following the
                                                                                                    1,500 telephone calls a year. Once these
                                                                                                    are handled via the single contact point,
  Cover
                                relations presents    installation of BT Contact Central the        the Council will be able to consider
                                new opportunities     council is able to use a single point of      adding further value to the service, such
  Contents                                            contact to answer the majority of             as advising residents on the charges for
                              for local authorities   enquiries swiftly. This includes enquiries    large volumes and giving directions to
  News                        whatever their size.    to a number of services including refuse      the local dumps.’
                                                      and street cleaning, car parking, the           Peter Crone, e-Government Officer for
  Agenda
                                       Nick Turner    electoral register and customer               Copeland said: ‘Through partnerships
                               describes how BT’s     complaints.                                   and teamwork like this we will ensure
  Partners                                              ‘The council expects the new system to      value-for-money services, and achieve
                                new CRM solution      help them improve customer service            the best possible quality of life for the
  Development                   Contact Central is    and, eventually, affect the way all           people of Copeland.’
                                                      services are delivered. People on the           Cllr Brian Dixon said: ‘I am delighted
                             working for two very     front line will be given the tools to         that we have been able to reach this
  Course Diary
                                 different councils   provide a better service - reducing call      agreement with BT and I’m confident
  Feedback                                            handling time and providing additional,       that by working with them we can
                                                      valuable information to citizens. People      improve the service we provide.’
  About SOLACE                                        in the back office will be freed-up to          Surrey CC has a population of over 1
                                                      concentrate on doing their jobs better,’      million in the commuter belt. Its call
                                                      said Nick Turner.
 SOLACE
 Hope House                                             ‘The council’s existing service for bulky
 45 Great Peter Street
                                                      waste collection receives more than
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                                                                                                                 BT: Launch new CRM solution
Focus
                             Customer focus
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’              centre operation has been very                with CRM capability to manage citizens’
                             successful but, as part of the authority’s    enquiries.
  Cover                      aim to introduce pioneering voice over          The public will be able to contact the
                             ip (VOIP) technology, the call centre is      council by telephone, mobile SMS text
  Contents                   being replaced with BT’s Contact              messaging, email or fax to enquire about
                             Central, an integrated contact centre         services such as street lighting, social
                             solution.                                     services and education services.
  News
                               The decision to introduce Contact             Jenny Isaac, Head of Marketing and
  Agenda                     Central, said Turner, follows discussions     Customer Relations at Surrey CC said:
                             between BT and Surrey and dovetails           ‘The council is happy to have found a
  Partners                   two of the county’s strategic projects;       solution which enables us to test the
                             namely replacing the existing automatic       scope for CRM while updating our
  Development                call distribution system (ACD) and            existing service. The council decided on
                             piloting of CRM software in the               BT and Contact Central because of the
  Course Diary               corporate customer helpdesk. This             value, flexibility and capability it offers. In
                             development will be undertaken within         particular we appreciated the fact that
  Feedback                   the council’s original identified budget.     BT was prepared to work strategically as
                               The decisions should help the council       a valued partner looking at the issues
  About SOLACE               advance its planned trial of CRM              from the position of our authority.’
                             significantly, said Turner. When installed,
                             the new system will have a 17 seat call       ■ For more information on Contact
 SOLACE
 Hope House                  centre supporting Surrey’s own IT             Central contact: Nick Turner on Tel:
 45 Great Peter Street
                             Helpdesk and a 29 seat Contact Centre         07850 848264 or nick.turner@bt.com
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                                                                               BT: Ten steps to flexible working
Focus
                             The 10–point plan
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’               The public sector    Councils should experiment with ‘mix
                                                   and match’ office-sharing schemes to
                                                                                              work from home because of space,
                                                                                              distractions or a need for company.
  Cover
                                 needs to make     increase flexible working, says the BT     Flexible working means operating from
                              flexible working a   sponsored Public Policy Forum.             anywhere, not just at home.
  Contents                                           The forum, set up to help modernise      4. Face-to-face: a crucial part of the mix.
                                   success, says   government and improve public              While remote working can be highly
  News                              policy forum   services, has drawn up a ten point guide   productive, sometimes face-to-face
                                                   for employers to follow in a new report,   meetings are needed.
  Agenda                                           Fit for Work: Flexible Working in the      5. Home workers are team members
                                                   Public Sector.                             too. Help them to develop personal
  Partners                                                                                    relationships with their colleagues
                                                   The ten points to flexible working are:    through meetings, email, telephone
  Development                                      1. Agree a clear strategy. As with any     conversations and chat rooms.
                                                   project, senior managers need to state     6. Management review: the doubter as
  Course Diary                                     their current practices, aims and the      contributor. The move from
                                                   transition issues between them, a          ‘presenteeism’ to output-based working
  Feedback                                         possible course of action and a desired    which accompanies flexible working is
                                                   outcome.                                   often more difficult for managers than
  About SOLACE                                     2. Health and safety first. Protect home   for staff but if resistance is tackled
                                                   workers by ensuring their remote work      early, doubters can be persuaded to
                                                   stations are ergonomically sound.
 SOLACE
 Hope House                                        3. Be responsive to home life as well as
 45 Great Peter Street
                                                   work goals. Not everyone is inclined to
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                                                                                                       BT: Ten steps to flexible working
Focus
                             The 10–point plan
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’              contribute ideas rather than objections.    and increase a sense of community. Not        ■ Copies of Fit for Work: Flexible
                             7. Guidance and appraisal (don’t put        all communication between remote              Working in the Public Sector and more
  Cover                      them off for life). All public sector       workers must be task-oriented and             details on the Public Policy Forum are
                             employers should ensure their               schedules should be generous enough           available at www.egovernment.bt.com/
  Contents                   employees who work flexibly are             to allow more informal exchanges.             ppf_open/index.html or by contacting
                             supported and trained to cope with            The guidelines were drawn up                Nick Bush at nick.bush@bt.com
