Leadership Essentials

'Leadership Essentials' is a series of series of programmes and workshops’ designed as themed learning opportunities for councillors. Each event concentrates on a specific portfolio area or a specific theme.

Audit Committees: Leadership Essentials

The world of audit just got interesting! The role of Audit Committees is to ensure that the council has an effective system for managing risks and controlling its finances. In these times of reduced resources and enhanced risk this role is more important than ever. With a government review of local government underway and controversy in the private sector about the role of external auditors, there has never been a better time to reflect on how audit committees need to be fulfilling their role.

Aimed at Audit Committee Chairs, this programme will discuss how Audit Committees can be most effective, drawing on the insights of auditors to ensure that the public can have confidence in the way the council is managing its financial affairs.

Programme 5: Wednesday 19 January – Thursday, 20 January 2022
Programme 6: Saturday 19 February – Sunday 20 February 2022

Both events take place at Warwick Conferences, Coventry CV4 7SH.

Fee: The cost of attending this programme is fully subsidised.

Adult social care: Leadership Essentials

We are running the two-day programme for Adult Social Care and Leading Healthier Places simultaneously. These free development events will support Adult Social Care Lead Members and Chairs and Vice Chairs of Health & Wellbeing Boards with the key challenges they face in care and health in a rapidly changing policy landscape.

The events are member led, interactive, and provides lots of opportunities for discussion, the sharing of practice and innovative solutions in a confidential environment and for making valuable contacts. The programmes are delivered by LGA staff supported by high profile guest speakers from local government and partner agencies.

The programmes will explore leadership within the current policy and practice context, including the NHS White Paper and Bill, changes to public health, implications of Covid response and recovery, adult social care funding and reform, and ongoing health and care integration. Some sessions will run across the two programmes and some separately.

Programme 8: Tuesday 2 November – Wednesday 3 November 2021
Warwick Conferences, Coventry CV4 7SH

Fee: The cost of attending this programme is fully subsidised.

More information on other resources for lead members can be found on the Adult social care lead member development page.

Being an effective cabinet member: Leadership Essentials

This exciting programme from the LGA has been designed to meet a significant unmet need in the member development world - a course to support new and experienced cabinet members in being successful in their portfolios.  There are many courses available for scrutiny councillors but this is the first course dedicated to supporting councillors in their role as executive members. 

This interactive course examines the key aspects of being a successful cabinet member - from having a clear understanding of the legacy you want to leave, to working with your director, working with other cabinet members, making effective decisions and managing your workload.  The course is designed to produce a step change in the effectiveness of cabinet members.  It is designed to support all different types of portfolio holders - and is not specific to a specific portfolio.

Who is it for?

New cabinet members; Experience cabinet members wanting a ‘refresh’; Cabinet deputies or assistants; Shadow cabinet members or assistants. 

Programme 9: Thursday, 15 July – Friday, 16 July 2021 - Virtual
Programme 10: Thursday 14 October – Friday, 15 October 2021
Warwick Conferences, Coventry CV4 7SH
Programme 11: Tuesday, 14 September – Wednesday, 15 September 2021 - Virtual
Warwick Conferences, Coventry CV4 7SH
Programme 12: Saturday, 26 February – Sunday, 27 February 2021 Warwick Conferences, Coventry CV4 7SH

Fee: The fee for attending the 2-day residential event is £250 per place which includes accommodation, meals, and all learning materials. The fee for the virtual programme is £99.

Building safety: Leadership Essentials

This two day course will give greater confidence to leaders and portfolio holders to face the challenges of ensuring that buildings – and their residents – are safe.

This course focuses exclusively on the issues affecting councils as housing providers (including overseers of ALMOs, TMOs etc) – specifically those issues affecting councils with high-rise stock (over 18m).

The tragic fire at Grenfell tower in June 2017 illustrated the essential role of portfolio holders in scrutinising the delivery of housing functions and having the correct assurance in place that these are being delivered effectively.

The Fire Safety Act and Building Safety Bill will deliver significant changes to these responsibilities.

