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Thursday, 19 October

Subject to change

9:00 AM – 9:15 AM

Arrival Refreshments

9:15 AM – 9:45 AM

Solace AGM

Solace members are invited to join the AGM.


Please note this event is for Solace members only.

9:45 AM – 10:45 AM

Keynote Title TBC


Matt Prosser

Chief Executive, Dorset Council & Solace President

John Amaechi OBE

Organisational Psychologist, Founder of APS Intelligence

In this morning's keynote session, we will be joined by John Amaechi OBE, an Organisational Psychologist who will be delivering the session in the style of a fireside chat. 

10:45 AM – 11:30 AM

Panel Session


Your Future: leadership attributes to support councils through crisis and success​​


Graeme McDonald 

Managing Director, Solace

Barry Quirk

Former CE in London Local Government

In this session, we will delve into the valuable insights that senior managers can glean from navigating challenging situations and transitioning into new roles. Furthermore, we will outline the innovative support measures being introduced for new CEOs, with the aim of influencing the broader development of leaders across the sector.

Our session will be expertly chaired by Graeme McDonald, Managing Director at Solace. Joining us as the speaker is Barry Quirk, one of the UK’s leading public sector managers for over two decades. Together, we will explore these critical aspects of leadership development and their impact on the sector's future.

11:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Exhibition & Refreshments

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Keynote Speaker


Lon Pluckhahn

ICLA President, DCM Vancouver, Washington, USA

Sultan Alkhuraissi

COO AlUla COuinty, Saudi Arabia

Issa Kassis

Mayor of Ramallan, Palestine

Join us for a captivating International Leadership Session where you'll have the unique opportunity to gain insights from extraordinary leaders hailing from various corners of the globe. Discover the daily challenges they encounter and explore the valuable lessons we can extract from their experiences.

The session will be expertly moderated by Lon Pluckhahn, the President of ICLA, representing Vancouver, Washington, USA. Our distinguished panel of speakers includes Sultan Alkhuraissi, Chief Operating Officer of AlUla County, Saudi Arabia, and Issa Kassis, Mayor of Ramallah, Palestine. Together, they will provide a cross-cultural perspective on leadership, fostering an enriching dialogue on global leadership challenges and collaborative learning opportunities.

1:00 PM – 2:15 PM

Exhibition & Lunch

2:15 PM – 3:15 PM

Show me … don’t keep telling me: Solace’s AMPlify Cohort One




Amar Hassan

Principal Accountant, Investment (Capital) and Revenue Strategic Finance, North Tyneside Council

Angela Carr 

Maintenance & Voids Manager, Stroud District Council

Florence Obinna, Head of Insight & Engagement, London Borough of Hackney 

Hal Khanom

Head of Strategy and Community Participation, London Borough of Barnet

Manny Singh 

Planning Services Improvement Manager, Wealden District Council 

Mark Lawrence

ICT Service and Operations Manager, Stroud District Council

Nitesh Pankhania

Head of Building Control, London Borough of Lambeth

Rachel Mckoy

Director of Law & Governance (Monitoring Officer), London Borough of Hounslow

Saba Hussain

Principal Partnerships Policy & Commissioning Lead, Surrey County Council

AMPlify in partnership with the LGA and E-Quality is Solace’s ambitious three-strand development programme that supports the development of diverse talent within local government leadership.


Launched at last year’s Solace Trailblazer Day, our AMPlify Talent community represents an incredible cross-section of local government professions and experiences. In this session they will invite you to reflect on how you can best foster trust and credibility in your organisations, and through an open conversation ask what more can be done to further embed the conditions for leaders to succeed across your entire workforce, but particularly those leaders from minoritised ethnic backgrounds. 


Using leadership as the framework, we will ask how you can best grow the next generation of leadership giants of the future, and by disclosing the range of opportunities and challenges, equip you with the knowledge and insights you need to become an exceptional leader who can navigate challenges, inspire teams, and drive your organisations toward sustained success.


The most successful leaders include everyone in their plans, they are authentic and tell the truth. This session will celebrate the journey and share the stories from the first flagship cohort of Solace’s AMPlify programme as well as encourage you to reimagine the impact of your leadership, ultimately asking who are you talking to… and who are you ignoring?

3:15 PM – 4:00 PM

Exhibition & Refreshments

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Breakout Session

How to deliver EV charging at scale and at pace  


Matthew Croucher

EV Services Director, Believ

Rebecca Purnell

Assistant Chief Executive, West Northamptonshire Council

Delivered by


Whilst the government aims for 300,000 charge points installed by 2030, only around 12% have been rolled out so far. Less than 35,000 public charge points can’t begin to meet the current and predicted demand of 11 million UK households that don’t have access to domestic charging. What is causing this standstill, and what can we practically do to drive the much-needed change of pace?


Find out why the deployment of public charge points across the UK is stalling, and how the public and private sectors can get around their specific challenges to provide cleaner air and equitable access to sustainable transport. From building an EV charging strategy to funding models, maintenance and future-proofing – we will address the main blockers to sustainable transport and proven strategies to overcome them.

