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Subject to change

2023 Day 2


Breakfast Roundtable
York Suite


Anna Rose

Director and Chair of Public Practice (and Head of the Planning Advisory Service)

Alex Govier

Partnerships Manager at Public Practice

By invitation only.

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The key roundtable topic will be “Ways of Working”, with specific focus on retention.


The objective is to openly discuss Public Practice’s survey findings, under Chatham House Rules, which include a worrying picture with a potential for a massive increase in movement of staff, with nearly two thirds of staff hoping for some kind of change to their working arrangements.


We encourage the discussion to not focus only on negative experiences. This is an opportunity to share ideas of best practices around ways of keeping up staff morale, training opportunities, approaches to flexible working, EDI approaches, salary negotiations, cross-team working and mentoring.


Summit Registration
Palace Suite


President's Opening Speech
Kings Suite

Matt Prosser

Chief Executive, Dorset Council & Solace President

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


Trans-Atlantic Transformation
Kings Suite


Dominic Campbell

Fellow, Georgetown University


Lynn Overmann

Executive Director, The Beeck Center at Georgetown University

Marc Stears

Director, UCL Policy Lab

Sponsored by


Hosted by Georgetown University's Beeck Center and UCL's Policy Lab teams, this session will bring together thought leaders and practitioners from both sides of the pond to reflect on transformation for the 21st Century since 2010 in both US and UK as well as sharing thoughts on what we can learn from this journey when imagining the inevitable acceleration of government change in the coming decade.


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.


Policy State of the Nation
Kings Suite


Gordon Wilmot

Head of Market for Public Services, Zurich Municipal


Lucy Easthope

Professor in Practice of Risk and Hazard, Co-Founder

The University of Durham, After Disaster Network

Sponsored by

Zurich logo

Professor Lucy Easthope is the country’s leading authority on recovering from disaster and the Sunday Times Best Selling author of ‘When The Dust Settles’.


For over two decades she has challenged others to think differently about what comes next, after tragic events. She is a passionate and thought-provoking voice with a particular interest in the care of those affected.


She is known globally for her work and holds research positions in the UK and New Zealand. She is a Professor in Practice of Risk and Hazard at the University of Durham and Professor in Mass Fatalities and Pandemics at the Centre for Death and Society, University of Bath.


This session is going to cover Lucy's thoughts on the current state of the political landscape we find ourselves operating in.


Exhibition & Refreshments
Palace Suite


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

Kings Suite


Amy Harhoff

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


Adrian Cooper

CEO, Oxford Economics

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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.


Key Policy Drivers for Local Government’
Kings Suite


David Burns

Chief Executive at Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council & Solace Northern Ireland Chair



Robin Tuddenham

Chief Executive at Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council & Solace Policy Lead for Economic Prosperity


Sarah Norman

Chief Executive at Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council


Sarah Healey

Permanent Secretary of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC)

In this session the top-quality panel of speakers will reflect on the preceding discussion about the UK’s economic situation and prospects and what it means for local government as well as the people and places councils serve.


The speakers will also consider other key issues for the sector including finance, the need for a greater shift in spending towards prevention and early intervention, the workforce crisis, and more.


Exhibition & Lunch
Palace Suite


One year on, from awareness to action: ensuring we deliver a racially representative sector
Kings Suite

Chris Naylor

Non-Executive Director – Lead on Diversity & Inclusion, Solace

Nazeya Hussain

Non-Executive Director – Lead on Diversity & Inclusion, Solace


Gavin Jones

Chief Executive, Essex County Council & Solace Chair

Abi Gbago

Chief Executive, London Borough of Newham

Tom Stannard

Chief Executive, Salford City Council

Rachel Mckoy

Director of Law & Governance (Monitoring Officer) at London Borough of Hounslow, President, Lawyers in Local Government & Non-Executive Director for Solace

Sponsored by

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Two years ago, Solace committed to leaving no stone unturned in pursuit of a more representative workforce, particularly as it pertained to race. Covid and the events that culminated in the Black Lives Matters movement revealed inequalities in our economy, society, polity, and workforce that had been hidden in plain sight, and which now demanded leadership and action to resolve.


A year on from our first report and statement of intent, this session focuses on progress across English, Welsh and Scottish authorities. The extent to which meaningful data is captured and reported by Councils and what published data tells in terms of representation and other matters such as the extent or otherwise of a pay differential.


In the session, EDI Board leads Nazeya Hussain and Chris Naylor will summarise the findings of our 2023 report that will be published that day. This will be followed by a Panel discussion reflecting on the findings of the report and what needs to happen next, featuring Abi Gbago Chief Executive of the London Borough of Newham, Gavin Jones Chief Executive of Essex County Council, Rachel McKoy Director of Law and Governance at the London Borough of Hounslow and Tom Stannard Chief Executive of Salford City Council with opportunities to ask questions from the floor.


Exhibition & Refreshments
Palace Suite


Breakout Session

The Six Streets

Lancaster Suite


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

Sponsored by

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Join us for an engaging and transformative panel session with experts from the Public and Private Sectors. Prepare to be part of a dynamic debate centred around the crucial topic of quality.


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; prepare for the ground-breaking "Six Streets Initiative" to be unveiled.


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.


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!


Breakout Session 

Why DE&I matters when building inclusive resident services in the community
Exhibition Space 3


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

Sponsored 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.


Breakout Session

The North Essex Way; benefitting from the region's economic prosperity
Exhibition Space 2


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

Sponsored 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. 


Breakout Session 

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

Exhibition Space 1


Louise Marshall

Senior Fellow in Public Health, The Health Foundation


Maria Castellina

Director of Impact, Frameworks UK

Sponsored 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.


Breakout Session 


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

York Suite


Alix Bedford

Risk Proposition Manager, Zurich Municipal

Dr Fran Londstaff

Head of Psychology, Fika

Sponsored 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.


Drinks Reception

Palace Suite

Sponsored by


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


An Evening with Solace: Charity Casino Night
Kings Suite
Dress code: Smart casual

Sponsored by

Raising funds for


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 in 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 and 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.

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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