Leadership essentials

'Leadership Essentials' is a series of events designed as themed learning opportunities for councillors. Each event concentrates on a specific portfolio area, such as Planning or Children's Services, or a specific theme, such as communications or digital leadership.


Working with the Media Masterclass

For councillors in leadership positions, including leaders of councils, deputy leaders, leaders of political groups, portfolio holders

To find out more, grace.collins@local.gov.uk.

This highly engaging one-day masterclass will help councillors make the most of the new partnership landscape. Councillors attending the masterclass will learn what makes for successful partnerships and how to structure conversations that build trust, establish common purpose and address how partners can work together in new ways. This masterclass is open to all councillors and will be particularly useful for those who have a leadership role where partnership building is crucial.

To find out more, grace.collins@local.gov.uk.

We are currently developing a new leadership essentials masterclass on emergency planning which will focus on the role of the councillor when preparing for and dealing with a crisis situation. This one day masterclass will cover an introduction to handling the media, understanding your role as a councillor during an emergency and provide practical advice and best practice. To register an interest in hearing more about this programme, please email grace.collins@local.gov.uk.

This development event supports Lead Members with the key challenges they face in adult social care in the changing policy landscape. It offers the opportunity to explore leadership capacity, to share learning and to make valuable contacts. The course is residential, runs over two days and is delivered by LGA staff supported by high profile guest speakers from local government and partner agencies.  The event is member led, interactive, and maximises the opportunity for discussion, sharing of practice and innovative solutions in a confidential environment.

It will focus on leadership in the current challenging policy and practice context, including implementing the Care Act, sector led improvement and integration. The event is supported by the LGA and the Towards Excellence in Adult Social Care programme of sector led improvement in adult social care.

Programme 5: Tuesday 9 October – Wednesday 10 October 2018
Warwick Conferences, Coventry CV4 7SH

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

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

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 20: Thursday 20 – Friday 21 September 2018
Programme 21: Saturday 27 – Sunday 28 October 2018
Programme 22: Monday 21 – Tuesday 22 January 2019
Warwick Conferences, Coventry CV4 7SH

The cost of attending this programme is fully subsidised. This includes accommodation, meals, course materials and tuition.

Programme 15: Tuesday 10 – Wednesday 11 July 2018
Programme 16: Tuesday 9 – Wednesday 10 October 2018
Both at Warwick Conferences, Coventry CV4 7SH

Health and Wellbeing Boards (HWBs) are a unique forum where clinical, political, professional and community leaders come together to meet local health challenges. As system leaders HWBs will be instrumental in developing a place-based approach to transformation and integration. About the course This two day fully funded residential session will support Health and Wellbeing Board (HWB) chairs and vice chairs to meet these challenges by coming together away from the day job to reflect on the effectiveness of their HWB in the current context, actively learn from each other and share experiences through the LGA's tried and tested approach to leadership development.

The session is led by member and clinical commissioning group (CCG) peers with input from national partners.

This programme is aimed at elected members with leading roles on fire and rescue authorities.
 Benefits of attending will include opportunities to:

  • develop your understanding of the nature of political leadership in fire and rescue authorities
  • improve your knowledge of the key strategic issues facing the sector
  • build your appreciation of how leadership style, capacity and skills can assist in managing complex organisational change
  • explore tools and techniques for improving communication and stakeholder engagement, when working with communities, partners, fire staff and the media
  • share ideas and network with leading members from a variety of FRAs.

Programme dates: tba
The cost of attending this programme is fully subsidised. This includes accommodation, meals, course materials and tuition.

Leadership Essentials Culture event for Portfolio Holders

Programme dates: tba

To find out more, email grace.collins@local.gov.uk.

This two day residential 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 2018/19 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.

Programme 10: Saturday 20 - Sunday 21 October 2018
Programme 11: Thursday 22 - Friday 23 November 2018
Programme 12: Saturday 8 - Sunday 9 December 2018

The cost of attending this programme is fully subsidised, but places are limited and will be offered on a strict first come first served basis.

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 5: Saturday 26 – Sunday 27 January 2019

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

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

  • leading and managing a scrutiny review
  • chairing scrutiny meetings in all their forms
  • increasing participation by members and the public
  • ensuring impact of scrutiny recommendations.

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 8: Thursday 27 – Friday 28 September 2018
Programme 9: Saturday 26 – Sunday 27 January 2019

Warwick Conferences, Coventry CV4 7SH

To find out more, email grace.collins@local.gov.uk.

Following 16 successful Leadership Essentials Sport programmes in the last five years, the LGA and Sport England are pleased to offer further programmes to assist Cabinet members/portfolio holders with the responsibility for sport to lead transformational change in their service.  It is also a very beneficial experience for new portfolio holders.   