                             their different working environment and     following an online debate between
  News
                             adequate appraisal systems should be        public policy and decision makers,
  Agenda                     maintained.                                 independent experts, think tanks,
                             8. Flexible working is not a skiver’s       academics and successful industry
  Partners                   paradise. By establishing clear policies    figures in the Public Policy Forum. Nick
                             for all available working options,          Bush, BT’s Public Policy Forum
  Development                managers can prevent both flexible          programme manager, says: ‘Making a
                             workers and those still based in the        success of flexible working is vital if the
  Course Diary               office from perceiving flexible working     public sector is to tackle the skills
                             as an easy option.                          shortages and inefficiencies which
  Feedback                   9. Flexible working is not a hacker’s       currently hold back progress and meet
                             paradise - so security policies should be   the needs of its 21st Century workforce
  About SOLACE               extended to flexible working                and the expectations of 21st Century
                             arrangements and staff should have          citizens.’
                             these written into their contracts.
 SOLACE
 Hope House                  10. Allow time for ‘unproductive’
 45 Great Peter Street
                             activities. These help to bolster morale
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                                                             Oracle: Delivering better services is not enough
Focus
                             Final answer?
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’                     Publication of the     It’s true that central government is
                                                           making extra money available - £675m,
                                                                                                        access channels. Nor do we have an
                                                                                                        obligation to be socially inclusive and
  Cover
                                 national strategy for     including £200k to all authorities           provide services to a range of ‘difficult’ or
                             local e-government has        submitting acceptable IEG statements.        vulnerable citizens who will always require
  Contents                                                 But against a background of spiralling       services to be delivered face to face.
                             reinforced the message        service costs and what many authorities        But at the same time there are very
  News                          that e-government is       perceive as an unfavourable Local            real similarities. We are in business to
                                                           Government Finance Settlement, the           develop and sell software and maximise
  Agenda
                                 not just about better     pressure is on to look for new ways of       returns to shareholders. Local
                                    services – it’s also   delivering savings.                          authorities exist to deliver high quality
  Partners                                                   Many of you will have heard how            services to citizens at best value to the
                               about driving out cost,     Oracle saved $1bn - around 20 per cent       taxpayer. And what neither of us can
  Development                      says Oracle’s Andy      of our running costs. Of course we           afford is to have resources tied up in
                                                           recognise that there are major               routine back-office support functions
                                  Smith. Here he asks      differences between local authorities        such as finance, HR or procurement.
  Course Diary
                               what changes elected        and ourselves. We are a multi-national         A key contributor to Oracle’s $1bn
                                                           company, we can use our own software         savings has been the drive towards
  Feedback                   members might choose.         at cost price, and we can choose our         employee self-service and the use of
  About SOLACE                                             customers and how we deal with them,         our own integrated financials, HR and
                                                           pushing them down the self-service           i.procurement systems. We still have
                                                           route wherever possible. We’re not
 SOLACE
 Hope House                                                obliged by government to provide up to
 45 Great Peter Street
                                                           700 different service lines via a range of
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                                                                          Oracle: Delivering better services is not enough
Focus
                             Final answer?
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’              finance and HR staff - but rather less of
                             them. And those we have now focus on        ■ For further information on the
  Cover                      ‘added’ value tasks that use their          Oracle $1bn story and Oracle’s
                             professional expertise, rather than on      HR/Payroll and Financial systems
  Contents                   the routine admin tasks that all too        please contact Andy Smith.
                             often consume vast amounts of               Email: andy.smith@oracle.com or
                             organisational time and resource.           tel: 0118 924 6317.
  News
                               Benefits like these are certainly not
  Agenda                     confined to private sector organisations.
                             We have recently carried out an initial
  Partners                   ROI study looking at HR and Payroll in a
                             medium sized unitary authority that
  Development                indicates potential savings of around
                             £3m per annum. These sorts of figures
  Course Diary               will not be untypical and other
                             authorities will want to ask ‘how much
  Feedback                   could we save?’ and ‘where could this
                             money best be deployed?’ Back office
  About SOLACE               processing? Or improved front line
                             service delivery? Routine HR and
                             finance administration? Or increased
 SOLACE
 Hope House                  nursery places? There’s little doubt
 45 Great Peter Street
                             which the members would choose!
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                                       Oracle: Hull CC sees telephone waiting times down to three seconds
Focus
                             Please hold…
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’              Of the 16,000 calls Hull CC receives        minutes. Service requests are entered
                             each week 99% now get through,              by agents online, after which Oracle
  Cover                      average waiting time is down to three       Workflow forwards the request to the
                             seconds and agents are able to log 95%      correct person and automatically
  Contents                   of calls within 10 seconds. Graham          generates reminders by email to ensure
                             France, head of service re-engineering      timely action.
                             and development at Hull CC, says the          Housing Services is being added to
  News
                             council now handles calls much more         Hull Connect, enabling council tenants
  Agenda                     effectively than before. ‘Public reaction   to request repairs or other services via
                             has been extremely positive and             the call centre, which will soon be
  Partners                   customer satisfaction ratings are           staffed 24 hours a day, in line with Hull’s
                             consistently high.’                         Digital City initiative. Hull CC plans to
  Development                 All calls are handled through a single     implement Oracle11i Financials, Human
                             point following the implementation of       Resources and iProcurement later this         ■ More information from Andy Smith
  Course Diary               Oracle11i CRM in April 2002. Customers      year. ‘With Oracle11i we have an              Tel: 0118 924 6317. Email:
                             can place enquiries and requests for        integrated business model that enables        andy.smith@oracle.com
  Feedback                   service to Hull Connect’s call centre via   us to deliver our promises to the
                             a single telephone number. By accessing     citizens of Hull and will, in the longer
  About SOLACE               a digital A-Z of services stored on the     term, generate substantial cost savings,’
                             Oracle9i database, the agent taking the     said France.
                             call is able to find the answers to
 SOLACE
 Hope House                  questions rapidly and resolve most
 45 Great Peter Street
                             enquiries successfully within a few
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       Jan/Feb 2003                           ZM: Recognising the signs of stress is a job for everyone
Focus
                             Stressed out?
