June’s L&D Blog

Milestones

To prepare for this month’s L&D blog (which I challenged myself with by giving it the theme of ‘milestones’) I ended up reading the Wikipedia entry for ‘milestone’, which is a very thrilling read indeed. However, I did glean some useful facts from it, my favourites of which are below:

  • Milestones were designed to be reassuring for travellers and for reporting accidents
  • Milestones are often referred to as MPs (after Mile Posts or the Latin ‘Milia Passum’)
  • The Romans’ loved a milestone. They had a big gold one to mark the centre of their Empire, but it has since gone missing. (This part of the article also helped with the my game of ‘get to Julius Caesar in 5 clicks or under on Wikipedia’)

The last two are just bonus facts but the first fact really resonated with me. It’s not shocking information, but shows that milestones are not just for marking time or distance, they’re about giving people direction and giving them a point of reference.

My own recent personal milestone was my 30th birthday. It prompted me to look at where I was and where I wanted to be. Although it’s nice to look ahead, it’s nice to look behind us as well and give ourselves credit for all the things we have achieved to get to this point.

This lead to me looking at my career development and so, as is the curse of this Blog, I will be moving roles in July and we will once again be looking for a new author of the L&D blog. If you are interested please let me know (promotion not guaranteed).

 

Well-being Week

We held our second Unit-wide Well-being Week in May and once again it was a great success. The highlights are below:

Jigsaw
A team jigsaw puzzle that apparently got quite competitive.
Journal Club
A journal club on the topic of ‘Why do we work so hard?’
Running Club
A lunchtime ‘Running Club’. I’m told it was just a swift 10k.
Cat
Some real life and still life sketching.
Fridge Magnet
The lost art of fridge magnet painting.

 

These activities gave us all a chance to exercise our minds and bodies, but also to get to know each other and have a bit of fun. I can’t honestly say that I find running very relaxing, but it’s great for the mind to concentrate on doing something different, and to not think about all that work that’s sitting on your desk! Ten minutes of well-being a day is proven to increase productivity in the work place and we as a unit do not plan to restrict it to two weeks a year. We’re looking at incorporating well-being into all aspects of our work and will be looking to work with various networks across the Civil Service to help do this. If you have any ideas or want to be involved please let us know.

 

Upcoming L&D opportunities

Here’s my pick of L&D opportunities coming up over the next month:

 

MHCLG

Personal Well-being: Unexpected Twists – a Core Curriculum event

Thu 14 June – 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Simon is a lawyer in the Government Legal Department, and moved to Legal Advisers in October 2017. In 2012, Simon was diagnosed with an eye condition, kerataconus, which he receives treatment with through Moorfields.

In March 2016, following a routine minor operation, Simon unexpectedly found himself rendered partially sighted. What ensued involved him having to take an unexpected leave of absence from work for over two months, and when he did return, a severe change to his day-to-day life.

This talk will cover the personal impact this took on Simon’s life, how he and his colleagues had to adapt to this change and more importantly, what the experience taught him and those around him about resilience and personal well-being

The target audience anyone going through similar issues or who is interested in this area, especially those in leadership or management roles.

 

Commercial Conscious – by Chandru Dissanayeke – A Leaders Teaching Leaders event

Tue 19 June – 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

This presentation will be delivered by Chandru Dissanayeke from 1.30 – 2.30pm.

Before joining MHCLG Chandru designed the transformation of the Government Commercial Function and led negotiations with some of government’s biggest suppliers.

This session we will explore what we mean by commercial in government and how you can be a commercially conscious civil servant, and when you know you need an expert.

 

Building your Resilience: a Health and Well-being Workshop – a Core Curriculum event

Wed 27 June – 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

After attending this session, attendees will:

  1. know what personal resilience is
  2. know how a lack of resilience impacts on our well-being
  3. know what the key qualities of a resilient person are
  4. know how to build your resilience
  5. have had an opportunity to assess your own resilience
  6. have developed a resilience plan and committed to at least one action to build your personal resilience.

This session is open to all staff, but is particularly relevant to those who have management responsibilities.

 

Bad Science: Working with Lobbyist’s data and research – A Core Curriculum Event

Date 20 July – 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

In Government, we work with a lot of data, facts and numbers. They inform our decisions, help us evaluate our policies, and underpin the advice we give ministers.

Sometimes those numbers are our own. Other times, we rely on data from others.

Often, we’re aware that externally sourced data might not be independent, but we’re not always sure why or how. This session will introduce how numbers and data can be turned into a lobbying and advocacy tool. It’ll walk through a series of real life examples to explore:

  • How the in-house research environment in advocacy/lobbying teams can lead to bad data
  • Examples of how data can be exaggerated, massaged or used to make a point – even when they don’t really support it.
  • The tactics organisations use to package external data they like, and discredit the data they don’t like.

This will be aimed at policy professionals using data in their policy development, and is intended to help us take a more informed, critical and self-aware approach when we use external data.

 

BEIS

Setting Expectations and Empowering

Date 19 June, 2018 10:00 am – 11:30 am

Details

A highly recommended Mind Gym workout suitable for all managers.

The 90 minute session (also known as Held to Account) will show you how to help your team take ownership for their best performance so you can watch them deliver without the fear of it all going wrong. Understand how to set clear and realistic expectations that motivate performance, help them to be at their best throughout the performance cycle, and learn how to get your team back on track after a setback, without leaving scars.

 

SCS Micro Behaviours Training

Date 2 July, 2018 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Details

This session forms part of our wider focus on developing a more inclusive culture by highlighting the small positive or negative (micro) behaviours we all display and which can have a significant impact on how others feel when they engage with us. The workshop provides some hints and tips on how we can self-manage our own behaviours to ensure the micro signals we send out are as positive as they can be.

 

Outside

Green Finance Summit 2018 – Mainstreaming Green Finance

DATE AND TIME

Tue 17 July 2018

08:00 – 18:30 BST

LOCATION

Guildhall

Gresham Street

London

EC2V 7HH

DESCRIPTION

Drawing on the theme of Mainstreaming Green Finance, the 2nd Green Finance Summit will bring together high-level speakers to present keynotes on policy and regulatory developments that must be incorporated into the financial system and embedded through corporate governance.

On a practical level, how can we move forward and how are companies committing to the TFCD recommendations? Our first panel will open up the debate on governance, strategy, risk, metrics and targets. In the transition to a low-carbon economy what are the next steps needed to bring climate-related disclosures into the mainstream?

Green infrastructure financing is key to our transition to a sustainable and climate resilient economy. Our second panel will examine the investment case for green energy and infrastructure, barriers to capital flows and how global governments and investors can facilitate green infrastructure development and financing.

The close of the event will focus on leadership in global green finance. How are nations, financial centres and other institutions demonstrating commitment and stepping up actions in green finance? How can we accelerate the development of the green finance market at an international level and maximise the impact of the financial sector in achieving green objectives?

Keynote speakers include:

  • John Glen MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury;
  • Rt Hon Claire Perry MP, Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth;
  • Sean Kidney, CEO, Climate Bonds Initiative;
  • Lord Stern, Chair, LSE Grantham Research Institute;
  • Nick Bridge, Special Representative for Climate Change, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Sign up here: http://greenfinanceinitiative.org/green-finance-summit-2018-mainstreaming-green-finance/

 

City Horizons with Sir Richard Leese: Manchester Then and Now

In his talk, Sir Richard Leese will reflect on his 20 years as leader of Manchester City Council

Date: 12 July 2018
Time: 6pm
Location: The Shard, London

We are delighted to welcome Sir Richard Leese for our event series, City Horizons. Leader of Manchester City Council for over 20 years and a councillor for over 30 years, Sir Richard has been at the forefront of major transformations in the city, from overseeing its regeneration following the 1996 IRA bomb, to helping secure the successful bid to host the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

In this talk Sir Richard will offer his reflections on his career leading Manchester, both successes and the challenges, and consider how Manchester and Greater Manchester’s partnership model has helped fly the flag for cities across the UK, and deliver devolution to English city regions.

