Next Generation

The Next Generation Programme offers ambitious and talented councillors an unparalleled political development opportunity. Uniquely developed for members of the LGA Independent Group, the programme equips emerging political leaders with the skills and confidence to be bold champions of local government and progress in their political careers.

If you have any queries or would like to apply for this programme please contact the LGA Independent Group office: [email protected] or [email protected] in the LGA Leadership and Localism Team.

The Next Generation Programme offers ambitious and talented councillors an unparalleled political development opportunity. Next Generation is our flagship programme, uniquely developed for Independent, Residents Association, Greens and smaller party councillors. Each year we support a select group of councillors, chosen through a competitive application process, with the cost of the course and accommodation covered by the LGA Leadership and Localism Programme. This course is only available to members whose councils is in membership of the LGA.

The programme is not routinely available to our colleagues in Wales as the Welsh LGA receives specific funding for member development, but the LGA Independent Group Office will sponsor one place on this course from Wales a year, so please do get in touch. 

Next Generation aims to support and encourage councillors to be bold and confident political leaders, progress in your political aspirations and be champions of local government. Those who have completed the LGA Independent Group Next Generation Programme leave with a new network of aspiring councillor colleagues and with greater confidence, self-belief and a strategy about how to further their influence, role and community leadership. Many have gone on to successfully hold leadership positions, including council leaders, deputy leaders, cabinet roles, and LGA Board places.

This is a residential course that takes place over three Friday/Saturdays during the year at Warwick University. Delegates are expected to attend all the events in person and to commit to undertaking the additional reading and preparation work.

Modules focus on three key areas:

  • personal leadership
  • political leadership
  • communication and media skills

The programme will support members to:

  • learn more about their own personal leadership styles and preferences, building on their assets and developing strategies to address their challenges.
  • increase in confidence and effectiveness as a leader and communicator in different settings.
  • increase awareness and understanding of different styles and approaches to political leadership.
  • explore the unique challenges of working as independents, residents’ associations, green party and/or smaller parties, learning from experienced councillors.
  • define their ‘vision' for their council / ward / group and how to go on to deliver that vision.
  • increase understanding of the practical strategies to policy making and best practice.

Next Generation delegates will:

  • attend residential modules throughout the year with a competitively selected cohort of peers.
  • meet LGA Independent Group councillors from across the country and form a lasting network of peers
  • be introduced to exemplar approaches to local government leadership
  • have the opportunity to raise their profile at a local and national level.

How to apply

We offer a limited number of places per year and application is by way of a competitive process.

Applications for the 2024/25 cohort will open shortly.
As part of the application, we ask applicants to explain why they would like this development opportunity. We also ask for one reference from a political colleague or councillor and for applicants to commit to attend all three modules and undertake all programme work.

Next Generation residential training is available free of charge thanks to funding from the LGA Leadership and Localism Programme. The LGA is unable to cover travel expenses, however this can usually be recovered from your local authority.

We offer a limited number of places per year and application is by way of a competitive process.

Next Gen exceeded my expectations - it has helped me to focus my mind on how to serve my constituents better and more effectively".
Cllr David Beaman (Independent, Waverley)

For me, the Next Generation Programme was a life-changing experience. I learnt about how different people approach situations in different ways and the skills needed to enable collaborative working. I would encourage anyone involved in local government to seize this opportunity to develop and grow."
Cllr Debbie Andre (Independent, Isle of Wight)

Being a Councillor and Cabinet Member is a demanding role, and so taking part in the Next Generation programme has been invaluable in giving me increased confidence and sharpened skills. I'd highly recommend it to any Councillor who wants to better serve their council and community."
Cllr Neil Prior (Independent, Pembrokeshire)

I got such a lot out of the Next Generation Programme - it was a chance to look at the big picture and how we can do our jobs better. I improved my skills, gained a deeper understanding of how councils work, and had met a great bunch of people too!"
Cllr Geraldine Coggins (Green, Trafford)

Next Generation offered me time outside the day-to-day work of being an active councillor to reflect, to share and discuss and learn from others. I didn’t want it to end and I’ve made some lasting connections. Thank you Independent Group."
Cllr Johnny Denis (Green, Lewes)

For further information please contact the group office via [email protected]