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Wednesday, 18 October

Subject to change

8:30 AM – 9:00 AM

Summit Registration

9:00 AM – 9:30 AM

President's Opening Speech

Keynote Chair Speaker:

Matt Prosser

Chief Executive, Dorset Council & Solace President

Join Solace President and Chief Executive of Dorset Council, Matt Prosser for a warm welcome to the 2023 Solace Summit.

9:30 AM – 10:15 AM

Trans-Atlantic Transformation


Dominic Campbell

Fellow, Georgetown University

Lynn Overmann

Executive Director, The Beeck Center at Georgetown University

Marc Stears

Director, UCL Policy Lab

Delivered by


With upcoming general elections in both countries in autumn 2024, a fireside chat with leading thinkers and practitioners from the UK and US reflecting on the good the bad and the ugly of change and transformation in government delivery during the 2010s and look ahead to where we should be by 2030 - and how we best get there. Including comparing and contrasting the different contexts on either side of the pond.

10:15 AM – 11:15 AM

Policy State of the Nation


Gordon Wilmot

Head of Market for Public Services, Zurich Municipal

Keynote Speaker:

Lucy Easthope

Professor in Practice of Risk and Hazard, Co-Founder

The University of Durham, After Disaster Network

Sponsored by

Zurich logo

More Information to come...

11:15 AM – 12:00 PM

Exhibition & Refreshments

9:30 AM – 10:15 AM

Trans-Atlantic Transformation

Sponsored by


Speakers: Dominic Campbell  Lynn Overmann  Marc Stears 


With upcoming general elections in both countries in autumn 2024, a fireside chat with leading thinkers and practitioners from the UK and the US reflecting on the good the bad and the ugly of change and transformation in government delivery during the 2010s and look ahead to where we should be by 2030 - and how we best get there. Including comparing and contrasting the different contexts on either side of the pond.

Matt Prosser Headshot

12:00 PM – 12:50 PM

UK Economy – Prospects & Challenges for the next 5 years & the implications for Local Government

Keynote Speaker:

Adrian Cooper

CEO, Oxford Economics

Keynote Chair Speaker:

Amy Harhoff

Solace Deputy Policy Lead for Economic Prosperity & Corporate Director Regeneration Economy & Growth Durham County Council

In this keynote, we'll be joined by Adrian Cooper, CEO of Oxford Economics. 

This session explores the current state of the Economy, how Public Spending will affect this and the impact on Local Authorities and their communities.

12:50 PM – 1:30 PM

Policy Panel Session

Details coming soon...

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM

Exhibition & Lunch

2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Starting from Where You Stand: A Reflection on the EDI Leadership Present within our sector



Chris Naylor

Director, Inner Circle Consulting

Naz Hussain 

Solace EDI Lead

Local government leadership is currently grappling with a complex crisis that demands effective action in times of uncertainty. To meet this challenge and align with the diverse and inclusive ideals of local government leadership, we must nurture leaders who can operate in such a manner.

As we reflect on the year since the release of our 2022 report (Understanding and Improving Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the Local Government Workforce) and Solace's Statement of Intent for Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion, it becomes evident that merely fine-tuning our existing diversity and inclusion efforts is insufficient, especially when addressing anti-racism concerns.

While we have dedicated significant time to listening and raising awareness, the critical question arises: How do we translate these efforts into tangible actions? We contend that it is now imperative to confront inclusion challenges through effective leadership. Therefore, we present the findings drawn from 381 local authorities that participated in our study, specifically focusing on data related to ethnic characteristics.

In this session, Naz Hussain, Chris Naylor, and our colleagues from Shared Intelligence will introduce and summarize the key insights from our recent report on Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion, sharing exemplary practices and shedding light on the persistent obstacles faced in endeavours to enhance ethnicity and race inclusivity within the local government workforce. This session serves as a reflection on the leadership necessary to drive EDI progress within our sector.