This course will help participants to:

  • understand their scrutiny role in overseeing the work of housing departments
  • understand key policy issues and challenges regarding the new Building Safety regime, with input from key national, regional, and local speakers and create space for reflective thinking
  • explore new responsibilities as duty holders under both the Building Safety Bill and the Fire Safety Act/Order
  • lead and deliver the practical and cultural changes required in staff training, technology, and assurance processes
  • ensure that resident voice is at the heart of changes to their building safety approach.

The programme runs over two days and is delivered by member peers and local government officers, supported by subject matter experts from local government and partner agencies.

Who is it for?

It is for leaders, deputy leaders, portfolio holders with responsibility for housing and members with an interest in building safety.

Programme 2: 24 and 25 February 2022, Warwick Conference Centre

Fee: The event is fully subsidised including accommodation and refreshments. Places are limited.

Communication and Media: Political Leadership Masterclass

As a leading councillor you play a pivotal role in raising awareness of your local area and organisation through the media. We’re running an intense five-hour virtual masterclass to develop and enhance interview skills. The session will be run by Scott Chisholm, who advises some of the country’s top politicians and the world’s most influential corporate executives.

  • You will learn how to be in control of any encounter with any journalist
  • How to prepare and present
  • How a journalist thinks
  • What makes news, news
  • Your rights
  • How to exploit difficult questions
  • How to influence, rather than merely inform
  • The 3 ‘R’s of damage imitation and crisis management

Programme 22: Friday 9 July 2021
Programme 23: Thursday 9 September 2021
Programme 24: Friday 26 November 2021

Fee: The cost of attending this programme is fully subsidised and will all be virtual. 

Children's services: Leadership Essentials

Lead Members for Children's Services are responsible for providing leadership to Children's Services in their area and hold a statutory role. This development event is funded as part of the sector led improvement programme and aims to support Lead Members with the key challenges they face in the changing policy landscape and to develop leadership capacity, share learning and provide a valuable networking opportunity. This programme is also for Chairs of Children's Services scrutiny committee.

The programme runs over two days and is delivered by member peers and LGA staff supported by guest speakers from local government and partner agencies. We are offering a choice of three programme dates:

Programme 33: Thursday 21October – Friday 22October 2021
Warwick Conferences, Coventry CV4 7SH
Programme 34: Saturday 20 November – Sunday 21 November 2021 – Virtual

Fee: The cost of attending this programme is fully subsidised.

Climate emergency: Leadership Essentials

The impact of climate change on our planet is dominating global news headlines and a recent survey by Ipsos MORI showed 85 per cent of adults are now concerned about global warming. Many councils have formally declared a climate emergency and are looking at practical steps to turn ambitions on reducing carbon emissions into action.  

This programme will help leaders and portfolio holders explore the crucial local leadership role in responding to the climate emergency. It will explore levers for councils to reduce carbon emissions and provide opportunities to learn from the experience of others.  

Featuring a range of inputs, practical sessions and discussions, the programme will explore themes including community engagement, action planning, current climate change issues and how councils can bring partners together to deliver meaningful changes.

There will be plenty of breaks throughout the two days.

Programme 8: Monday 28 February – Tuesday 1 March 2022, 9.30am - 4.30pm
Programme 9: Tuesday 8 March – Wednesday 9 March 2022, 9.30am - 4.00pm
Fee: The cost of attending this programme is fully subsidised and will all be virtual via Zoom.

Cultural services: Leadership Essentials

Leadership Essentials Culture event for Portfolio Holders

After 12 very successful programmes, we are delighted to be working in partnership with Arts Council England to deliver further Leadership Essentials Cultural Services programmes for leading members with responsibility for Cultural Services.  At this critical time for cultural services, the programme will support leading councillors to develop an integrated cultural offer against a backdrop of reducing budgets.

The programme aims to help participants:

develop a better understanding of the role integrated cultural services can play in communities understand the extent of transformation that is now required in the planning, delivery and development of cultural services. consider how councils can use cultural services to improve outcomes for their communities learn from good practice across the country understand more about how Arts Council England and LGA can support participants to carry out their leadership roles more effectively.