This event will take place on 12 July 2018 from 6pm until 8.30pm at Warwick Business School in the Shard.

Sign up here: http://www.centreforcities.org/event/city-horizons-sir-richard-leese-manchester-now/

 

Connected cities: making the most of digital connectivity to improve prosperity

Join us to launch a new report looking at how cities can make the most of digital connectivity

Date: 12 July 2018
Time: 11am
Location: Birmingham (contact for details)

Centre for Cities is working with O2 to launch a new report looking at the ways cities can make the most of digital technology, ensuring that both communities and business can access the opportunities that digital allows.

Backed by on-the-ground case studies in cities across the UK and beyond, the new report offers cities, national government and industry stakeholders practical lessons in making sure that developing quality digital infrastructure goes further than just installing cables and masts.

The report will show how strategic and integrated planning beyond physical infrastructure can and does lead to both a supported economy and productive businesses, as well as a community equipped to take on the emerging employment opportunities that digital can bring.

To discuss the implications of the findings and what policy on the national and local level should be doing to harness the opportunities of digital, we will be joined by a panel of experts, to be confirmed.

Sign up here: http://www.centreforcities.org/event/connected-cities-making-digital-connectivity-improve-prosperity/

 

April’s L&D Blog

Hello and welcome to April’s L&D blog with another new author! I’m Katie and planning to stick around for a while, so expect more from me in the coming months.

You may have noticed that there have been a few new authors of this blog recently and the last author, Emily, set us the task of trying something new. I think these two fit perfectly together, so following this, the theme of this month’s blog is change and trying something new.

Here’s what I’ll be covering:

  1. Change: is it good or bad?
  2. Trying something new
  3. The CLoG L&D day
  4. L&D opportunities
  5. A forward look

Change: is it good or bad?

St Pancras
All change

I think that change can always be a good thing as long as it’s properly managed (which now makes it sound incredibly dull). In the workplace, change will happen. Everyday. It can be the reason a person stays in their job or the thing that causes others no end of stress, and there are of course a hundred different varieties of change.

I will admit to be a person who is easily distracted and so I often thrive on change; somewhere new to visit, a new book, a new challenge at work, a new hair colour, the character on that TV show to die so they can be replaced with someone new, better looking and more interesting, new shoes… standard stuff.

And then there are the things in my life that I don’t want to change; the people in my life, my home, all the things I am happy and content with, that make me feel safe. Unfortunately, these tend to be the changes we have less control over.

In our jobs we deal with change by being prepared, or when we can’t see it coming, we react to change by taking stock, reassessing priorities, asking others for help, crisis management. We manage it, and often manage to make the best out of the situation.

Helping each other is so important. My team leader made it our ‘challenge of the week’ this week as he knew it was going to be tough one for us. He managed (I promise that will be the last time I say manage) the situation to help us deal with upcoming changes.

So, if you would like to learn more about how to manage (sorry) changes, here are some L&D opportunities to look at:

25 April – MHCLG – Building Resilience through Change (an immigrant’s tale) – A Leaders Teaching Leaders Event – This event will be hosted by Chandru Dissanayeke, Deputy Director, Building Safety Programme. Chandru reflects on how his leadership journey – from riots to partying with Jay Z – has strengthened his resilience and provides tips on how to build resilience at work during a time of change.

16 May – MHCLG – Risk Management in MHCLG – a Core Curriculum event

23 May – MHCLG – Building your Resilience – a Health and Wellbeing Workshop

30 May – MHCLG – Career Conversations Workshop – A Core Curriculum Event

Trying something new

Path
The path less taken

This was the task that Emily set us last month and I can confirm that she did indeed attend a cooking class in Rome and made a wonderful tiramisu (with egg, which apparently is the traditional recipe!) She did not, however, bring any back for us to try.

My own adventures into trying something new last month saw me signing up to a dodgeball team with my colleague and friend Pooja. My only previous knowledge of the game came from the Ben Stiller film Dodgeball which turned out to be both entertaining and educational; you do actually have to dodge, dive, dip, duck and dodge. And throw a ball, which I am terrible at. Unfortunately I managed to hurt my back last week by trying to put on a sock too aggressively, so my dodgeball career is on hold for now. The new things I will be trying this month will be swimming, lots of yoga and staying very still.

If you would like to learn or try something new, I would recommend the following L&D opportunities:

19 April – BEIS – Feedback Matters: Interactive Theatre

24 April – BEIS – Setting Expectations and Empowering

23 May – MHCLG – Meet the housing and local government legal teams – Legal Awareness Month

30 May – MHCLG – Economics for non-economists: Housing Economics – A Core Curriculum Event

The CLoG L&D day: Our Unit, Your Place

Working
The government at work

“Our Unit, Your Place” took place at the Francis Crick Institute at the end of March. It was one of the rare and wonderful times that the entire unit were not only in the same part of the country, but in the same room! We were also raising money for ‘Jeans for Genes’ day, so it was quite a sight to see all that double denim in one room (great charity, great cause; if you would like to donate, please do here: https://www.jeansforgenesday.org/).

We had a great day including a geography quiz (with embarrassing results for some) and some creative workshops where we were encouraged to use our imagination. This led to a suggestion that we should freeze the sea in Newquay to improve winter tourism… we are awaiting the official response from the South West.

During our time at the Crick, we were encouraged to think about the idea of place. We documented our time there with a photo sharing app which provided many thought provoking and entertaining moments and all the photos in this blog. Many people took pictures of their commute to the venue, the new architecture of the area, the people they work with. My favourite picture was one of a man dancing in a slightly grubby Pikachu outfit. Beauty occurs in all forms.

Members of the Crick and developers of the surrounding area spoke to us about how they are transforming this place into a new ‘Science quarter’ in London. My own reflections whilst exploring my surroundings is that this change is good. The area felt fresh and full of opportunity and has a Harry Potter themed gift shop. However after deciding that I didn’t really need a plush Ron Weasley doll, I also remembered that this is the first part of London people see as they arrive from Europe on the Eurostar. People visit London for its history and gimmicky tourist attractions (no, the Harry Potter shop is NOT one of these, it’s an institution), but what they see is a new and fresh London, one that intends to lead in research and development. The future of the capital.

L&D Opportunities

Here are some other upcoming L&D opportunities that caught my eye this month:

24 April – MHCLG – Economics for non-economists: Introduction to Economics – A Core Curriculum Event

24 April – BEIS – FAME – Family roots: Jewish and Asian (with Richard Harrington)

1 May – MHCLG – A Brilliant Civil Service in Action Roadshow: Sheffield

1 May – MHCLG – Policy Essentials 1 – An introduction to those new to policy in MHCLG Part 1 – A Core Curriculum Event

8 May – BEIS – Setting Expectations and Empowering

10 May – BEIS – BEIS Academy Seminar: Long-tail or Fat-dog: the role of analysis in answering the UK’s productivity problem at the heart of Industrial Strategy

18 May – MHCLG – European Programmes and Local Growth Delivery ERDF TourIt!- A Core Curriculum event – on 18 May 2018 there is an opportunity to take a trip to the Thames Valley Science Park in reading to take part in a guided walking tour by the local European MHCLG team.

22 May – MHCLG – Rise of the intangible economy – an ESR seminar

Forward Look

I have a milestone birthday coming up in May, so my theme for next month will be milestones.

I would also love to have some contributors to this blog, so if you have something you want to promote or a write up of an event you’ve attended, get in touch.

See you all next month

Katie

PS. Here’s the picture of Pikachu.

Pika

March Edition

Welcome to the March edition of the CLoG Learning and Development blog – the first blog post after Maariyah’s departure.

In her January post, Maariyah suggested that we all reclaim our lunch breaks, so I did! This is a photo of St John’s Smith square, where I enjoyed a little walk and a big sandwich.

 

Walk
St John’s Smith Square

 

For next month, I suggest we all learn something new outside of work – a new recipe, yoga pose, knitting pattern or extreme sport (anyone else fancy taking up ice hockey after watching the Olympics?). My plan is enabled by an upcoming holiday to Rome, where I have signed up to a cooking class. This learning and development opportunity is of course not available on Civil Service Learning, but I will try and bring some tiramisu back for everyone!