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’                                           It will come as no surprise to local          contributory factors of workplace stress.
                                                          authority managers that public sector         At a time of increased pressure on
  Cover                                                   workers continue to be absent for more        public sector workers to improve local
                                                          days than those in the private sector -       services, along with tight financial
  Contents                                                an average of 10.2 days compared to 7.6       constraints, the sheer pace of change is
                                                          days. Zurich Municipal estimates that         creating considerable uncertainty and
                                                          the number of stress-related claims in        insufficient time and training to develop
  News
                                                          this sector rose by 30 per cent in the        the skill sets required to meet new
  Agenda                                                  last year.                                    challenges is a key cause of stress.
                                Stress-related claims       The 2002 European Health and Safety           A survey of members of the Society of
  Partners                       are on the increase.     Week urged employers to reassess              Personnel Officers (SOCPO) conducted
                                                          procedures for tackling work-related          by Zurich Municipal found that one in
  Development
                             Alan Woof, underwriting      stress. But tackling stress is not just the   six respondents rate liability for work-
                                 director with Zurich     remit of employers. Employees are             related stress as the most important
  Course Diary                                            being encouraged to recognise the signs       issue relating to employment practices
                              Municipal, says it is not   of stress and the public sector insurance     affecting their authority. The survey
  Feedback                           enough for local     industry also has a role to play, working     also found that 38 per cent of
                                                          with employers to help reduce the             respondents expect the number of
                                  authorities to have     number of stress related insurance            stress related claims to rise.
  About SOLACE
                             systems in place to deal     claims.                                         It is not enough for public sector
                                                            A sense of job insecurity, poor morale,
 SOLACE
 Hope House
                              with stress - they must     staff shortages, insufficient training and
 45 Great Peter Street
                                   be shown to work       work overload are all recognised as
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       Jan/Feb 2003                                      ZM: Recognising the signs of stress is a job for everyone
Focus
                             Stressed out?
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’              organisations to simply have measures        legal advice helpline services. Again, it is   claims as a real issue requiring its
                             in place to deal with stress. The Court of   not enough to simply have these                immediate action.
  Cover                      Appeal ruling last year which                helplines in place. To be used as a              It would be rather naïve to suggest
                             overturned three out of four liability       defence in court it must be possible to        that the public sector’s current stress
  Contents                   claims relating to employee stress           demonstrate that that the                      tactics could not be improved upon, but
                             demonstrated that it is possible to          infrastructure exists to enable these          there has been much headway made
                             defend claims for stress if you have         helplines to be a useful and accessible        over the past two years or so. Through
  News
                             procedures in place that work.               resource.                                      vigilant monitoring and having
  Agenda                       A number of best practice procedures         Earlier this year, Zurich Municipal          appropriate structures and procedures
                             are increasingly being employed by           worked with Trafford MBC to run a              in place that really work, local authority
  Partners                   local authorities to tackle work-related     stress management awareness course,            managers can continue to actively
                             stress. The important thing for              which explored how to recognise stress         manage workplace stress and in turn,
  Development                employers is to be proactive. A review       and possible preventative measures             reduce the number of stress related
                             of employment practices will help            such as risk assessment. It also               insurance claims.
  Course Diary               ensure the right procedures are in place     investigated how the local authority and
                             to improve morale and guarantee that         the insurance industry can work                ■ For more information contact Alan
  Feedback                   support and feedback mechanisms are          together on claims investigations              Woof, Underwriting Director, Zurich
                             provided for all employees.                  related to stress, through interviews          Municipal. Tel: 01252 387 711. Email:
  About SOLACE                 Of equal importance is to ensure that      with human resources staff, managers           alan.woof@uk.zurich.com
                             staff are aware of options open to them      and peer groups and knowledge of a
                             for seeking advice and Zurich Municipal      claimant’s history. The positive response
 SOLACE
 Hope House                  have worked with local authorities to        to this pilot illustrates that the public
 45 Great Peter Street
                             provide confidential counselling and         sector regards work-related stress
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       Jan/Feb 2003
                                                                                                   Developing better leadership skills
Focus
                             Get a leading edge
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’              The work on developing better                provides a framework for testing and         Conference opportunities to promote
                             leadership skills for public services -      continuously improving one of the most       the work of the research and the
  Cover                      which last year culminated in a Demos        crucial leadership capacities - dialogue.    development tools that have emerged
                             research publication written by SOLACE       ‘Most people can grasp the difference        out of it include:
  Contents                   consultant Danny Chesterman and              between dialogue and our usual verbal        ■ Warwick Consortium annual
                             Matthew Horne - continues this year.         exchanges,’ said Chesterman. ‘If you ask       conference, Leadership in a
                               SOLACE, the IDeA and the Joseph            them to recall the best conversation           Partnership Context, 20-21 January
  News
                             Rowntree Trust are collaborating to          they’ve ever had it will invariably            2003
  Agenda                     support a modest dissemination               mention a quality of listening, a sense of   ■ Leadership workshop at Bristol, 17
                             programme to take forward the                mutuality, learning and respect for            February 2003
  Partners                   research entitled Local authority? How       others.’                                     ■ Leadership, Voice and Accountability
                             to develop leadership for better public        The framework offers one way of              International Conference, 8-10
  Development                service.                                     improving the quality of dialogue. It is       September 2003
                               Part of the dissemination programme        available on the SOLACE website:             ■ Leadership, Learning and
  Course Diary               involves the preparation of some             www.solace.org.uk/scl/learningtools.htm        Participation Conference, Lancaster
                             written resources to support the                                                            University, 14-16 April 2003
  Feedback                   research including a facilitators guide, a                                                ■ International Conference Leadership
                             relational feedback tool and a tool for                                                     in Crisis, Netherlands, 12-14 May 2003
  About SOLACE               developing dialogue, seen as central to
                             the leadership agenda, said
                             Chesterman.
 SOLACE
 Hope House                    The leadership toolkit, designed for
 45 Great Peter Street
                             use in multiple stakeholder settings,
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       Jan/Feb 2003                   Diary of a new CEX: Dealing with people, places and partnerships
Focus
                             Location, vocation
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




