Leadership essentials

'Leadership Essentials' is a series of events designed as themed learning opportunities for councillors. Each event concentrates on a specific portfolio area, such as Planning or Children's Services, or a specific theme, such as communications or digital leadership.

Working with the Media Masterclass

Working with the Media Masterclass 

Warwick Conferences, Coventry, CV4 7SH

Working with the Media 9 - Thursday 27 September 2018
Working with the Media 10 - Friday 9 November 2018
Councillors in leadership positions, including leaders of councils, deputy leaders, leaders of political groups, portfolio holders, shadow portfolios, scrutiny chairs and committee chairs

As a leading councillor, you play a pivotal role in raising awareness of your local area and organisation through the media. We're running an intense one-day masterclass to develop and enhance your interview skills. The session will be run by experienced journalists who will provide guidance and advice.


  • understanding journalists, your local media and what makes news
  • how to prepare for an interview, present yourself and avoid the pitfalls/li>
  • how to develop meaningful messages and narrative/li>
  • how to convey your message and control an interview/li>/ul>

    You'll undertake three interviews (both print and broadcast) during the course of the day with one-on-one guidance and detailed feedback. Recordings of all your interviews, along with media training notes, will be emailed across after the event to review in your own time.

    The event is fully subsidised for all delegates.

    To find out more, grace.collins@local.gov.uk.

This one-day masterclass will help councillors better understand how to build successful partnerships. The interactive session will encourage members explore and address the 5 key rules of partnerships

  1. Recognise that partnership working is difficult
  2. Only collaborate if the task requires it. Partnerships aren’t the answer to all problems
  3. Having a shared purpose and high levels of trust is essential
  4. Be a good partner by having your own house in order
  5. 5Partnerships require leaders to lead collaboratively

Working in Partnerships Political Masterclass 3: 1 November 2018, Scarman House, Warwick Conferences. The event is fully subsidised for all delegates.

To find out more, grace.collins@local.gov.uk.

This political leadership masterclass has been developed which focusses on the role of the councillor when preparing for and dealing with a crisis situation. This one-day masterclass will feature expertise and experience from leaders involved in major emergencies and will provide an introduction to handling the media, understanding your role as a councillor during a civil emergency and provide practical advice and best practice.

Key aspects of the masterclass include:

  • the role of councillor during a civil emergency – looking at both your role as a representative of the council and as local community leaders
  • the role in preparing for, responding to and recovering from emergencies and in particular around building and maintaining trust in communities
  • Input will be provided from local emergency planning officers and communications experts about how to deal with the press during a civil emergency.

The masterclass won’t focus purely on one type of emergency but will bring in examples from different events including flooding and terrorism. This masterclass is suitable for all elected councillors, irrespective of position within an authority.

Emergency planning and civil resilience political leadership masterclass: 22 November 2018, Novotel Hotel, Leeds

The event is fully subsidised for all delegates.

To register an interest in hearing more about this programme, please email grace.collins@local.gov.uk.

This development event supports Lead Members with the key challenges they face in adult social care in the changing policy landscape. It offers the opportunity to explore leadership capacity, to share learning and to make valuable contacts. The course is residential, runs over two days and is delivered by LGA staff supported by high profile guest speakers from local government and partner agencies.  The event is member led, interactive, and maximises the opportunity for discussion, sharing of practice and innovative solutions in a confidential environment.

It will focus on leadership in the current challenging policy and practice context, including implementing the Care Act, sector led improvement and integration. The event is supported by the LGA and the Towards Excellence in Adult Social Care programme of sector led improvement in adult social care.

Programme 5: Tuesday 9 October – Wednesday 10 October 2018
Warwick Conferences, Coventry CV4 7SH

The event is fully subsidised including accommodation and refreshments. Places are limited.

More information on other resources for lead members can be found on the Adult social care lead member development page.

Lead Members for Children's Services are responsible for providing leadership to Children's Services in their area and hold a statutory role. This development event is funded as part of the sector led improvement programme and aims to support Lead Members with the key challenges they face in the changing policy landscape and to develop leadership capacity, share learning and provide a valuable networking opportunity. This programme is also for Chairs of Children's Services scrutiny committee.

The programme runs over two days and is delivered by member peers and LGA staff supported by guest speakers from local government and partner agencies. We are offering a choice of three programme dates:

Programme 20: Thursday 20 – Friday 21 September 2018
Programme 21: Saturday 27 – Sunday 28 October 2018 - FULL
Programme 22: Monday 21 – Tuesday 22 January 2019 - FULL
Programme 23: Saturday 2 – Sunday 3 February 2019
Programme 24: Saturday 9 – Sunday 10 March 2019
Warwick Conferences, Coventry CV4 7SH

The cost of attending this programme is fully subsidised. This includes accommodation, meals, course materials and tuition.