Of course, we don’t all need to go on holiday to learn something new – there are lots of events and courses listed below, and I hope you find something that fits in with your schedule.

This month, the blog is very lucky to have received reviews of several courses and events. Thank you to those who provided them. All of the photos were taken by me over the last few weeks (thank you to the regional teams for having me!)

Emily

 

Rebecca Bryning reflects on the Crossing Thresholds mentoring programme

Crossing Thresholds is a career mentoring programme for women who want to develop their career in a structured and supportive environment. I’ve got to admit I was a bit sceptical about the “women only” aspect but the write up looked really appealing to me, define your career goals.

From the 2 modules I have attended I would definitely recommend a career mentoring programme so far it has helped me to think about my career very differently.  Defining my vision, values, and goals and starting to create a career action plan.

Module 2 was entitled “getting the balance right” and helped me look at where my personal and professional focus is, where I think it should and how I’m going to move it.

I would highly recommend Crossing Thresholds but equally any career mentoring programme that provides guidance and support on how to set out on your career path and working out what is important to you not what isn’t. 

 

Ruairi Gillespie reflects on GRaD’s recent Fair Treatment Workshop

 “In the end we are always rewarded for our good will, our patience, fair-mindedness, and gentleness with what is strange”

Whilst Nietzsche’s use of ‘strange’ certainly teeters on the edge of modern political-correctness, his sentiment remains true, championing the permeating positive effect that an open culture can stimulate in an organisation.

Following on from the publication of the staff survey results and the subsequent review, we in GRaD decided to facilitate an open forum so team members could discuss both the positive aspects of the team and any health and wellbeing issues currently faced; The morning of our away day proved to be a perfect opportunity with the more informal setting inducing a relaxed and open atmosphere to consider these challenges.

From a personal perspective, having recently joined the Civil Service fresh from university, and with my only previous work experience being in a newly formed start-up, the prospect of considering health and wellbeing in tandem with Departmental Goals and a formal code of practice was an interesting one; I was intrigued to see how rigidly the discussion would refer to these goals or if it remained people centred, focusing on the feelings of the individual and the needs of the GRaD.

We got in touch with Julia Hiller and Megan McKibbin, two of the Department’s Fair Treatment Ambassadors, who agreed to take a session focusing initially on promoting an understanding of the importance of fair treatment and raising awareness of the definitions of and law surrounding bullying and harassment. This provided an excellent foundation on which to engage with the specific issues faced in the team.

Using this platform, the discussion soon turned to what a fair working environment looks like, encouraging us to consider the difference between this model and our team working methods and habits, and to use this to make team pledges. It was this section of the workshop that best demonstrated the benefits of the informal setting as the frankness of discussion allowed a number of key trends to emerge: for example one trend was to appreciate the varied working hours within the team and the pledge was to give due consideration to this when considering the pattern of regular meetings.

For me, the overarching principle of the workshop, and indeed Fair Treatment in the wider context, is to establish an open culture, as from this point positive change will flow. I recently read Grayson Perry’s The Descent of Man (highly recommended), in which he engages with current definitions of masculinity and the ill-effect they sow. He draws out a similar observation in his campaign for a healthier and more beneficial take on masculinity, defining open discussion and consideration for the individual as the necessary foundation for more equal societal gender dynamics.

All in all, the workshop was excellent and I would encourage every team to partake if they haven’t already done so (even if it is just to consider how well you’re doing in nurturing a fair working environment!). For GRaD, I will be leading a unit meeting soon to reflect on the workshop and my review of staff survey results in order that we action change to the effect of the pledges.

With many thanks to Julia and Megan for all their help, and to Mark Ewbank for organising an excellent away day.

 

Will Spearing reflects on the EO Active Learning Set

Having only joined in November, I recently went to my 2nd of a series of “seminars” for the EO-grades in CLoG. The great series has been led by fellow EOs; Emily Cowling and Katie Turrell.

The first session was just before the Christmas break and centred on everyone’s first impressions of joining CLoG, and their respective teams. It was really useful to share experiences and to understand that there were others experiencing the same challenges and feelings as you!

With the end of the appraisal year approaching and many people at milestone points in the probation, the recent second session centred around setting personal objectives, development plans, and how to approach probation interviews. It was great to hear those in the room who had been in CLoG longer and had already had prior experience. A previously drafted set of core EO objectives, which can be supplemented with more specific ones, was circulated. 

These sessions have been really beneficial as they have highlighted the shared social experience at the EO level. As a result, those that have participated should be more prepared when approaching their probation/appraisals and also improve the experiences of other new EOs when they join.

 

Helen Mitchell also recently reviewed a learning and development opportunity available to read on the BEIS intranet.

 

cof
Bristol Temple Meads Station

Upcoming MHCLG Events

An introduction to Brexit – A Core Curriculum Event

Thu 1 March – 11:00 am12:00 pm, 2MS


Local Authorities Commercialisation: Hedge Fund-style Activity – a Core Curriculum event

Thu 1 March – 12:30 pm1:30 pm, 2MS

Honours Workshop – a Core Curriculum event

Mon 5 March – 10:00 am12:30 pm, 2MS
 
 Mental Health First Aid Workshop – A Core Curriculum Event
Wed 7 March – 8:30 amThu 8 March – 4:00 pm, 2MS
 

What does it mean to be a ‘straight ally’?

Wed 7 March – 12:00 pm1:00 pm, 2MS

 

Policy Essentials 1 – An introduction to those new to policy in MHCLG Part 1 – A Core Curriculum Event

Thu 8 March – 10:00 am4:00 pm, 2MS

 

Honours Workshop – a Core Curriculum event

Thu 8 March – 1:30 pm4:00 pm, 2MS
 

Data & Analysis – a Core Curriculum event

Fri 9 March – 9:30 am3:30 pm, 2MS

 

Policy Essentials Part 2 – A Core Curriculum Event

Mon 12 March – 10:00 am12:00 pm, 2MS

 

SCS Masterclass: Generation rent & the implications for public policy

Tue 13 March – 2:00 pm4:00 pm, 2MS
 

Performance Coaching Workshop – A Core Curriculum Event

Wed 14 March – 11:30 am2:00 pm, 2MS
 

Is Britain More Divided? No, but it is divided differently

Wed 14 March – 12:30 pm1:30 pm, 2MS

Guest seminar from Anthony Heath, Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Emeritus Fellow of Nuffield College
 

A Brilliant Civil Service in Action Roadshow: London

Thu 15 March – 9:30 am12:30 pm

Methodist Central Hall, Storey’s Gate, Westminster
London, SW1H 9NH

 

Advising, Briefing and Drafting – a Core Curriculum event

Fri 16 March – 9:30 am5:00 pm, 2MS

 

Fair Treatment – A Core Curriculum Event

Mon 19 March – 9:00 am10:30 am, 2MS
 
 

Grant making – potential pitfalls and how to avoid them – A Core Curriculum Event

Tue 20 March – 10:30 am11:30 am, 2MS
 

 

Learning from the Iraq Inquiry – Policy Making in a Complex Environment – A Core Curriculum event

Tue 20 March – 2:00 pm3:00 pm, 2MS
 

 

Performance Coaching Workshop – A Core Curriculum Event

Tue 20 March – 2:00 pm4:30 pm, 2MS 
 

Britain’s housing crisis: causes and cures

Thu 22 March – 12:30 pm1:30 pm, 2MS
Guest seminar from Dr Christian Hilber, Professor of Economic Geography at London School of Economics
 

Understanding Talent – for all G6/7s and DDs – A Core Curriculum Event

Mon 26 March – 10:00 am11:00 am, 2MS
 
 

Building your Resilience – a Health and Wellbeing Workshop

Wed 28 March – 10:00 am12:00 pm, 2MS
 
 

Performance Coaching Workshop – A Core Curriculum Event

Wed 28 March – 12:00 pm2:30 pm, 2MS 
 
 