                                                         So, are you still going at ‘warp speed’?
  About ‘Focus’                The CEX doesn’t want      It was good to have a well-timed break
                                                                                                       the area that they cover? On the one
                                                                                                       hand we are expected to have a
  Cover
                              to ask the way around      over Christmas, as the pace hasn’t            strategic focus, yet also we need to have
                             the patch but is it more    slowed up at all. Apart from work and         an understanding and appreciation of
  Contents                                               developments within the authority there       the local community and area.
                               important to focus on     are several key partnership initiatives         Clearly it would be embarrassing to
  News                           the strategy than to    under way, and preparation for the CPA        still have to ask for directions this time
                                                         as we are in the first tranche of district    next year, yet I wonder how chief
  Agenda
                               know the geography?       level inspections.                            executives with a much greater
                              In the second of three                                                   geographic area manage? There is an
  Partners                                               Have you met everyone yet?                    argument that the modern chief
                                articles based on the    No, not yet. I still have some people at      executive should focus on the strategic
  Development                     diary of a new CEX,    regional level to meet, and locally I’m       issues only. Still, in an authority this size
                                                         still getting acquainted with town and        it helps your credibility when, with an
                             Stephen Baker answers       parish chairman and suchlike.                 irate parish chairman on the phone, you
  Course Diary
                              some questions posed                                                     know where their village is!
                                                         And have you managed to visit all
  Feedback                      by editor, Eleri Evans   parts of the district?                        That sounds like a dilemma – so is the
                                                         I’ve certainly been to all the major          role of chief executive what you
  About SOLACE
                                                         towns and to the majority of the              expected it to be?
                                                         villages, but not everywhere just yet. It’s
 SOLACE
 Hope House                                              an interesting point - should a chief
 45 Great Peter Street
                                                         executive need to be that familiar with
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Focus
                             Location, vocation
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