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Breakout Session

Design the Future –Sustainably 

Graeme Hunter

Partner People Services, EY

Josh Dunn

Director of Sustainability, EY

Louise Sunderland

Partner Local & Devolved Government, EY

Delivered by

Wix Site_EY Programme.png

An interactive and engaging workshop where you will design the green future authority, how we’ll get there and how you’ll lead the transformation. The future of local government needs councils to be built around delivering sustainable services meeting the challenges of climate change is the biggest challenge of our time and the role of Local Government leadership is critical. The session will focus on the future model of local authorities focused on transformation based on sustainability and people. Become part of the EY future forum.


3 reasons to attend:

  1. Find out about the changing role of leaders in future local government

  2. Learn about potential future models and be part of that design

  3. Think differently about transformation with sustainability and people at the centre

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Breakout Session

Cost of living: What worked? What didn't? And what next? 

Ben Murray

Policy and Research Manager, St Helens Borough Council

Ruth du Plessis

Director of Public Health, St Helens Borough Council

Delivered by

Inflation remains stubbornly high in the UK, with the most significant upward contributing factor being the rising cost of food. This coupled with rising energy and fuel costs, and more recently the rise in interest rates and the knock-on impact this has had on housing costs is pushing households across the country to the brink. 


This session aims to bring together innovators from the local government sector to explore the role of local authorities in mitigating the impacts of the current rise in the cost of living, what approaches can be adopted to support residents through this period and what we can do to ensure they don’t fall into crisis in the future. We will explore what solutions have worked for residents over the past 18 months, and what didn’t and we will look at what future challenges the cost of living may hold for your residents as we approach the Winter months.


Representatives from St Helens Council will lead the session. They will share lessons from their borough including how they targeted support to those most in need, how they moved quickly to respond and provide solutions to the ever-changing crises facing residents, and how they worked with local partners and the voluntary sector to deliver this support.


In this interactive session, we are keen to learn from other areas and discuss our priority actions going into the winter months.

Before the session, have a read of the St Helens Borough Council's Case Study St Helens Together: Supporting the Borough through the Cost of Living Crisis.

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Breakout Session

Doing Change and Transformation Well in Local Government 

Lucy Trueman

Founder & Managing Director, Trueman Change

Delivered by

As ever, there are continuing drivers for change and transformation in local government: community need, grant-funded programmes, budget pressures, demand and climate change. Now is a more important time than ever to reflect on how to do change well.


This session will present a range of examples, case studies and formal academic research from our Managing Director Lucy Trueman to explore:

  • What does ‘good’ change look like?

  • Why did no one pick up a PRINCE2 manual during the pandemic?

  • How can local authorities build a culture that’s able to change?

  • What is the impact of the pandemic on how local authorities are approaching change going forward?


The session will be interactive, where you will have the opportunity to access a free online change readiness tool and ask questions from our panel of speakers. We will explore different examples of ways in which local authorities are tackling their approach to change going forward, and what the key lessons from the pandemic are. Our MD will present key findings from her academic research project this year, which involved interviewing council CEOs on their approach to change.


This session will suit people who are looking to deliver change in their authority, whether digital, cultural or service re-design. Lucy and Darius will be joined by colleagues from the sector who will share their experience of driving change post-pandemic, and their lessons learned.

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Breakout Session

Learning the lessons of 114s – A Roadmap for Avoidance

Rob Whiteman

John O’Halloran

Jo Pitt

Brendan Armold

Delivered by

Section 114 notices are the last resort for local authorities in financial trouble. However, although once rare – we are now seeing an increasing number of local authorities sending distress signals over their financial position. Yet although each situation is unique, there are not only some common trends but also lessons that can be learned.

Join CIPFA’s fringe session for an interactive discussion on what we have seen going wrong over recent years and the preventative actions local authorities can take. During the session, we will explore:

  • Leadership - including the importance of strong relationships between the CEO, CFO and elected officers

  • Governance – including the importance of financial scrutiny and challenge

  • Financial Resilience – including the need for more effective savings programmes and the impact of poor commercial decisions.

CIPFA’s panel will include its CEO Rob Whiteman, Director, Business Advisory and Consultancy John O’Halloran, Local Government Policy Manager Jo Pitt and Brendan Armold Interim Director of Finance at Woking Borough Council.

7:00 PM – 7:40

Summit Presidential Drinks Reception

Sponsored by


As part of your Summit ticket, you are invited to join us for the Summit Presidential Drinks Reception.


This evening's drinks reception will be commencing at 19:00 and is kindly sponsored by Virgin Media O2.

7:40 PM

Summit Charity Dinner

Sponsored by

In aid of

British Heart Foundation.png

Join us for the formal Summit Charity Dinner, followed by a live band and dancing.

This year's Summit Charity Dinner is in aid of The British Heart Foundation as chosen by Solace President and Chief Executive of Dorset Council, Matt Prosser.

The Charity Dinner is kindly sponsored by Believ.

If you are joining us for the Summit Charity Dinner, please confirm your attendance by selecting this item during checkout.

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0207 233 0081



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