Disability Confidence – A Core Curriculum Event

Wed 28 March – 1:00 pm3:00 pm
 

An introduction to speech writing – A Core Curriculum Event

Thu 29 March – 11:00 am12:00 pm, 2MS
cof
The walk up from Nottingham station

 

Upcoming BEIS events

BEIS Academy Seminar: Introduction to Energy Security
2 March, 2018 10:00 am 
 
Welcome to BEIS
8 March, 2018 9:30 am 
 
Coaching Skills for Managers
13 March, 2018 1:30 pm 
 
BEIS Academy Seminar: Introduction to Climate Change Science – Fact, Fiction and Future
14 March, 2018 2:00 pm 
 
BEIS Academy Seminar: The Future Of The Electricity System
16 March, 2018 2:00 pm 
 
BEIS Academy Seminar: An Introduction to the Clean Growth Strategy
16 March, 2018 10:00 am 
 
Setting Expectations and Empowering
16 March, 2018 10:00 am 
 
Welcome to BEIS
16 March, 2018 1:30 pm 
 
BEIS Academy Seminar: Response to Electricity and Gas Network Emergencies
19 March, 2018 10:00 am
 
Coaching Skills for Managers
21 March, 2018 9:30 am 
 
BEIS Academy Seminar: Unclear about Nuclear? – The Basics of Nuclear Power
23 March, 2018 10:00 am 
 
Welcome to BEIS
23 March, 2018 1:30 pm 
 
BEIS Academy Seminar: Business Energy and Industrial Strategy – An Introduction to Downstream Oil
26 March, 2018 10:00 am 
 
Welcome to BEIS
26 March, 2018 1:30 pm 
 
BEIS Academy Seminar: Introduction to Contract Management
27 March, 2018 10:00 am 
 
BEIS Academy Seminar: Introduction to Home and Local Energy Efficiency Policies
27 March, 2018 2:00 pm 
 
BEIS Academy Seminar: Introduction to behavioural insights in BEIS
29 March, 2018 2:00 pm
 
BEIS Academy Seminar: Introduction to Productivity and the Industrial Strategy White Paper
29 March, 2018 10:00 am
 
the shard
View from the Shard (taken at a Centre for Cities event)
Beyond CLoG
Civil Service Start:

CS START: Demystifying MHCLG, Fri 2 March; 12.00-13.30; 2MS

CS START: MOD Crisis Management Event, Tue 10 Apr; 14.00-17.00; DfT 33 Horseferry Rd, London

Civil Service College

Training courses on Prince 2, management, policy development and behavioural economics

WIG

Local Contributions to the Industrial Strategy

Thursday 08 March 2018, 16:45 – 19:30

Liverpool

Women’s Leadership: Courage & Presence

Tuesday 13 March 2018, 09:00 – 16:30

Development Seminar

Evening Briefing

Workings of Whitehall: Key players in the policy making process

Tuesday 27 March 2018, 09:00 – 16:00

London

Workings of Whitehall

More events here: https://www.wig.co.uk/networking-events/events-listing.html

 
Centre for Cities
Trading tips on making money from nothing

1 March 2018 | 10.30am | Birmingham – contact for details

A roundtable to discuss how combined authorities can use their assets for growth

 

Out and About

The Impact of Brexit on London

27 February 18:30 – 20:00, European Institute, LSE

 

‘The Remarkable Story of Hunslet’ from Medieval Manor to Industrial Suburb

28 Feb, 13:15 – 13:45

Leeds in your Lunch Hour, Arts@Trinity, Holy Trinity Church

 

Launch of the Birmingham Urban Studies Research Cluster

1 March, 17:00 – 19:00

Birmingham City University Curzon Building

 

Your Questions are Our Questions: designing the Civic University

1 March, 18:00- 20:00

Brigstow Institute, University of Bristol

 

Policy and Politics lecture

7 March , 18:00 – 20:00

Policy and Politics Journal, University of Bristol

 

Economic and Social Rights: from international law to everyday life

9 March, 17:00 – 18:30

Newcastle University

 

Social Policy and Society: Annual Lecture

18 April 17:17 – 19:00

The Diamond, University of Sheffield

 

Lord Desai Public Lecture on Economic Growth: Geopolitical game or addressing global inequalities?

19 April, 18:00 – 19:30

University Place, The University of Manchester

January’s L&D blog

Welcome to the January edition of the CLoG Learning and Development blog, and Happy New Year!

2018 will be an excellent year.

I have nothing overly substantial to back up my claim but it is the beginning of the New Year, which is always a good time to go forward with optimism. It is also the day after a Cabinet reshuffle that will give half this unit’s employees a slightly longer email signature, and, more importantly, 2018 marks the centenary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act, the law that first gave women the right to vote in the UK.  It is worth noting that this only applied to women aged over 30 who met a property qualification, and it wasn’t until 1928 that all women had the same voting rights as men.

This milestone will be marked through a range of events, in parliament and elsewhere…shout out to Ben Pledger for telling me about Celebrity Big Brother marking the centenary  with a women-only house this year.

The below photos and links offer an interesting (I hope) look at some of the key figures in the fight for gaining women’s right to vote, and highlight some of the ways that the centenary is being marked.

In this edition…

  1. CLoG Activities
  2. DCLG and BEIS
  3. Beyond CLoG
  4. Events marking 100 years of votes for women
  5. News and Reviews

janblog8

Suffragette procession 1911, image from the Museum of London

CLoG Activities

Majeed is running a L&D session called Economical with the truth: a novice’s perspective on public policy economics’ – informal teach-in. This is aimed at those who want to get a taster of a few interesting core concepts and discuss how they affect our thinking and policymaking. Sign up here!

05 February 2018 12:30-14:00

Keir has organised for the think tank Reform to come to 2MS and give a presentation concerning one of their latest reports: ‘Vive La Devolution- devolved public services commissioning’. The report can be found here- http://www.reform.uk/publication/vive-la-devolution-devolved-public-services-commissioning/

06 February 2018 12:00-13:00

janblog9

Throughout 2018, Parliament will be holding a major exhibition as well as education programmes, events, workshops, talks and tours. To keep up-to-date, follow the hashtag #Vote100 on Twitter.

DCLG

January happiness calendar from the DCLG Health and Wellbeing Network

Policy Tutorial TED Talk – A Core Curriculum Event

Thursday 11 January 2018 – 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Come and listen to a short TED talk and then discuss with colleagues the implications of this for us as policy makers.

Introduction to Project Planning – a Core Curriculum event

Thursday 11 January 2018 – 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

This course will help you understand how to effectively plan a project and some of the main reasons why projects fail.

Communicating and negotiating Policy with Influence – a Core Curriculum event

Monday 15 January 2018 – 9:30 am – 4:30 pm

Lecture Room 2a, South Quay Building, 189 Marsh Wall London, E14 9SH United Kingdom

This topic provides a practical and interactive approach to using influence when consulting with stakeholders and provides opportunities to practice negotiation skills within a workshop environment.

Public speaking: practical tips for improving your performance – Dr Anabel Inge (LGF, author and former academic) – A Core Curriculum Event

Wednesday 17 January 2018 – 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Engagement and Consultation – a Core Curriculum session

Friday 19 January 2018 – 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Book your place now to learn about effective stakeholder engagement and the principles behind a good consultation!

Career Conversations Workshop – a Core Curriculum event

Monday 22 January 2018 – 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Personal Effectiveness Workshop – a Core Curriculum event

Monday 22 January 2018 – 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

We are often so caught up in the battle of doing our day-to-day work that we don’t take the time to think about what we are learning as we go along.

An introduction to speech writing – A Core Curriculum Event

Tuesday 23 January 2018 – 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Drafting for Ministers – A Core Curriculum Event

Thursday 25 January 2018 – 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Book a place today to help you improve your drafting skills. One of the greatest skills a Civil Servant can have is to ensure you get your message across – and enable your Minister to do the same.

janblog5

Suffragist and educational reformer Dame Millicent Fawcett addressing a meeting in Hyde Park – circa 1913 – as president of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies.