Programme 15: Tuesday 10 – Wednesday 11 July 2018
Programme 16: Tuesday 9 – Wednesday 10 October 2018
Both at Warwick Conferences, Coventry CV4 7SH

Health and Wellbeing Boards (HWBs) are a unique forum where clinical, political, professional and community leaders come together to meet local health challenges. As system leaders HWBs will be instrumental in developing a place-based approach to transformation and integration. About the course This two day fully funded residential session will support Health and Wellbeing Board (HWB) chairs and vice chairs to meet these challenges by coming together away from the day job to reflect on the effectiveness of their HWB in the current context, actively learn from each other and share experiences through the LGA's tried and tested approach to leadership development.

The session is led by member and clinical commissioning group (CCG) peers with input from national partners.

This programme is aimed at elected members with leading roles on fire and rescue authorities.
 Benefits of attending will include opportunities to:

  • develop your understanding of the nature of political leadership in fire and rescue authorities
  • improve your knowledge of the key strategic issues facing the sector
  • build your appreciation of how leadership style, capacity and skills can assist in managing complex organisational change
  • explore tools and techniques for improving communication and stakeholder engagement, when working with communities, partners, fire staff and the media
  • share ideas and network with leading members from a variety of FRAs.

Programme 10: 28-29 November 2018, Warwick Conferences, Coventry

Programme 11: 26-27 February 2019, Warwick Conferences, Coventry

The cost of attending this programme is fully subsidised. This includes accommodation, meals, course materials and tuition.

Leadership Essentials Culture event for Portfolio Holders

Programme 11: Monday 10 December – Tuesday 11 December 2018
Programme 12: Thursday 24 January – Friday 25 January 2019

To find out more, email grace.collins@local.gov.uk.

This two day residential programme will help leaders and finance portfolio holders get to grips with the financial challenges facing their authority.  The course discusses setting longer term strategies for sustainability as well as balancing the budget on an annual basis and how to work with officers to ensure that the Council is making the most of its opportunities.

Designed for Leaders and finance portfolio holders, this programme is an opportunity to focus on financial management and governance ahead of the final stages of the 2018/19 budget process, but also to look longer term at what the strategic options may be for the Council and its local area.  Participants will hear from a variety of speakers with experience of financial leadership in difficult times and experts on the financial impact of change.

Programme 10: Saturday 20 - Sunday 21 October 2018 - FULL
Programme 11: Thursday 22 - Friday 23 November 2018 - FULL
Programme 12: Saturday 8 - Sunday 9 December 2018

The cost of attending this programme is fully subsidised, but places are limited and will be offered on a strict first come first served basis.

This event will provide councillors with the new ideas, strategies and techniques for achieving more effective communication with both internal and external audiences.

Participants will learn how to:

  • influence others towards achieving mutually beneficial objectives
  • adapt their communication style to convey messages more persuasively to people who have a different communication style
  • be more effective when delivering and managing bad news
  • develop a more authoritative communication style
  • build and promote their own personal brand
  • target the right message at the right audience and establish trust and credibility and build relationships
  • overcome barriers to effective communication
  • select the best tools and methods for delivering messages.

Programme 5: Saturday 26 – Sunday 27 January 2019

Fee: The fee for attending the two-day residential event is £250 per place which includes accommodation, meals and all learning materials.

The Leadership Essentials: Effective Scrutiny two day programme is for new or aspiring scrutiny chairs or task-and-finish group review lead members covering:

  • leading and managing a scrutiny review
  • chairing scrutiny meetings in all their forms
  • increasing participation by members and the public
  • ensuring impact of scrutiny recommendations.

Drawing on experts in their field, the programme will also offer the opportunity to focus in depth on the hot topics that are currently most relevant to your work, whether that is children's safeguarding, welfare reform, changes in health services or pressure on budgets driving major changes in how services are delivered or commissioned.

Programme 8: Thursday 27 – Friday 28 September 2018
Programme 9: Saturday 26 – Sunday 27 January 2019

Warwick Conferences, Coventry CV4 7SH

To find out more, email grace.collins@local.gov.uk.

Following 16 successful Leadership Essentials Sport programmes in the last five years, the LGA and Sport England are pleased to offer further programmes to assist Cabinet members/portfolio holders with the responsibility for sport to lead transformational change in their service.  It is also a very beneficial experience for new portfolio holders.   

The event will help participants to:

  • understand the role that sport and physical activity can play in helping address health improvement and health inequality within communities
  • explore the role sport and physical activity can play in public health, health and social care commissioning and personalisation
  • understand and lead the transformation required in the provision, management and development of sport and physical activity services within councils in order to improve efficiency and value for money and increase participation
  • understand more about how Sport England and the LGA can help and support councils through change programmes and hear about Sport England's new strategy Towards an Active Nation.

Programme 22: Thursday, 15 November – Friday 16 November 2018, Burleigh Court, Loughborough, LE11 3GR

Programme 23: Thursday 28 February – Friday 1 March 2019, Warwick Conferences, Coventry CV4 7SH

Offer: Places are limited to one member per council. Accommodation, meals, course materials delegate fees are funded. Accommodation is available for the pre-night.


