LGA Chief Executive Mark Lloyd - Welcome and opening remarks at the LGA 2022 Annual Conference

Welcome and opening remarks by Mark Lloyd, LGA Chief Executive, at the 2022 LGA Annual Conference in Harrogate.

Good afternoon and welcome to this year’s annual conference.

I’m so excited that we’re able to be together in beautiful Harrogate. 

Thanks to our host councils, Harrogate Borough Council and North Yorkshire County Council, for the warmth of their welcome to both the borough and the county.

Since our 2021 virtual annual conference, local government has once again been at the forefront of the biggest issues facing the country such as:

  • housing shortages,
  • the climate emergency
  • and the future of adult social care.....
  • while also progressing the nation’s pandemic recovery. 

As we begin this year’s conference, additional challenges such as the sudden rise in the cost of living and rehoming thousands of new arrivals from Afghanistan and Ukraine have been added to our priorities. 

Over next three days, the LGA conference is the place to explore and debate these and other issues facing local government.

As we start, I want to thank councils and everyone associated with local government for your hard work over the past year.

You have delivered time and time again and the next few days will provide the opportunity to look back and celebrate some of our achievements, particularly as we mark the LGA’s 25th anniversary.

There will also be plenty of chances to look forward and consider some of the opportunities and challenges ahead for councils.

We have a packed agenda with several keynote speeches, workshops, group discussions and sessions in our innovation zone.

We are delighted to welcome the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove who will be outlining his ambitions for communities and local government.

Over the next couple of days, we will also welcome....

  • Shadow Levelling Up Secretary Lisa Nandy,
  • Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey,
  • crossbench peer Baroness Young and Olympian and Media Personality, Kriss Akabusi

all discussing the big issues facing our local communities.

There will be no shortage of things for us to discuss as this year’s Queen’s Speech set out the busiest programme in more than 15 years.

The conference and our Innovation Zone will give us the chance to discuss how councils can help shape and deliver proposals relating to devolution, inequalities,

planning, education, housing, health and social care, climate change, and much more.

We will also spend time considering the cost pressures facing councils and households, with rising inflation, energy costs and supply chain issues, and how these all impact on the financial resilience of households and local public services.

There will also be plenty of opportunities to catch up with colleagues you haven’t seen in a while and also the chance to make new connections in our various lunches, dinners and networking sessions. 

With over 1600 delegates, speakers, exhibitors and sponsors there are unlimited opportunities for conversation.

As usual, our Innovation Zone will showcase the range of ideas and approaches being adopted by councils - focused this year on ‘Resilience and Renewal’.

The Innovation Zone is the place to see inspiring local Government ingenuity at its best. 

We will also be taking you through the new LGA support offer for councils.

This programme of support, funded directly by Government, focuses on what you have told us is most important.

It is our support to you, and your councils, to help ensure that local government continues to be the highest performing part of the public sector.

We’ve worked to make this year’s Conference paperless and our greenest yet.

So, if you haven’t already, do take a minute to download our conference app.

The app is easy to use and will help you navigate everything that’s happening over the next few days. Simply search for ‘LGA Events’ on the App Store or Google Play.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank in advance all our amazing speakers, as well as our exhibitors this year.

Thanks also to all our conference sponsors, especially our main sponsor CCLA, for partnering with us again this year.

And, finally, I’d like to give a massive shout out and thanks to the LGA team who have pulled out all the stops, working to make the first in person annual conference in a few years a roaring success.

We wanted to put together a programme that makes you wish you could be in two or three places at once. 

I hope you will agree that’s what they have achieved.

I’m so excited about the next few days - and hope you are too.

I am delighted now to hand over to Cllr Graham Swift - Deputy Leader of Harrogate Borough Council.