Millicent Fawcett, who formed the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies in 1897 and spent decades advocating for equal rights including voting rights, is to become the first woman with a statue in London’s Parliament Square.

Quality of Evidence, Uncertainty and Risk – a Core Curriculum event

Monday 29 January 2018 – 9:30 am – 4:00 pm

Room 1.19/1.26, 15 Canada Square Canary Wharf, London, E14 5GL United Kingdom

Working with the Executive Team – a Core Curriculum event

Monday 29 January 2018 – 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Introduction to Excel – a Core Curriculum event

Wednesday 31 January 2018 – 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Introduction to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman – a Core Curriculum event

Wednesday 31 January 2018 – 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, Michael King, will give an introduction to the Ombudsman’s work and answer questions.

Policy Tutorial TED Talk – A Core Curriculum Event

Tuesday 6 February 2018 – 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Policy Essentials: An Introduction to Policy in DCLG (Part 1) – A Core Curriculum Event

Thursday 8 February 2018 – 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Mental Health Awareness Workshop – a Core Curriculum event

Tuesday 13 February 2018 – 9:00 am – 10:00 am

janblog4

Emmeline Pankhurst, who led the British suffragette movement, addressing a meeting in London’s Trafalgar Square in 1908.

Born out of the suffragist movement, came the suffragettes led by Emmeline Pankhurst.

Their name was courtesy of the Daily Mail newspaper, which coined the term “suffragette” as a derogatory label for the more radical and militant members of the women’s suffrage movement.

BEIS

 

 

Setting Expectations and Empowering Teams

11 January, 2018 10:00 am

A highly recommended Mind Gym workout suitable for all managers, and especially helpful in the early part of the performance year.

Setting Expectations and Empowering

17 January, 2018 10:00 am

The 90 minute session (also known as Held to Account) will show you how to help your team take ownership for their best performance so you can watch them deliver without the fear of it all going wrong.

Coaching Skills for Managers

17 January, 2018 9:30 am

During this 3 hour workshop, various coaching scenarios will be played out and you’ll learn to differentiate between when it’s appropriate to coach ‘on the go’ and when coaching should take place behind closed doors.

janblog1

In the February issue of Vogue, Eva Wiseman meets seven influential females fighting to empower women in the battle for equality that rages on.

Politicians Stella Creasy and Sophie Walker join artist Gillian Wearing, gal-dem founder Liv Little, trans awareness campaigner and journalist Paris Lees, blogger Dina Torkia and writer Reni Eddo-Lodge for a unique portrait by Julia Hetta and a Vogue video in which they explain what equality means to them, the changes that would improve the lives of women and what the next hundred years will hold.

International Careers Panel

17 January, 2018 1:30 pm

Hear from three BEIS senior civil servants about their experiences of working internationally. For anyone with an interest in getting into international work, or developing an existing international career.

Talk by the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow MP

19 January, 2018 11:00 am

Come and hear the House of Commons Speaker, John Bercow MP, give a fascinating insight into his and Parliament’s role in scrutinising the work of BEIS.

Analyse This! 2018

22 January, 2018 10:00 am

Analyse This!, an annual series of analytical presentations for non-analysts, is running from 22nd Jan to 2nd February. This year there is more variety than ever with 4 brilliant keynote speeches and 20 bitesize sessions, covering introductions of analytical methods to cutting-edge insights that can increase the effectiveness of BEIS policymaking

Age Diversity Group with Alex Chisholm

23 January, 2018 12:30 pm

Age Diversity Group with our invited guest: Alex Chisholm, BEIS Permanent Secretary

 janblog7

The Royal Mint will make new coins this year celebrating the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and 100 years since some women were given the right to vote.

Beyond CLoG

WIG Events

A fuller event list can be found here.

Philip Stephens, Chief Political Commentator, Financial Times

Tuesday 16 January 2018, 08:00 – 10:00

Enhancing Personal Impact & Presence

Thursday 18 January 2018, 09:00 – 16:30

Gareth Davies, Director General, Business and Science, BEIS

Wednesday 07 February 2018, 08:00 – 10:00

Civil Service College

For January and February 2018, you could learn the tools to ‘Speechwriting’; kick-start your knowledge with  ‘Introduction to Management’ ; learn how to balance your ‘Work Life Effectiveness’ and much more.

Centre for Cities

Cities Outlook 2018 Launch

Date: 29 January 2018, 12.30 Location: City Hall, London

 janblog6

Stars of the 2015 film ‘Suffragette’

100 Years of Votes for Women – events

100 Years of Votes for Women: an LSE Law celebration – with Shami Chakrabarti

Tuesday 06 February 2018 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Rise Up Women! the remarkable lives of the suffragettes

Monday 12 February 2018 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Events at the British Library

Events at the Museum of London

 Janblog2

Alice Hawkins will have a statue of her unveiled in February 2018 in Leicester. Born in 1863, Alice lived most of her life in Leicester. A mother of six and shoe machinist by trade, Alice was determined to have an equal say in the democracy of the day and was imprisoned five times in all in her struggle. Read more here.

News and Reviews

GraD

What’s in a Name – The Register of Local Authority Names

GRaD’s Mark Coram explains his role as the Custodian of the Register of Local Authority Names in England.

What register I hear you cry? Well let me explain. The Government Digital Service (GDS) two years ago started a project to create databases of information. The databases are of use to anyone looking for a specific topic and are designed to assist the public in getting the correct information. The first one they picked was countries of the world and for reasons only they can tell you the second one was a register of the names of local authorities in England.

Every register has what is called a Custodian – and for this register it’s me. I became custodian in August last year. Every register is looked after by the most appropriate Government Department, hence this register is looked after by us. In fact I look after two registers as I’m also responsible for the list of local authority types.

The Register gives you the legal name and the name by which the Council is more commonly known. It also gives you the date the Council came into being and when it (where applicable) ceased.

Every decision as to what goes on the register is the responsibility of the custodian and the final decision rests with them, so if any of the mergers or unitary proposals being worked up at present go through, this will be my first major decision. I’m also going to be adding the Combined Authorities shortly. And yes there is a code that fits – SRA (Strategic Regional Authority) which currently has just one occupant – the GLA.

I’ve visited the GDS office in Whitechapel twice now – and let me say it is the most non Civil Service looking office in the land. There are no fixed computers, no printing is allowed and it has the look and feel of a tech startup more than a Government Department. Sometime in the New Year one or two of the team will be shadowing me for the day as most of them have never done a policy job. Should CLOG wish to assist with me with this please let me know.

To see the registers see the links below – I’m happy to answer any questions about the work. If you want to know more about the GDS visit their blog at www.gds.blog.gov.uk/about/ .

https://local-authority-eng.register.gov.uk/

https://local-authority-type.register.gov.uk/

 

 janblog3

Elaine Burton MP, 2 October 1958. Parliamentary Archives, PUD/14/35.

Elaine Burton was the first woman to chair a sub-committee

EMSEM Team Away Day – November 2017

We started our day with an unexpected commission that had to be dealt with urgently – pushing start back 20 minutes.

Enjoyed delightful breakfast provided by Justin (drinks by the University), followed by presentation how to give and receive feedback on by Louise but performed by Justin.

Another quick commission handled efficiently by Charlotte and Helen and we were back on track.

We then completed a short session on feedback – it was a good opportunity to bounce ideas on how to give helpful and productive feedback (based on difficult conversations around annual conversation) and to think about how to get negative messages across in constructive way.

1 - 4 photos

Mark Pullen led us on a session – What kind of team are we…and what kind of team do we need to be?

During the session reflected on our strengths as individuals and how we can make these work for us as a team. We worked with a psychological-type tool called “Lumina”.