3:30 PM – 4:15 PM

Exhibition & Refreshments

4:15 PM – 5:15 PM

Breakout Session

The Six Streets

Daniella Barrow

Senior Director of Consulting, Norse Group

Jonathan Digges

Chief Investment Officer, Octopus Energy

Jonathan Stephenson

Joint Chief Executive, Brentwood Borough Council & Rochford District Council

Mark Hepworth

Co-Founder & PBII Lead, The Good Economy

Paulette McAllister

Programme Director Strategic Housing Delivery Programme, Brentwood Borough Council

Richard Gawthorpe

Group Business Development Director, Norse Group

Delivered by

TGE Master Logo.jpg

Join us for an engaging and transformative panel session with distinguished experts from the Public and Private Sectors. Prepare to be part of a dynamic debate centred around the crucial topic of quality, not only in new homes but, more importantly, in our existing housing stock.


Our esteemed panel will challenge conventional thinking and extend a special invitation to all delegates to participate actively in an inspiring initiative – one that aims to reshape the narrative surrounding the Net Zero Carbon (NZC) agenda in the UK. Through collaboration between sectors, we can drive significant and rapid change on a national scale, breaking down barriers and overcoming challenges.


A key focus will be on the quality of our current housing stock, a pressing concern. The gravity of the challenge ahead becomes evident when we consider the staggering numbers: Over 29 million homes require intervention by 2050, necessitating the retrofitting of over 4,000 homes every single day (Monday-Friday) until December 31, 2049, to meet NZC targets.


During the session, valuable insights will be shared from 'live' programs like Brentwood's "Strategic Housing Delivery Programme [SHDP]," and the ground-breaking "Six Streets Initiative" will be unveiled.


As we confront undeniable changes in the Earth's climate, addressing the need for quality across all sectors becomes imperative. Our shared learning and collective effort must prioritise the quality of health, homes, communities, and the environment, all driving towards the united goal of achieving Net Zero by 2050.


Don't miss this opportunity to be part of a transformative journey that will shape the future of housing and environmental sustainability. Let's work together to create a brighter, greener, and more resilient future for all. See you at the panel session!

4:15 PM – 5:15 PM

Breakout Session 

Why D, E and I matters when building inclusive resident services in the community

Jane Barrett

Founding Partner, Cadence Innova

Julia Brennan

Managing Consultant, Cadence Innova

Leigh Bowman-Perks

CEO, Inspiring Leadership Foundation

Tim Kleinschmidt

Head of Service Design, Cadence Innova

Delivered by

Public sector and local government professionals work hard to serve the people who live and work in their local community. Yet we all know of examples where our residents are unable to use a public service due to factors like race, identity, not having a bank account, or not having a broadband connection. Why does this keep happening and how can we develop an organisation that counters exclusion?


Our session will explore the interconnected nature of an organisation’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), the services and the value it provides to its customers and residents. We will discuss how exclusion is not caused by intentional actions nor by any single individual and how inclusion is a collective responsibility. Through this discussion, we will highlight how organisational ‘blind spots’, limited perspectives on issues, and lack of awareness are typical factors involved in exclusion.


As part of the session, delegates will be given an opportunity to quickly interact with each other. They will be asked to spend a few minutes discussing structures and practices common to local government that could either unintentionally create exclusion or promote inclusivity.


We will then shift the focus to how DEI can be improved within an organisation. We will discuss how to break down silos, change established organisational structures, and build cross-functional and multi-disciplinary teams to create more inclusive and equitable services and better resident outcomes.

Throughout the session, delegates will get practical insights from real-world experiences in the public sector and local government transformation from Cadence Innova’s experts and hear case studies from the CEO of the Inspiring Leadership Foundation.