                             Broadly, yes it is, but then my time         contribute to their partnership                   What’s your impression of your new
  About ‘Focus’
                             working with James Hehir at Ipswich          arrangements. There is no doubt that              authority?
  Cover                      and my involvement with SOLACE               the role is very broad, and it seems to           East Northamptonshire scores well in so
                             helped with that understanding. It is        be getting larger.                                many ways. It was recently described in
  Contents                   clear that the role has changed                                                                an audit report as a ‘quietly achieving
                             significantly in recent years, and current   Is the honeymoon period over?                     authority with a pragmatic and
                             day chief executives have a much wider       As far as I’m concerned, yes. It’s been a         business-like approach to service
  News
                             span of issues to address and manage.        demanding few months, and now we’re               delivery’. Our small size and limited
  Agenda                     In a smaller district such as East           looking ahead to an IDeA review,                  capacity is balanced by having highly
                             Northamptonshire, our capacity is            followed by the CPA later in the year.            skilled and committed staff. The
  Partners                   limited simply because of our size, so                                                         authority meets challenges head on,
                             my role spans from strategic to include      Are you achieving a work/life balance             and is focused on achieving benefits for
  Development                some operational issues.                     as you had hoped?                                 the local community.
                               Plus, there are regional issues,             Sort of! It’s always difficult in the initial     There is a clear contrast between the
  Course Diary               partnerships to develop, and challenges      stages of a job as big as being a chief           rural and urban areas of the district,
                             to respond to. Specifically, the             executive, but although I’m working               and the recent announcement that ‘Dr
  Feedback                   proliferation of partnerships is very        long hours, I’m managing to book time             Martens’ is to close will hit the local
                             demanding on me and my staff as we           off and I even get to the gym                     community hard. Being part of the
  About SOLACE               seek both to develop our own                 occasionally (although you wouldn’t               Welland Partnership is a real bonus, and
                             partnership working arrangements             think so to look at my waistline!). I’m           is enabling an innovative approach to e-
                             (from a local, county and Welland            fortunate to have exceptionally
 SOLACE
 Hope House                  perspective) and respond to the              supportive staff who make sure I’m well
 45 Great Peter Street
                             demands of others who want us to             looked after.
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       Jan/Feb 2003                         Diary of a new CEX: Dealing with people, places and partnerships
Focus
                             Location, vocation
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’              government and shared service
                             delivery. It’s great to be here!
  Cover
                             And finally, what’s the view like from
  Contents                   your office?
                               I have a view across the Nene river
                             Valley, encompassing narrow boats,
  News
                             church spires and wildlife. It’s the best
  Agenda                     view in the county (if not the country)
                             and is very useful for monitoring the
  Partners                   level of the local floodwater…