Programme 16: New dates for 2021/22 to be announced soon

Fee: The cost of attending this programme is fully subsidised.  This includes accommodation, meals, course materials and tuition.   Accommodation is available for the pre-night.

Economic Growth: Leadership Essentials

The LGA’s Improvement team is looking to continue its support work for its member councils around Economic Growth. As part of the LGA’s work to provide political leadership support to councillors on this agenda and in response to calls from member authorities, the LGA is offering two online Leadership Essentials programmes for 2021/22 covering Economic Growth. This programme is aimed at leaders, deputy leaders and relevant portfolio holders / committee chairs.
The programme will provide leadership training around economic growth, development, and resilience, and be organised by expert facilitators. The aim is to give councillors the confidence, capacity and skills to lead the response to building back local economies post the pandemic. Each programme will consist of two online masterclasses each over the two days, and topics could include: 

  • principles of economic growth and what is the councillor role
  • how to better engage local communities on economic growth
  • inclusive growth and economies
  • business engagement and retention
  • how to create economic resilience
  • the green economic recovery
  • skills and employment
  • high streets and town centres.

Programme 1: Tuesday 12 October and Thursday 14 October 2021
Programme 2: Tuesday 2 November and Thursday 4 November 2021
Fee: There is no fee for the programme and places are limited so will be available on a first come first served basis.  

To book a place on one of the programmes or for further information please email grace.collins@local.gov.uk or tel: 0207 664 3054.

Effective scrutiny: Leadership Essentials

The Leadership Essentials: Effective Scrutiny 2-day programme is for new or aspiring scrutiny chairs or task-and-finish group review lead members covering: 

  • Leading and managing a scrutiny review
  • Ensuring impact of scrutiny recommendations
  • Increasing participation by members and the public
  • Chairing scrutiny meetings in all their forms

Drawing on experts in their field, the programme will also offer the opportunity to focus in depth on the hot topics that are currently most relevant to your work, whether that is children’s safeguarding, welfare reform, changes in health services or pressure on budgets driving major changes in how services are delivered or commissioned.

Programme 14: Tuesday 21 September – Wednesday 22 September 2021 - virtual 

Programme 15: Saturday 15 January – Sunday 16January 2022
Warwick Conferences, Coventry CV4 7SH

Fee: The fee for attending the 2-day residential event is £250 per place which includes accommodation, meals and all learning materials. The fee for the virtual programme is £99.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI): Leadership Essentials

The aim of the course is to strengthen the skills of councillors to champion Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) within their elected role. Over three sessions, the programme will take delegates through an 'essential' guide to the  topic, covering:

  • personal understandings of equality, diversity inclusion and the personal impact and choices members can make as individuals
  • the role of the council, both in terms of organisational and political culture in fostering good EDI principles
  • the roles and responsibilities of the council in terms of service delivery and in working with the community and partners.

Members are encouraged to attend all three workshops. The programme is for all members, but may be of particular interest for those with a leading role in this area such as cabinet members, committee chairs, equality and diversity chairs champions.

This interactive funded programme will consist of a cohort of up to 25 delegates who will be taken on a leadership journey over the course of the following three modules that make up the totality of the programme.  Each module will be run from 6.30pm – 8.00pm on the following dates

Part one Equality, diversity and inclusion: ‘bias and personal responsibility: Monday 22 November 2021
Part two Equality, diversity and inclusion: ‘creating an inclusive council: Monday 13 December 2021
Part three Equality, diversity and inclusion: community and partnerships: Monday 17 January 2022

Fee: The cost of attending this online programme is fully subsidised.

Finance: Leadership Essentials

This two-day programme will help leaders and finance portfolio holders get to grips with the financial challenges facing their authority. The course discusses setting longer term strategies for sustainability as well as balancing the budget on an annual basis and how to work with officers to ensure that the Council is making the most of its opportunities.

Designed for Leaders and finance portfolio holders, this programme is an opportunity to focus on financial management and governance ahead of the final stages of the 2021/22 budget process, but also to look longer term at what the strategic options may be for the Council and its local area.  Participants will hear from a variety of speakers with experience of financial leadership in difficult times and experts on the financial impact of change. This course is also suitable for the Chairs of Audit Committees and those responsible for finance scrutiny.