Here’s some feedback Mark gave us on the session and about the team –

  • You have a spread of strengths.  You appear self-aware how these strengths differ between you and can see how these play out across the roles and tasks that you fulfil.
  • Remember that all strengths should be seen as equal, and that it’s likely that you can each adopt those behaviours, although how comfortable you are and the personal energy it takes can vary.
  • For many of you, you felt that the strength that you each personally felt most comfortable with was amongst the “empowering” green behaviours and the “conscientious” blue. 
  • Whilst there was at least one of you most comfortable in the “commanding” red segment, there are several of you who see this as a second preference area.
  • “Inspiring yellow” might be a potential gap? And, even when someone “steps” into this space, there is a risk that the amount of blue could mean that you keep to known and safe processes, and miss more innovative options.  We wondered how that might impact on how you advise LEPS and respond when the latest request from the centre arrives pressing for the next golden egg solution to drive and invigorate the local economy.
  • Overall you shared a view that the spread of your strengths was a good match with the behaviours and skills demanded by your role.
  • Towards the end of the session, I challenged you to be alert to risk that because you are accommodating and will want to always provide constructive and positive responses.

There is a free app called Lumina Splash which gives you an idea of which colour you are most aligned after doing a short quiz (it takes less than a minute!).

Everyone enjoyed the session and felt that we could take it forward to think about how we can utilise our strengths more effectively as a team.

2 - 3 photos

We were invited to take part in a networking lunch with a collection of VIPs and entrepreneurs who were based at the innovation centre.

We heard from Professor Simon Mosey and Steve Chapman who outlined some of the universities many projects and how they hoped to solve world problems with entrepreneurial ideas and technology.

During the lunch the team spent time talking to as many of the attendees – here are a few of their stories:-

3 - 2 photos

Justin – I met with Lili Zhu, who runs a specialist careers advice service for overseas students – targeted at visiting Chinese students in particular, but looking to expand into other groups and also into services at other unis (already working with NTU to provide a more coherent Nottingham offer). See www.miiito.com. I know others spoke with Lili too – she was a skilled networker!

Mike – I spoke to a very interesting bloke who’s developing a new app called Yoop – which will use AI to deliver a bespoke newsfeed to users.  That doesn’t sound very ground breaking, but the exciting thing was the way in which it would allow you to screen ‘fake’ content and selectively filter how ‘challenging’ you wanted the content to be to your world view!

Jacqui – I spoke to Steve Upcraft whose initial revenue project “Ingenuity” I assessed early on in the 2007-13 ERDF programme and on which subsequent continuation projects “Ingenuity Plus” and “Enabling Innovation” built upon. That was quite exciting as The Ingenuity Lab is marketed as an unlimited fountain and inspiration and motivation for young entrepreneurs and as I worked closely with the University to get the original one approved as academics tended to use language that no one else understood.  I also spoke to Kelu Lui who founded HungryPanda an online food delivery platform which provides tailored services to Chinese students, as well as providing affordable commission rates in comparison to their competitors UberEats, Deliveroo and JustEat it they have offices in Manchester, Birmingham and Hangzhou, China as well as in the Ingenuity centre. HungryPanda won a £10,000 Vice Chancellor’s prize which they have used to purchase uniforms, delivery boxes and 15 electric bicycles.

4 - 3 photosUnfortunately we had to cut the networking short to dial in to a central IS telekit. All in all, everyone agreed that the day was a great success with lots of learning opportunities, both inward and outward facing.

October’s L&D Blog

Welcome to the October edition of the CLoG Learning and Development blog.

October 10 marked Word Mental Health Day and this year’s theme was about workplace wellbeing, something worth thinking about well beyond WMHD. We all have mental health just as we have physical health, and it’s as important to take of it, and seek help when needed. Coincidentally, we talked about this very topic in our ‘Team Ben’ meeting last week and everyone agreed that it was vital to support one another and look out for each other’s wellbeing. Heartening really! It was also great to see the ways in which World Mental Health Day was marked by BEIS and DCLG (there is a link to the video of the DCLG World Mental Health Day event on 10th October).  General information and support can also be found on the BEIS and DCLG intranets. The national picture of mental wellbeing in the workplace, however, is not so heartening and the Government’s recent ‘Thriving at Work’ report found that 300,000 people a year lose their jobs because of mental ill-health. So in an attempt to make sure that we’re all taking a little time to look after each other, and ourselves, the below photos are (sort of) related to Mind’s Top Tips for staying well at work. I hope you’re already doing some of these, or feel inspired to try something new.

If you’re a fan of quizzes, you might also be interested in this quiz from DCLG’s Health and Wellbeing Network.

In this edition…

  1. New Starters

  2. DCLG and BEIS

  3. Beyond CLoG

  4. News and Reviews

Lunch break

Top tip: reclaim your lunch break. I took this photo last week, while leisurely strolling through the park with my tuna melt Panini.

1. New Starters

If you’re a new starter, or looking for a refresh, some of the below events are definitely worth attending.

Additionally, you’ll want to familiarise yourself with one of the most important tools of all for new starters: the CLoG career-charter-tool-box! The Career Charter sets out our commitment as a Unit to be a place where everyone feels supported to develop their career and pursue their personal career goals.

BEIS events

Welcome to BEIS

Being run throughout November

This is a mandatory course for anyone who has recently joined BEIS. It is recommended that you attend as soon as possible after joining the Department and within your first 3 months.

Leadership Talk: The new Style of Leadership in the modern UK Civil Service with Clare Moriarty – Permanent Secretary of Defra

2 November, 2017 12:30 pm

Policy Excellence Week

6 November, 2017 9:00 am

The Policy Excellence Week is the foundation BEIS capability programme designed to develop new and current Policy Professionals by encouraging structured policy making through clarity on situation, evidence, options and solutions.

Open Day – Meet the Communications, Partnerships and Governance teams

7 November, 2017 11:00 am

An opportunity to come up to the 7th floor (1 Victoria Street, London) and meet the Communications, Partnerships and Governance teams to find out more about the work we do to achieve the department’s objectives.

DCLG events

Time Management Zoo

Wed 1 November – 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Personal Effectiveness Workshop

Thu 2 November – 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

This informal session is a set of top tips for doing your job well that have been accrued and combined together and some of the best pieces of advice that have been received by civil servants or which civil servants want to share with their colleagues.

Policy Essentials: An Introduction to Policy in DCLG (Part 1)

Mon 13 November – 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Book your place on this introductory course aimed at colleagues new to policy. Policy is a key part of what we do in DCLG. This course will give you a framework to help structure your policy thinking so that you can approach various policy challenges with confidence.

Library Drop-In Session – a Core Curriculum event

Thu 16 November – 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Book your place to find out about the DCLG library services, browse our collection and meet the library staff. Ask about: Finding information – build an evidence base with reports, academic papers and more.

PingPong

Mind say: “Hold a group activity – If there’s a green space near your workplace why not organise a game of rounders or football, hold a guerrilla gardening session, or a group walk? Take time to enjoy the outdoors and get re-energised for an afternoon of productive work.” The above is, of course, representative of the infamous CLoG Ping-Pong sessions. 

2. DCLG and BEIS

An opportunity of relevance to all HEO/SEOs:

BEIS today announced applications are open for its latest cohort on the Aspiring Managers programme. It is aimed at HEOs and SEOs with the potential to reach Grade 7 in 12 to 18 months. It is particularly aimed at equipping staff with the management skills to lead and develop people and teams.

This opportunity is open across the Unit, regardless of your home department. As the article states, in the first instance please discuss this with your line manager if you are interested. If you do apply, the deadline is 13 November.

BEIS

Coaching Skills for Managers

2 November, 2017 9:30 am (also taking place on the 6th of December)

During this 3 hour workshop, various coaching scenarios will be played out and you’ll learn to differentiate between when it’s appropriate to coach ‘on the go’ and when coaching should take place behind closed doors.

BEIS Academy Seminar: How to Review the Quality of Evidence Properly

14 November, 2017 2:00 pm

This seminar starts by covering the common misuse of the terms, ‘literature review’ and ‘evidence review’, and then shows how evidence quality can be assessed quantitatively to determine what evidence is deemed to be of a high enough quality to inform policy development.

cat.jpg

Top tip: “Create clear boundaries between work and home. Try not to let work spill over into your personal life. If you need to bring work home, designate a separate area for work and stick to it, you’ll find it much easier to then close the door on work.” The above is a photo of my cat, and when I try and take work home, he just sits on laptop. So, get yourself a needy cat? This leads on nicely to the below ‘Pets as Therapy’ event!