  Development

  Course Diary

  Feedback

  About SOLACE

 SOLACE
 Hope House
 45 Great Peter Street                                                                      Page 3 of 3
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       Jan/Feb 2003                                                                                                   SOLACE Course Diary
Focus
                             Courses on offer
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’               Aiming to be a                               Presentation Matters                        Aiming to be a chief
                              corporate director                           Part 1                                      executive
  Cover
                             More and more top jobs are being             The ability to speak confidently and        If you are aiming for the top job this
  Contents                   created for corporate and strategic          communicate effectively to a wide           one-day workshop is guaranteed to help
                             directors. If you aspire to this role our    range of audiences is simply ‘part of the   you on your way. It provides an
  News                       new one-day workshop will be just the        job’ for all chief executives and senior    opportunity to explore the role of the
                             ticket. Find out about the job, the skills   managers. However, the skills and           chief executive, how it might change
  Agenda                     and competencies required and,               techniques needed to enhance                and consider the key
                             importantly, your best route there.          performance in this area are rarely         competencies/capacities required. You
  Partners                                                                practised. This one-day workshop offers     will be able to make a realistic
                             Date: Wednesday 22 January                   the opportunity to do just that.            assessment of your own development
  Development                Location: London                                                                         needs and identify your best route to
                             Cost: £295 + VAT for SOLACE                  Date: Tuesday 4 February                    the top.
                             members, £320 + VAT for non-members          Location: Cheltenham
  Course Diary
                                                                          Cost: £295 + VAT for SOLACE                 Date: Wednesday 5 February
  Feedback                                                                members, £320 + VAT for non-members         Location: London
                                                                                                                      Cost: £295 + VAT for SOLACE
  About SOLACE                                                                                                        members, £320 + VAT for non-members


 SOLACE
 Hope House                   Courses run at intervals. For more information
 45 Great Peter Street
                              contact Sue Rawlins at sue.rawlins@solace.org.uk
                                                                                                                                  Page 1 of 3
 London SW1P 3LT
 Tel: 020 7233 0081
       Jan/Feb 2003                                                                                                    SOLACE Course Diary
Focus
                             Courses on offer
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’               Election Issues                               The Challenge of Member/                    Selection Matters
                                                                            Manager relationships
  Cover
                             Facing your first election? These             Relationships between officers and          Looking for a new job but dreading the
  Contents                   workshops are a must. Each offers a           members are at the core of effective        selection process? This two-day workshop
                             unique opportunity to get practical advice    working in local authorities. The           offers a unique opportunity to examine
  News                       and tips, share insights and experiences      Government’s modernisation agenda           the selection process - from the simplest
                             with colleagues, and get up to speed with     will further emphasise the need to          interview to the battery of tests you may
  Agenda                     the fast changing world of elections.         establish positive working relationships.   have to suffer when doing it for real.
                             Closely scrutinised by politicians and the    This seminar helps delegates to             Practical, challenging and guaranteed to
  Partners                   media, elections are occasions where          understand the different perspectives of    make a difference it’s a sound investment
                             chief executives are expected to know all     officers and members, how on                for chief executives and senior managers
  Development                the answers - fast. A timely opportunity to   occasions these may lead to things          ready to make a move.
                             make sure you are ‘on the pace’.              going wrong and how to deal with them
                                                                           if they do.                                 Date: Monday 3 - Tuesday 4 March
  Course Diary
                             Date: 5 February 2003 - Beginners                                                         Location: Midlands
  Feedback                   Date: 6 March 2003 - Refresher                Date: 11 February                           Cost: £495 + VAT for SOLACE members,
                             Location: London                              Location: London                            £545 + VAT for non-members
  About SOLACE               Cost: £295 + VAT for SOLACE members,          Cost: £295 + VAT for SOLACE members,        (overnight accommodation costs are
                             £320 + VAT for non-members                    £320 + VAT for non-members                  additional)
 SOLACE
 Hope House                   Courses run at intervals. For more information
 45 Great Peter Street
                              contact Sue Rawlins at sue.rawlins@solace.org.uk
                                                                                                                                    Page 2 of 3
 London SW1P 3LT
 Tel: 020 7233 0081
       Jan/Feb 2003                                                                                               SOLACE Course Diary
Focus
                             Courses on offer
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’               New chief executives briefing