Programme 20: Saturday 18 September – Sunday 19 September 2021
Programme 21: Thursday 14 October 2021 – Friday 15 October 2021
Programme 22: Saturday 6 November – Sunday 7 November 2021

All take place at Warwick Conferences, Coventry, CV4 7SH.

Fee: The cost of attending this programme is fully subsidised.

Getting your message across: Leadership Essentials

This event will provide councillors with the new ideas, strategies and techniques for achieving more effective communication with both internal and external audiences. Participants will learn how to:

  • Influence others towards achieving mutually beneficial objectives
  • Adapt their communication style to convey messages more persuasively to people who have a different communication style
  • Be more effective when delivering and managing bad news
  • Develop a more authoritative communication style
  • Build and promote their own personal brand
  • Target the right message at the right audience and establish trust and credibility and build relationships
  • Overcome barriers to effective communication
  • Select the best tools and methods for delivering messages.

Programme 7: Saturday 19 March – Sunday 20 March 2022
The programme will take place at Warwick Conferences, Coventry CV4 7SH

Fee: The fee for attending the two-day residential event is £250 per place which includes accommodation, meals and all learning materials.

Housing: Leadership Essentials

This programme is aimed at Leaders, Deputy Leaders and relevant portfolio holders. It will be designed to help participants develop their leading role in shaping the local housing market to meet the needs of people and places. It will include focuses on understanding the housing market, developing and delivering a vision with partners, and delivering ambitions to improve the availability, affordability and suitability of new and existing housing.

Programme 2: Thursday 16 September – Friday 17 September 2021 
Warwick Conferences, Coventry CV4 7SH

Fee: The fee for attending the 2-day residential event is £250 per place which includes accommodation, meals and all learning materials.

Leading Healthier Places: Leadership Essentials

In partnership with NHS Clinical Commissioners, we co-deliver leadership events for political and clinical leaders in care, health and wellbeing. This Leadership Essentials course will support local leaders of place to build on the strength of communities that we have witnessed in the health emergency, and reshape approaches to supporting the vulnerable and tackle health inequalities that COVID-19 has brought to the fore.

These sessions will give members an opportunity to come together to have space to think and reflect, share experiences and actively learn from each other through the LGA’s tried and tested approach to leadership development. The sessions will be co-delivered by local authority and clinical commissioning colleagues.

These leadership development sessions are aimed at HWB Chairs/Vice-Chairs, Council Leaders, CCG Chairs, elected members on HWB boards, Portfolio Holders with responsibilities for Adult Social Care or Public Health and those with a political role in a health and care system or devolution arrangement.

Programme 22: Wednesday 14 July – Thursday 15July 2021
 Warwick Conferences, Coventry CV4 7SH

Programme 23: Tuesday, 2 November – Wednesday, 3 November 2021
Warwick Conferences, Coventry CV4 7SH

Fee: The cost of attending this programme is fully subsidised.

Licensing: Leadership Essentials

Decision making at licensing committee: how to run a good licensing committee – for licensing committee/ sub-committee chairs and vice-chairs

Following a successful pilot event in early 2020, this new leadership essentials programme is perfect for those councillors who are new and getting to grips with the role as well as for the more experienced licensing committee members as a refresher and update.

Licensing, and the decisions made by licensing committees, make a fundamental contribution to shaping places where people want to live, work and relax. The aim of the licensing committee must be that those people that engage with are satisfied with the decision making process, if not always the outcome.

Chairing a committee, and all the preparation and lead-in required for good decision making can be challenging. The course will focus on good quality decision making at licensing committee and how a good licensing committee is run. Attendees will be able to compare how their committee operates with other authorities and share ideas with other councillors.

Programme 2: Thursday 10 March – Friday 11 March 2022

Fee: The cost of attending is fully subsidised. This includes accommodation, meals and course materials

Risk Management Political Leadership Masterclass

The Members’ role in leading and managing the risks councils take

Sometimes the biggest risk you can take is to take no risks at all! The current climate means that traditional risk-averse councils are taking on more and more risks - in cutting back services,  transforming services, working in partnerships, being 'more commercial' and entrepreneurial. 

