A couple of weeks ago at the second Young and in Gov event (which Rebecca Cox from the LGA captured brilliantly in her recent blog), we asked everyone in the room to write down something they had achieved in their local government role recently. The idea was that, in a room of peers, we would be less embarrassed about claiming our role on important projects and initiatives than we would be in front of the (generally more senior) people within our own organisations who had delivered them with us. On a dull March evening following the budget (surprise! Councils aren’t getting any more money any time soon) this was exactly the tonic we needed.

I haven’t altered the achievements below, as I thought the most powerful and inspirational message came from sharing, verbatim, what a group of 30 young local government professionals have achieved in their career in the sector to date. Without getting overly sentimental, I know that I will re-read these on days when I sometimes forget what we’re supposed to be working towards.

For me, the work local government officers and members do and the reason they do it was summed up perfectly by Winifred Holtby, a novelist and councillor, in the 1930s (ok, now I may be getting sentimental…):

“When I came to consider local government, I began to see how it was in essence the first line of defence thrown up by the community against our common enemies – poverty, sickness, ignorance, mental derangement and social maladjustment. The battle is not faultlessly conducted, nor are the motives of those who take part all righteous and disinterested. But the war is, I believe, worth fighting”.




 Helping to make Brighton & Hove a digital City

 Working on planning & integrating impacts of Welfare Reform

Revitalised the NGDP – doubled council involvement & places

  Organised an event attended by Members, Officers and Partners where different teams from across the Council shared good practice with each other and talked about different projects they are involved with

  Won award for Social Media in Local Gov – tricks & tips

  Community Budgets – a pilot project run with DCLG – has been a great success with Government announcing in the budget a new support network and national role out.  Related: We’ve managed to get the PM’s signature on a document we’re producing

 Co-ordinate response to welfare reform

  I wrote the Health & Wellbeing Strategy for a population of 1.1million people

In 2012 no looked after children entered the criminal justice system in my local authority

 Improved VFM in school capital projects through new improved procurement

 Leadership Development Programme – good feedback from the Councillors.   Good feedback & engagement from VIP’s.  Highest # of applications ever

  Helping organise today

  Delivered 3 pilots for 3rd sector/Community run library sessions reinstating a library service

  We now send SMS messages to Customers who are overdue with their council tax and its was recommended by cabinet office customer service excellence assessors

 Design a building alongside people with a range of disabilities (huge levels of engagement) to make sure its accessible by all

  Set up a programme plan and co-ordinated the commissioning leads to ensure certain stage reports are completed in time to enable delivery within the timescales & efficiencies

  Proud of Cardiff City Families First – early intervention programme I helped plan/procure/implement

  360 Cabinet feedback exercise, positive feedback from people who took part plus ideas to improve it

  London living wage, Welfare changes mitigation, Equality taskforce

  Helped >600 people learn how to participate in local decision-making.  ‘Take part Hertfordshire’

 I was pivotal in establishing a new model of market engagement for LA Insurance departments.  This will soon be a framework that insurance & procurement both agree upon & will equal

  I presented to the Health & Wellbeing board and helped to convince them that they needed to put public engagement high up their agenda

  NGDP knowledge hub page one of the highest viewed across local government within 6 months

 I set up a carer friendly community

  I meet people/councillors/local politicians every day that make a difference to people’s lives, and the development programmes I contribute to help them do that

 Helped a council understand who their customers are and what they actually need

    Havering – Designed & launched a ‘cleaner Havering’ campaign to encourage local residents to keep their borough clean

Made a secret plan (at the pub) for the future of our demand management work – and sold to senior management

  I helped deliver a successful series of Olympic events by engaging with communities

  I created a diagram to illustrate the new health landscape which it turns out was really needed!

  “Camdenville” different way of engaging young people. “Healthwatch” starting from scratch

  Helping Senior leaders to support project managers better

Facilitated an ace workshop on collaboration in green energy agenda with 20 LA reps

  Challenging the status quo in my organisation even when faced with brick wall

  Got someone who said their process “couldn’t get any better” to acknowledge that it was failing customers and to let me in to help them improve it

  Be a councillor – bigged up in select committee & gov response & people today liked it

  Putting my public speaking training into practice and didn’t mess it up

  Helping to get a community hub built! £5.5m project with a library, youth service, museum etc.  Proud that I got them to agree to share a site without loads of lock doors between them

 Introduction of the use of infographics to present data in APSE performance Networks Service

 Making sure families in Surrey are more financially resilient and better prepared for inferring work – providing resources to help them do this

  I’m changing the relationship between national and local government

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