  Cover
                                                                         The gentle touch?
                             Well-established and widely acclaimed,      Issues arising from the research into the experiences of women chief
  Contents                   this 48-hour briefing is a must for all     executives will be explored at two sessions in the North West towards the end
                             newly appointed chief executives.           of January. Mike Broussine and Pam Fox, authors of the report Room at the
  News                       Marking the start of an ongoing             Top, will lead the discussion groups.
                             learning and development programme,            The discussions are aimed at providing an opportunity for dialogue about the
  Agenda                     the briefing is practical and stimulating   ‘often disturbing’ issues raised in the report, said Danny Chesterman,
                             and offers an unrivalled opportunity to     professional adviser to the SOLACE Scheme for Continuous Learning. ‘The idea
  Partners                   join a powerful network. There’s nothing    is to draw out perspectives on gender differences and encourage dialogue.’
                             else like it.
  Development                                                            ■ More information from Danny Chesterman. Tel: 01622 747228.
                             Date: Sunday 23 - Tuesday 25 March            Email: danny.chesterman@solace.org.uk
                             Location: Midlands
  Course Diary
                             Cost: Cost: £495 + VAT for SOLACE
  Feedback                   members, £545 + VAT for non-members
                             (overnight accommodation costs are
  About SOLACE               additional)


 SOLACE
 Hope House                   Courses are run at intervals. For further information contact
 45 Great Peter Street
                              Sue Rawlins on 01934 513704 or via sue.rawlins@solace.org.uk
                                                                                                                              Page 3 of 3
 London SW1P 3LT
 Tel: 020 7233 0081
       Jan/Feb 2003                                                                        How this electronic newsletter works
Focus

                             Click me!
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’              You are reading what we believe is a         want, as soon as they want it.             If you want to print out a particular
                             pioneer in the next generation of              What’s more, we recognise that some      section, Adobe Acrobat Reader
  Cover                      newsletter publishing.                       readers will want minute detail on         informs you at the foot of document
                               We thought long and hard about how         certain topics while others will have      what page you are on, so when you hit
  Contents                   to deliver news and information to a         different requirements. Unlike paper-      ‘print’ you can produce a hard copy of
                             professional audience and decided on         based products, we can add as many         just what you need, without waste.
  News                       the logical route of electronic              pages as necessary to cover a                On the contents page is an option to
                             publishing.                                  particular topic in fine detail, without   get to the SOLACE website, to find out
  Agenda                       SOLACE Focus is a Portable                 compromising the rest of document. If      more about the organisation. Apart
                             Document Format (pdf) file, which            you do not want to read a section,         from that one link to the Internet, this
  Partners                   means it can be read on any personal         simply click elsewhere.                    pdf file is completely self contained
                             computer which has Adobe Acrobat               The advantages in terms of cost-         and operates off-line.
  Development                Reader installed. This is a free piece of    efficiency and usefulness over a print-      Wherever you see an email address,
                             software available for fast download         based product become more obvious,         click on it to activate your email
  Course Diary               from www.adobe.co.uk                         therefore, when you consider there are     software and respond to the article’s
                               A pdf file such as this offers a screen-   no cost implications to adding pages to    author direct.
  Feedback                   based information dissemination              a pdf file to make sure an item is given
                             solution.                                    the space necessary for a full and
  About SOLACE                 Our comprehensive contents page            considered explanation of the facts.
                             flags up all the stories in this edition       Navigation buttons are provided on
                             and to get to them, just click on the        every page to easily guide you through
 SOLACE
 Hope House                  ‘Go’ button. It’s a fast way for busy        the document.
 45 Great Peter Street
                             readers to get to the information they
                                                                                                                                  Page 1 of 1
 London SW1P 3LT
 Tel: 020 7233 0081
                             aboutSOLACE
       Jan/Feb 2003