But when risk taking goes wrong, the consequences in terms of service delivery and financial security can be disastrous!  And members - leaders, cabinet members - are the ones who bear the brunt of reputational and political damage.

Are you certain that your council has the 'risk equation' right? Are you too risk averse? Or taking too many risks?

How can members be sure of excellent risk leadership and management?  As a leader or deputy - what is your role in governing risk?  As a cabinet member, how do you lead risk in your portfolio? As a chair of audit, have you a good handle on risk and corporate risk registers? As a scrutiny chair, have you reassured yourself that risk is well managed in the authority?

This Masterclass examines risk and risk management tools, reviews changes in risk behaviour in local government and focuses on how members can lead and manage risk effectively.

This one day course is the only Leadership Essentials course which focuses on the key issue of risk. 

It is an essential course for the following in local government:

  • Leaders and deputy leaders / elected mayors
  • Cabinet members
  • Chairs of Audit
  • Chairs of scrutiny

Programme 6: Wednesday 13 October 2021

Fee: The cost of attending this programme is fully subsidised.

Sport and Physical Activity: Leadership Essentials

Following a successful pilot in July, Sport England and the LGA are running another online Leadership Essentials programme in November for members with responsibility for, or a strategic interest in, physical activity. This is an online version of the previous residential programme. It is an important opportunity for new portfolio holders and, if members attended the residential programme a few years ago, the content has been refreshed in light of the current context and challenges. There is no cost to attend the programme.

Councillors who came on the recent online programme said:

Fantastic course, one which is fun but also lays out the needed new agenda, in a safe, open environment. Give it a go. Offers tools as well as a strategic perspective.”

For any member interested in pursuing the health and wellbeing agenda and tackling health inequalities this is the course for you.”

Lots of interesting data, and great to hear from other councillors from very diverse parts of the UK."

The programme will include a mixture of speakers from Sport England, LGA and partner councils, group discussions and plenty of opportunity to network and share experiences with members in similar roles.

Aims of the programme:

The programme supports elected members to:

  • Engage with Sport England’s new ten-year Strategy ‘Uniting the Movement’, that continues to champion sport and physical activity’s ability to make better places to live and bring people together, and explore how taking a place-based approach can help tackle the barriers to activity
  • Develop in their role to lead the design of a local sport, physical activity and movement offer that improves activity levels and the health and wellbeing of local communities, contributes to reducing the burden on social care, tackles health inequalities and encourages connected communities
  • Develop knowledge and insight of other policy areas to better lead a collaborative approach to harnessing the power of sport, physical activity and movement to improve lives in their place
  • Explore their own approach to leadership in collaborative partnerships and see how leadership is important in influencing system change, identifying and pursuing development needs as appropriate
  • Create fit for purpose sport and physical activity opportunities with diminishing resources, focusing on the assets of their spaces and places – including leisure facilities and developing more active environments
  • Understand more about how Sport England and the LGA can help and support councillors to lead change and become better leaders for their places

Dates and programme sessions

Participants will need to attend all six sessions as the programme is iterative, designed as a journey shared by the group for its totality, rather than a menu of options. The dates are as follows:

  • Wednesday 3 November 2021 (2.00pm – 4.30pm) 
    Session 1: Understanding the new leadership context
  • Friday 5 November 2021 (9.30am - 12.00pm) 
    Session 2: Reducing health inequalities
  • Tuesday 9 November 2021 (9.30am – 12.30pm) 
    Session 3: Leading sport and physical activity in a challenging, changing world
  • Thursday 11 November 2021 (9.30am – 12.00pm) 
    Session 4: Understanding People and Community Engagement 
  • Monday 15 November 2021 (2.00pm – 4.30pm) 
    Session 5: Spaces and places 
  • Tuesday 16 November 2021 (9.30am – 12.00pm)
    Session 6: Setting the ambition

Fee: This online programme is free to attend.

For more information or to book, contact:
Grace Collins
Telephone: 020 7664 3054
Email: Grace.Collins@local.gov.uk