The event will help participants to:

  • understand the role that sport and physical activity can play in helping address health improvement and health inequality within communities
  • explore the role sport and physical activity can play in public health, health and social care commissioning and personalisation
  • understand and lead the transformation required in the provision, management and development of sport and physical activity services within councils in order to improve efficiency and value for money and increase participation
  • understand more about how Sport England and the LGA can help and support councils through change programmes and hear about Sport England's new strategy Towards an Active Nation.

Programme 21: Thursday 12 - Friday 13 July 2018
Warwick Conferences, Coventry CV4 7SH
Offer: Places are limited to one member per council. Accommodation, meals, course materials delegate fees are funded. Accommodation is available for the pre-night.

Leadership Essentials Planning provides an opportunity to learn about leading planning services. It provides a forum where attendees from across the political spectrum can meet and talk about common issues, hear from leading experts and take part in discussions and exercises, to develop understanding and thinking and learn new things.

Fees: Delegate cost will be £250. All meals, accommodation and course materials will be provided as part of the delegate package. If you wish to arrive the night before, there will be an additional cost of £85.

Courses take place at Warwick Conferences, Coventry CV4 7SH

Decision making at planning committee: how to run a good planning committee – for Planning committee chairs and vice-chairs
Thursday 27 – Friday 28 September 2018

A council's planning committee is a very public window into a council's decision making processes. The outcomes from the committee are seen in the developments that are delivered through the decisions made. The aim of the planning committee must be for the public that engage in this complex and often controversial process to be satisfied with and clear about 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 planning committee and how a good planning committee is run. Attendees will be able to compare how their committee operates with other authorities and share ideas with other councillors.

Councils and Local Planning Policies
Thursday 8 – Friday 9 November 2018

For planning portfolio holders and cabinet members for planning policy.

The 2018 National Planning Policy Framework sets out a new way of organising and thinking about how councils can think about their Local Plan. There is a new emphasis on policies rather than plans and a continued push for joint approaches to strategic issues. There is also a significant change that requires councils to have reviewed their plans within five years alongside a new standard methodology that for some councils shifts their housing delivery numbers significantly.

Some of the details will be revealed over summer but it seems clear that almost every council will need to change how they approach thinking about and resourcing their plan. Members need to lead this change as well as finding ways to reach consensus locally across local authority boundaries.

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), Section 106 and Development Contributions
Thursday 6 – Friday 7 December 2018

For planning portfolio holders and cabinet members with responsibility to setting, collecting and spending developer contributions.

In 2018 the Government is changing the way that councils can apply a levy to developments to raise money to fund infrastructure and community facilities. This course provides the details on how the new system work for members at all levels of experience.

The course will cover the councillor’s role in leading the policy as well as the ways in which decisions and negotiations play out in planning applications. It will be suitable for councils that already charge CIL as well as those councils that are considering whether it is worth bothering with for them. It will also cover Section 106 agreements as well as make some recommendations about governance and oversight to ensure that best use is made of the money collected.

Planning, Housing and Affordable Homes
Thursday 13 – Friday 14 December 2018

For planning portfolio holders and cabinet members for planning policy.

Understanding how planning policies can encourage or inhibit various sorts of housing is not straightforward, and in the new 2018 National Planning Policy Framework the definition of what “affordable” means has changed. It is a great opportunity to make sure that your understanding is up to date and your policies are still a good match for the ambition of your council.

We will hear from developers and landlords with plenty of time for Q&A to help newcomers to this area pick up the brief. We will also spend some time taking the “long view” of how housing markets work and the changing role of councils as providers and builders of homes.

There will also be a section on affordable housing in combined authorities and in the context of mayors.

To find out more, grace.collins@local.gov.uk.

Local authorities have a core role to play in countering terrorism at local level and helping to safeguard individuals at risk of radicalisation. Prevent forms one part of the government's counter-terrorism strategy (Contest) and the Prevent duty under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 requires all local authorities to have "due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism". This new addition to the leadership essentials programme complements the successful Counter Extremism course, and will look in more detail at councils' role in countering terrorism. Speakers from national and local government will explore a range of themes, including assessing local risk; understanding radicalisation; effective safeguarding; communication strategies; community engagement; and challenging harmful ideology.

Programme tba
Warwick Conferences, Coventry, CV4 7SH

The cost of attending this programme is fully subsidised. This includes accommodation, meals, course materials and tuition.

The Government's 2015 Counter-extremism strategy acknowledged the importance of local government in protecting communities from extremism. This new two-day programme will explore in detail councils' role. The course will include contributions from a number of speakers from across central and local government and partners, encourage members to discuss some of the key issues for councils around this agenda, and provide opportunities to share good practice with members in similar roles. The programme will cover understanding extremism, assessing national and local risks, effective approaches to tackling extremism, leadership skills, communication strategies, the role of scrutiny and how to challenge extremist ideologies.

To find out more, email grace.collins@local.gov.uk.

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