Focus
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’              SOLACE is the representative body for        Sponsorship opportunities also exist
                             senior strategic managers working in       for smaller or one-off purposes. Sonia
  Cover                      local government. The Society              Rheinlander (sonia.rheinlander
                             promotes effective local government        @solace.org.uk) has full details.
  Contents                   and provides professional development
                             for its members.                           Located in the heart of Westminster
  News                         Members are drawn from a variety of      [nearest underground is St James’
                             professional backgrounds and are:          Park] our London headquarters offers
  Agenda                     ■ Local authority Chief Executives         a range of facilities for Members.
                             ■ Senior Executives of local               For a location map, click here.
  Partners                      authorities (or other related             Provided as a ‘drop in’ facility for
                                organisations)                          Members, we have a comfortable
  Development                ■ Members of related International         Members’ Room – ideal for relaxing,       SOLACE headquarters:
                                organisations                           reading the current Journals, or simply   Hope House, 45 Great Peter St,
                             ■ Past Service Members                     having a cuppa. Or you can meet a         London, SW1P 3LT
  Course Diary
                               The Society is funded from member        colleague then use our dedicated
                             subscriptions, profits from its            computer terminals to access the
  Feedback
                             commercial company (SOLACE                 Internet and pick up your email or
  About SOLACE               Enterprises) and sponsorship.              phone, fax and photocopy.                  General
                               SOLACE is particularly grateful to its
                                                                                                                   enquiries:
                             sponsors for their support. Current
 SOLACE
 Hope House                  major sponsors are BT, Zurich                                                         Tel: 0845 601 0649
 45 Great Peter Street                                                                                             Email: hope.house@solace.org.uk
 London SW1P 3LT
                             Municipal and Oracle.
 Tel: 020 7233 0081
                             Feedback:
       Jan/Feb 2003


Focus
The electronic newsletter
from the Society of Local
Authority Chief Executives
and Senior Managers




  About ‘Focus’

  Cover
                             Have your say                              Who’s who?
                             Read something that interests you?         President: Mike Pitt
                             Concerns you? Annoys you? Want a           Tel: 01622 694000
  Contents                                                              Email: mike.pitt@solace.org.uk
                             chance to put your view? Want to find
  News                       out more? Whatever your view, please       Director General: David Clark
                             share it with us.                          Tel: 0207 233 0081
  Agenda                                                                Email: david.clark@solace.org.uk
                             SOLACE Focus is only as good as the
                                                                        Managing Director SOLACE Enterprises:
  Partners                   contributions it gets. It is your
                             newsletter, meant to reflect your
                                                                        Andrew Coleman Tel: 0207 233 0081
                                                                        Email: andrew.coleman@solace.org.uk
                                                                                                                SOLACE  Society of Local Authority
                                                                                                                  Chief Executives and Senior Managers

  Development                Society. Let us know if it is (or isn’t)
                             doing the job.                             Executive Manager: James Jeynes
                                                                        Tel: 0207 233 0081
  Course Diary                                                          Email: james.jeynes@solace.org.uk
                             Editor SOLACE Focus:
                             Eleri Evans Tel: 0845 601 0649.            Honorary Secretary: Tim Byles
  Feedback
                             Email: eleri.evans@solace.org.uk           Tel: 01603 222000
                                                                        Email: tim.byles@solace.org.uk           Live web link to
  About SOLACE                                                                                                  www.solace.org.uk
                             SOLACE Focus is published by the           Assistant Director General, SOLACE:
                             Society of Local Authority Chief                                                     Click here to find
 SOLACE                                                                 Mike Bennett Tel: 020 7233 0081           out more, off-line
 Hope House                  Executives and Senior Managers             Email: mike.bennett@solace.org.uk
 45 Great Peter Street
 London SW1P 3LT
 Tel: 020 7233 0081

				
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