4:15 PM – 5:15 PM

Breakout Session

The North Essex Way; benefitting from the region's economic prosperity

Dominic Collins

Corporate Director Growth & NEEB Lead, Braintree District Council

Leanda Cable

Lead Specialist in Strategy & Resource Directorate, Maldon District Council

Penny Calder

Programme Manager, The North Essex Economic Board (NEEB), Braintree District Council

Delivered by


Established in 2019, the NEEB represents the economic ambitions of seven North Essex authorities – Braintree District Council, Chelmsford City Council, Colchester City Council, Essex County Council, Maldon District Council, Tendring District Council and Uttlesford District Council – catalysing collective action to drive economic prosperity within all parts of the urban, rural, and coastal region. It provides the strategic oversight of North Essex’s diverse, inclusive, and productive economic priorities, ensuring tangible actions are delivered to support residents’ and businesses’ goals and aspirations. Promoting the region’s potential, the NEEB presents the strong strategic rationale for further central government and private sector investment, needed to deliver North Essex’s long-term ambitions.


Much has been delivered by the NEEB to date – including the distribution of critical COVID-19 support funding and career-enhancing business and skills support programmes – and the partnership is now positioned to go even further and deliver even more for North Essex’s residents and businesses. 

4:15 PM – 5:15 PM

Breakout Session 

Building Healthy Communities: How to talk about the drivers of health to win hearts and minds

Louise Marshall

Senior Fellow in Public Health, The Health Foundation

Maria Castellina

Director of Impact, Frameworks UK

Delivered by


How do people think about health? And how does that affect our ability to build healthy communities? 


Local Government is at the forefront of building healthy places where everyone can thrive, yet there is relatively low awareness among the public about what is being done in their local area to improve health. How can we engage people more effectively in the conversation about what is needed – and what is being done – to improve health?


In this session you’ll discover the dominant mindsets at play when we talk about health and why we need to tell a new story about health in order to build a healthier society.


We’ll discuss how we can adapt our communications to expand people’s understanding of the drivers of health and build demand and support for the action needed to deliver healthier communities.


This session from FrameWorks UK and the Health Foundation will include practical tips that you can take away and apply directly to your own communications with colleagues, partners and communities.

4:15 PM – 5:15 PM

Breakout Session 


The Psychology of Decision Making: Why are we so bad at long-term thinking and what can we do about it?

Alix Bedford

Risk Proposition Manager, Zurich Municipal

Dr Fran Londstaff

Head of Psychology, Fika

Delivered by


“Risk” used to mean watching for predators or running out of food in the winter. Now our brains are dealing with complex modern threats from climate change to the cost-of-living crisis.


Can we escape the ancient trap of short-term thinking? This is a subject that many senior leaders are grappling with and the consequences of short-termism are being felt throughout the system.


This session will explore the psychology of decision-making in the context of sustainable performance considering why short-termism happens, how to get into a challenge rather than a threat mindset and lots of tips for combatting it in your own decision making including some key takeaways for you to try.

5:15 PM – 6:30 PM

Drinks Reception


Sponsored by


Today's drinks reception is kindly sponsored by Totalmobile and Biffa.

7:30 PM

An Evening with Solace: Charity Casino Night

Sponsored by

If you are joining us for An Evening with Solace, please confirm your attendance by selecting this item during check out.

This year at Summit we will be hosting a Charity Casino night and Silent Auction in aid of our chosen charity, the British Heart Foundation. All monies donated to play/participate will go through our Just Giving page and prizes will be donated by our fabulous Business Partners & Sponsors.


The evening will take place on Wednesday 18th October in the Kings Suite and will be a chance to network whilst having fun and making a difference to an amazing charity. More details on prizes and auction lots will follow as we get closer to the event.


There is no obligation on anyone to play – everyone attending the Solace Summit is welcome to come and relax alongside friends and colleagues, chatting and watching and supporting their participation throughout the evening. Mindful of this being an evening of fun and friendship there will also be a maximum total donation set for participation in the Charity Casino games.

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0207 233 0081



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