Leadership Essentials Planning provides an opportunity to learn about leading planning services. It provides a forum where attendees from across the political spectrum can meet and talk about common issues, hear from leading experts and take part in discussions and exercises, to develop understanding and thinking and learn new things.

Fees: Delegate cost will be £250. All meals, accommodation and course materials will be provided as part of the delegate package. If you wish to arrive the night before, there will be an additional cost of £85.

Courses take place at Warwick Conferences, Coventry CV4 7SH

Decision making at planning committee: how to run a good planning committee – for Planning committee chairs and vice-chairs
Programme 1: Thursday 27 – Friday 28 September 2018 - FULL
Programme 2: Thursday 14 – Friday 15 March 2019

A council's planning committee is a very public window into a council's decision making processes. The outcomes from the committee are seen in the developments that are delivered through the decisions made. The aim of the planning committee must be for the public that engage in this complex and often controversial process to be satisfied with and clear about the decision making process, if not always the outcome.

Chairing a committee, and all the preparation and lead-in required for good decision making can be challenging. The course will focus on good quality decision making at planning committee and how a good planning committee is run. Attendees will be able to compare how their committee operates with other authorities and share ideas with other councillors.

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), Section 106 and Development Contributions
Thursday 17 – Friday 18 January 2019

For planning portfolio holders and cabinet members with responsibility to setting, collecting and spending developer contributions.

In 2018 the Government is changing the way that councils can apply a levy to developments to raise money to fund infrastructure and community facilities. This course provides the details on how the new system work for members at all levels of experience.

The course will cover the councillor's role in leading the policy as well as the ways in which decisions and negotiations play out in planning applications. It will be suitable for councils that already charge CIL as well as those councils that are considering whether it is worth bothering with for them. It will also cover Section 106 agreements as well as make some recommendations about governance and oversight to ensure that best use is made of the money collected.

Planning, Housing and Affordable Homes
Thursday 13 – Friday 14 December 2018

For planning portfolio holders and cabinet members for planning policy.

Understanding how planning policies can encourage or inhibit various sorts of housing is not straightforward, and in the new 2018 National Planning Policy Framework the definition of what "affordable" means has changed. It is a great opportunity to make sure that your understanding is up to date and your policies are still a good match for the ambition of your council.

We will hear from developers and landlords with plenty of time for Q&A to help newcomers to this area pick up the brief. We will also spend some time taking the "long view" of how housing markets work and the changing role of councils as providers and builders of homes.

There will also be a section on affordable housing in combined authorities and in the context of mayors.

To find out more, grace.collins@local.gov.uk.

Local authorities have a core role to play in countering terrorism at local level and helping to safeguard individuals vulnerable to radicalisation. Prevent remains a key part of the Government's recently refreshed counter-terrorism strategy (Contest 3.0) and is a statutory duty under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, requiring all local authorities to have "due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism" and provide support to those at risk. Following the very successful Prevent courses which ran last year, the programme will explore a range of themes, including councils’ role in delivering Prevent; the implications of the new Contest 3.0 strategy; assessing local risk; understanding radicalisation; effective safeguarding; challenging myths; and community engagement.

Programme 4
Tuesday, 30th October – Wednesday, 31st October 2018 - Warwick Conferences, Coventry, CV4 7SH

The cost of attending this programme is fully subsidised. This includes accommodation, meals, course materials and tuition.

The Government's 2015 Counter-extremism strategy acknowledged the importance of local government in protecting communities from extremism. This popular two-day programme will explore in detail councils' role. The course will include contributions from a number of speakers from across central and local government and partners, encourage members to discuss some of the key issues for councils around this agenda, and provide opportunities to share good practice with members in similar roles. The programme will cover understanding extremism, assessing national and local risks, evolving issues, effective approaches to tackling extremism, leadership skills, communication strategies, and how to challenge extremist ideologies.

Programme 4
Thursday, 17th January – Friday, 18th January 2019 - Warwick Conferences, Coventry - CV4 7SH

The cost of attending this programme is fully subsidised. This includes accommodation, meals, course materials and tuition.

To find out more, email grace.collins@local.gov.uk.

Councils have a vital part to play in building cohesive communities, helping to create the right environments in which their residents can flourish. Following on from the Casey Review into Opportunity and Integration, and the recent publication of the Government’s Integrated Communities Strategy Green Paper, this course will give councillors the opportunity to explore councils’ role in the cohesion and integration agenda. This new course will look at understanding communities, effective engagement, partnership working, managing challenges and trigger events, whole council and cross service area approaches and will provide opportunities for members to hear from other areas and share learning.

Programme 1
Tuesday, 11th December – Wednesday, 12th December 2018 - Warwick Conferences, Coventry , CV4 7SH

The cost of attending this programme is fully subsidised. This includes accommodation, meals, course materials and tuition.

For more information or to book contact:
Grace Collins
Telephone: 020 7664 3054
Email: Grace.Collins@local.gov.uk