DCLG

Pets as Therapy

Wed 1 November – 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Stressed-out and could do with a cuddle? Then come along to F225 on 1 November between 13.30 and 14.30 and meet Arthur the Labradoodle therapy dog and his obedient owner Emily Bliss. Find out more »

Birmingham: Policy Essentials – A Core Curriculum Event

Mon 6 November – 10:30 am – 3:30 pm

Room GB, 5 St Philip’s Place

Policy is a key part of what we do in DCLG. This course will give you a framework to help structure your policy thinking so that you can approach various policy challenges with confidence. Policy officials are expected to provide succinct advice to ministers so that they can take well-informed decisions. Find out more »

Leeds: Disability Confidence

Thu 9 November – 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

Introduction to PPM

Thu 9 November – 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Book your place to learn more about programme and project management.

Building your Resilience – a Health and Wellbeing Workshop – a Core Curriculum event

Wed 15 November – 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Walk home

Top tip: “Use the time on your commute home to wind down from work. Read a book or listen to your music to set aside some time to yourself. Maybe try cycling part of your journey or getting off a stop early to take a shortcut through a park or quiet streets. These little actions can really help you to switch off.” I took the above photo a couple of weeks ago when I decided to forego the tube altogether and walked home. (#nofilter)

3. Beyond CLoG

FCO Europe Faculty

Regions and Brexit: Differing Effects?

 

Speakers: Professor Philip McCann, Sheffield University and Professor Raquel Ortega –Argilés, University of Birmingham

Date: 6 December 2017 Time: 13:00-14:00 Venue: FCO, King Charles Street

Further information and registration details can be found here.

WIG Events

A fuller event list can be found here.

Breakfast briefings

Philip Rycroft, Head of UK Governance Group and Permanent Secretary, Department for Exiting the European Union

Tuesday 05 December 2017, 08:00 – 10:00

Evening briefings

Sir Ian Cheshire, Government Lead Non-Executive Director & Sara Weller CBE, Lead Non-Executive Director, DWP

Wednesday 01 November 2017, 08:00 – 10:00

To do list

Top Tip: Start a To Do list – At the end of each day, go over your list and write up one for the next day, when your thoughts are down on paper, you’ll find it easier to not think about work.

Westminster Policy Forum

Developing the Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford Corridor: infrastructure, governance and economic growth

Thursday, 7th December 2017, Central London

Mental health in the workplace – improving support for employers and employees

Monday, 20th November 2017, 9am – 1pm (registration from 8.30am) Central London

Next steps for funding regional projects and the future for Local Enterprise Partnerships

Morning, Thursday, 8th March 2018

 

Inside Government

Delivering and Investing in Future Infrastructure Projects

Tuesday 31st October 2017, Central London

LSE

Gender Equality: how can the UN lead?

Tuesday 07 November 2017 6:30pm to 8:00pm

All free public events at LSE can be viewed here.

Centre for Cities

UK – International Metro Mayor Summit 2017

4 December 2017 to 6 December 2017

Bringing together the metro mayors with international mayors, past and present, to share their experience and advice

City Horizons: Professor Ron Martin

12 December 2017 6pm | The Shard, London SE1

Professor Ron Martin as a guest lecturer discussing the resilience of cities following economic shocks

"You should not be here so late...take the work home with you."

Top Tip: Are you often the last to leave work? We know you’ll have times when you need to work overtime to meet deadlines, but try to make this the exception not the norm. Long hours means you may be working harder, but not better – they’ll quickly take their toll on your concentration, productiveness and health.

4. News and Reviews

CLoG

Farhana Hussain writes about her experience on a recent visit

We were invited by The British Plan to visit their current projects in Paddington and Canada Water.

We were met by Adrian Penfold, Mike Meadows and Tim Downes. They took us to their Marketing Suite, which just happened to be a (very awesomely done up) boat. Whilst eating our pastries, Adrian, Mike and Tim took us through the master plan for Paddington using a model, complete with trees and miniature people.

Following this, we were taken to 4 Kingdom Street. We were taken up to the rooftop which not only had amazing views of London, but also a rooftop basketball court. Of course, I had to shoot a few hoops.

 

 

FH1.png

Couple of floors below, we were shown around an empty office floor space; again, the clear windows looked out to North and South London.

Another one of British Plan’s current project is the Canada Waters regeneration plan. There we met Emma Cariaga, Miles Price and Roger Madelin who is the Head of Canada Water Development. We went to the 25th floor of Ontario Point, a residential building. The views were amazing there too – Looking out to North, East, South and West London. Paired with the blue sky, beautiful. The British Land has 47 acres of land in the area that goes into Southwark Park. Mental and Health wellbeing is key on their agenda as is training and education in Canada Water.

FH2

The British Land collectively owns Print Works with Kings College London. Print Works was previously owned by Daily Mail and Evening Standard. Kings College London and The British Plan are currently in talks of working collaboratively to come to a joint decision on how to regenerate the building. In the meantime, the building is being used for various events, i.e. the building has been used by Mulberry for London Fashion Week.

To conclude, the British Land have an awesome master plan for the regeneration of Canada Water and Paddington. They have taken into account various issues such as health and wellbeing, education and increasing biodiversity, especially in Canada Water.

GRaD

Piers Barber provides a write up of Paul Roswell’s ‘History of Local Government’

On 12th October Paul Rowsell, Head of Governance Reform and Democracy, guided DCLG colleagues through the colourful history of local government, from the creation of county councils in 1888 to the introduction of metro mayors in combined authorities today. Along the way have come referendums, disputes over tax and accountability, and numerous remodellings of how local government works and what it’s meant to achieve.

While helping to put together the enormous two metre-long timeline that accompanied Paul’s talk, I was struck by how relevant the specifics of local government policy have often proved to be in shaping national stories, and impressed to hear about the department’s and its predecessors’ long history of innovation and achievement. Here are a few other valuable lessons I picked up from the session.

Knowing our history can help us understand what works and what doesn’t

The talk provided an ideal example of how maintaining a sense of the past can shed light on what works and what can go wrong. The story’s journey through shifting government priorities, tier structures and power allocations revealed the evolution of more efficient and streamlined ways of working. It also showed how some accomplished ministers and MPs have made important interventions in refining the idea of what local government should be and how it should all work – for example, Michael Heseltine, twice Secretary of State for the Environment, and George Young, who held several Ministerial appointments, were when they were out of Government the only two Conservative MPs never to have voted in favour of the troublesome poll tax.

The role of referendums

Referendums cropped up throughout the story. In 1979, for instance, one was held to decide the future of devolution in Scotland. Rather than just a simple majority, it required that 40% of the total registered electorate agree to the proposal in order for it to pass – not an approach used in more recent referendums… As it turned out, 51.6% voted in favour, but with a turnout of just 64%, this represented just 32.9% of those registered to vote. . Referendums continue to play a role within local government. New council tax proposals, introduced in 2012, require that all councils adhere to a centrally set rate – unless a rise is agreed to by residents through a referendum. So far, no such increase has been approved.

Relations haven’t always been smooth

Dealings between central and local government have at times proved fraught with tension and disagreement. Particularly dramatic examples included the so-called ‘rate-capping rebellion’, which saw councils whose budgets were restricted refuse to set budgets for 1985-86 – with the goal of forcing the government to either directly provide public services or withdraw the powers. Ultimately, though, all 15 councils eventually backed down, and in Lambeth and Liverpool rebellious councillors were surcharged. After 1997, meanwhile, Tony Blair’s mistrust of local Labour parties caused further tensions and disputes. But relationships have also often been productive; today, with greater consultation and prosperous devolution discussion ongoing, a more cooperative spirit has prevailed in many areas.

