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 : Political Leadership Masterclass

Working with the Media 11 - Thursday 18 July 2019
Working with the Media 12 - Wednesday 11 September 2019
Warwick Conferences, Coventry, CV4 7SH

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 on:


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

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. However, please note once you commit to joining the ‘Working with the Media’ masterclass if you are then unable to make it, a £500 fee will charged to your council.

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

Working in Partnership: Political Leadership Masterclass

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. Partnerships 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.

Emergency Planning and Civil Resilience

This political leadership masterclass has been developed to focus on the role of councillors when preparing for and dealing with a crisis situation. This one-day masterclass will feature expertise and experience from councillors 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.

The LGA has scheduled two civil resilience masterclasses in the North West and North East regions in June.

Emergency planning and civil resilience political leadership masterclass:

  • Friday 14 June, Hilton Liverpool City Centre, 3 Thomas Steers Way, Livfirerpool L1 8LW
  • Monday 17 June, Radisson Blu Hotel, Frankland Lane, Durham DH1 5TA

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.

Leadership Essentials Adult Social Care

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 6: Tuesday 15 October – Wednesday 16 October 2019
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.

Leadership Essentials: Children's Services

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 24: Saturday 14 September – Sunday 15 September 2019
Programme 25: Thursday 3 October – Friday 4 October 2019
Programme 26: Wednesday 27 November – Thursday 28 November 2019
Programme 27: Thursday 16 January – Friday 17 January 2020
Warwick Conferences, Coventry CV4 7SH

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

Leadership Essentials Health and Wellbeing for HWB chairs and vice chairs

Programme 17: Thursday 18 July – Friday 19 July 2019
Programme 18: Tuesday 15 October – Wednesday 16 October 2019
Programme 19: Tuesday 5 November – Wednesday 6 November 2019
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.

Leadership Essentials: Fire and Rescue

This programme is aimed at elected members with leading roles on fire and rescue authorities.

Leadership Essentials: Fire and Rescue – Wednesday 26 June 2019

This year we are trialling a new Leadership Essentials programme on Wednesday, 26 June 2019 at Warwick Conferences, Coventry. Aimed at new members of fire authorities or those who have not attended the programme before, the programme will take place over a 24 hour period with a pre-dinner speaker the night before and full day programme the next day.

By the end of the course, delegates will have had the opportunity to:

  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of the fire sector, including clarity on duties and responsibilities and on key partners like the Fire Services Management Committee, National Fire Chiefs Council, Home Office and fire unions.
  • Develop skills around collaborative leadership in fire and rescue authorities (FRAs).
  • Gain a thorough understanding of Scrutiny in fire and rescue authorities and practical skills to apply that understanding.
  • Improve knowledge of the key strategic issues facing the sector, including building safety, the fire inspections regime and the emerging issue of culture, inclusion and diversity in the fire sector.
  • Share ideas and network with leading members from a variety of FRAs.

As new members take up their places on fire authorities in the next couple of months we consider this programme the perfect opportunity to attend a Leadership Essentials designed around new member needs.

Leadership Essentials: Fire and Rescue – September 2019

We will be running our usual two day programme over Thursday 26 September and Friday 27 September at Warwick Conferences, Coventry. Aimed at members of fire authorities with any level of experience, this programme will cover all aspects mentioned in the June programme alongside a deeper dive look at key areas like partnerships, communications and engagement, and further opportunities for networking.

We encourage all fire members to attend a fire programme as an induction to the fire sector and as an opportunity to network with other fire members.

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

Leadership Essentials: Cultural Services

Leadership Essentials Culture event for Portfolio Holders

After 10 very successful programmes, we are delighted to be working in partnership with Arts Council England to deliver further Leadership Essentials Cultural Services programmes for leading members with responsibility for Cultural Services.  At this critical time for cultural services, the programme will support leading councillors to develop an integrated cultural offer against a backdrop of reducing budgets.

The programme aims to help participants:

  • develop a better understanding of the role integrated cultural services can play in communities
  • understand the extent of transformation that is now required in the planning, delivery and development of cultural services.
  • consider how councils can use cultural services to improve outcomes for their communities
  • learn from good practice across the country
  • understand more about how Arts Council England and LGA can support participants to carry out their leadership roles more effectively.

Offer:Accommodation, meals, course materials and delegate fees are funded. Accommodation is available for the pre-night which is also funded

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

Leadership Essentials: Finance Programme

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 2019/20 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 13: Wednesday 26 June – Thursday 27 June 2019
Programme 14: Saturday 14 September – Sunday 15 September 2019
Programme 15: Saturday 19 October – Sunday 20 October 2019

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.

Leadership Essentials: Getting Your Message Across

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 6: Saturday, 25 January – Sunday, 26 January 2020

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

Leadership Essentials: Effective Scrutiny

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 10: Saturday 5 October – Sunday 6 October 2019
Programme 11: Wednesday 22 January – Thursday, 23 January 2020

Warwick Conferences, Coventry CV4 7SH

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

Leadership Essentials Sport and Physical Activity

Following 22 successful Leadership Essentials Sport and Physical Activity 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 and physical activity 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 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 Programmes

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.

Decision making at planning committee: how to run a good planning committee – for Planning committee chairs and vice-chairs

Programme 1: Thursday 19 – Friday 20 September 2020, Aston Conference Centre, Birmingham.

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.

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.

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

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