Local government has often been a key terrain of political conflict

Goings-on in the world of local government have repeatedly cropped up as key political battlegrounds. In 1976, Secretary of State for the Environment Peter Shore’s warning to council leaders that “the party’s over” signalled the start of increased central government pressure to reduce local spending. As our timeline indicates, 1979-1990 was another period of upheaval, as Margaret Thatcher again focused substantial attention on perceived council overspending. Her introduction of the Community Charge (better known as the poll tax) provoked considerable resistance from local residents, and although initially a local issue, grew into a national concern, prompting a riot and ultimately contributing to bringing about a change in Prime Minister. Local government looks set to continue to both influence and be influenced by events and discussion at national level for years to come.

GRaD’s two metre-long timeline of the history of local government is now up on the wall in the NE Quadrant, 2nd Floor, Fry Building, 2 Marsham Street.

Ask for help

Last but not least: Ask for help – If you feel your workload is spiralling out of control, take opportunity to discuss it with your manager or supervisor. If you can’t resolve the problem of unrealistic goals, organisation problems or deadlines in this way, talk to your personnel department, trade union representative or other relevant members of staff.

August’s L & D Blog

Welcome to the August edition of the CLoG Learning and Development blog.

August 2nd 2017 would have been James Baldwin’s 93rd birthday. The American writer and social critic was born in Harlem, New York in 1924. He grew up in a large, poor family but school gave him the opportunity to show case his abilities. Baldwin’s literary talents were recognised early on by his teachers, particularly after he wrote one of his first plays, aged 9. He then followed in the foot-steps of his step-father to become a Pentecostal preacher aged 14, but soon realised that writing was his calling. In 1948, at age 24, Baldwin left for Paris, where he hoped to find enough distance from the American society he grew up in to write about, and critique, it. These occurrences are documented in Baldwin’s collection of essays, Notes of a Native Son.

Baldwin’s essays in particular gave voice to the complexities of racial tensions in the United States, highlighting the ways in which sexuality and class distinctions also shaped, and rebuked, existing narratives around identity.

I have really enjoyed learning a bit more about James Baldwin while researching for the post and I hope you’ll enjoy the selection of images and quotes below. Of course, it does no real justice to Baldwin’s brilliance to simply use a handful of his quotes, yet it is also a testament to the writer’s relevance that these can stand alone beyond the context in which they were written, carrying more than just platitudes and offering more than just momentary inspiration: they make you think.

If you haven’t already, I hope this post will make you want to delve into some of James Baldwin’s work.

In this edition…

  1. CLoG Activities

  2. Regional opportunities

  3. DCLG and BEIS

  4. Beyond CLoG

  5. News and Reviews – featuring fun and games!

    JB 1 James Baldwin in New York, 1963. Photograph: Dave Pickoff/AP

1. CLoG Activities

Quiet Leadership

We hear a lot about everyone in the Civil Service being a leader, but perhaps less about we all lead in different ways.  It’s easy fall into the trap of creating an ideal in your mind about what a good leader might be: comfortable in the spotlight, gregarious, vocal or, simply, “alpha”.  But over recent years there has been a growing recognition that modelling ourselves on such a template might not always be a good thing.  For some people, these sorts of behaviours come naturally, and it’s right to play to these strengths.  But, as teams, we should also think about the benefits of quiet leadership too.

We’ve all probably thought at some point about where we each fit on the introvert-extravert scale, with the reality being that we each have a range of different tendencies, behaviours and predispositions that fall across this spectrum, depending on the environment we’re in at a given time.  In the effect, this spectrum is just a way of explaining how different people respond differently to stimulation: speaking very crudely, introverts get their energy from inside themselves and need solitude to recharge, whereas extraverts get their energy from interpersonal interaction and recharge by socialising.  But research over recent years has highlighted that the most successful and creative organisations are those which encourage leadership and behaviours at both ends of this spectrum.  So, to challenge assumptions and form consensus, they embrace extraversion through collaborative and group-based ways of working.  But, to avoid groupthink and organisational inertia, they support introversion, by allowing individuals the time and space to reflect.

This raises some really interesting questions for us as a Unit: how can we ensure we encourage a breadth of leadership styles? How can we ensure everyone has a voice? How can we find different ways to reward success?  But the big message from all of this is that we should be open-minded to different types of leadership, whilst acknowledging that, in practice, sometimes we all need to operate in ways which don’t come naturally.  To help us to do so, the team has put together a Quiet Leadership Slide Pack which gives a background to quiet leadership and outlines core learning opportunities in this area, including personality assessments which teams can use to think about how to make the best of the range of skills they have within them.

Jo Cagney spoke about the Industrial Strategy team’s experience of doing so:

Our team has spent some time over recent months discussing the range of approaches to the way we work and how this impacts on our team and the Unit. We started with a self-awareness packtyping exercise that gave us a different language to use about our different approaches in the workplace. This was followed more recently by a discussion on quiet leadership led by Pete Northover. A key message from the session that resonated is, while quieter people need to challenge themselves to be more outgoing, everyone should reflect on their own personality types and how these might differ from, and complement, other people’s leadership styles. Using these tools and taking some time to reflect personally and as a team means that we can be more tuned in to other people’s needs as well as our own strengths, helping us to work together in the most productive way and with realistic expectations of other people.

Margaret Coates, Area Lead for the Tees Valley, added:

Claire Denniss very kindly talked to us about quiet leadership at our recent team meeting.  It prompted some interesting points not least from Peter Campey about how we behave and are perceived externally, and if we can use what we are learning on quiet leadership to improve our relationships.  It also made me think about the importance of listening – about being open to lots of different voices and not just those I know best and am comfortable with.  I think it’s important for the success and health of the Unit that we all feel our voices are heard and this work really helps support that.   

We’re really keen that everyone across the Unit is given a chance to reflect on these issues, so if you or your team would like help to do so, please contact Pete Northover (peter.northover@beis.gov.uk) and Claire Denniss (claire.denniss@beis.gov.uk).

Two portraits side by side, left is black and white photo of James Baldwin under a blanket, right is painting of James Baldwin with yellow background

Left: James Baldwin / Carl Van Vechten / Gelatin silver print / 1955 / National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.
Right: James Baldwin / Beauford Delaney / Pastel on paper / 1963 / National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

According to Baldwin, an artist’s responsibility is “to illuminate the darkness” and “blaze roads through that vast forest” so that society does not “lose sight of its purpose, which is, after all, to make the world a more human dwelling place.” 

James Baldwin and Marlon Brando at Civil Rights March in Washington, D.C., 08/28/1963.U.S. Information Agency. Press and Publications Service.

James Baldwin and Marlon Brando at Civil Rights March in Washington, D.C., 08/28/1963.U.S. Information Agency. Press and Publications Service.

“Hatred, which could destroy so much, never failed to destroy the man who hated, and this was an immutable law.” — Baldwin, The Fire Next Time

Pier Review

To celebrate the work of our Coastal Regeneration team and the success of the Coastal Communities fund, we are launching a Pier Review (yes, you read that right), which will run during recess from 24 July to 5 September.

As part of the Review, members of the Cities and Local Growth Unit from across the country will be travelling to seaside locations in the UK in their spare time and documenting our Great British Coast with photographs (ideally with a Pier) and reviews from each location.

We have set ourselves a target of 500 reviews over the next few weeks so watch this space, which will show up on the map below, which will be continuously updated. You can also follow the journey by signing up to TripLine or by clicking here.

The above can be read in full on the DCLG intranet: https://intranet.dclg.gov.uk/blog/pier-review-makes-waves/

MayaAndJames

Maya Angelou speaking about first meeting James Baldwin in Paris in the early 50s: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/maya-angelou-james-baldwin/7753/

“Neither love nor terror makes one blind: indifference makes one blind.” ― James Baldwin, If Beale Street Could Talk

Summer Policy Days

The CLoG central teams are going on a policy road show this summer! The teams will be visiting regional offices this August to talk about their policy areas and to have informal and open discussions about the work they are doing, while also learning more about the work going on in the regions.

2. Regional Opportunities

Policy

Westminster Social Policy Forum

The future for the Midlands Engine

Morning, Tuesday, 12th September 2017, Central Birmingham

WIG Events

Regional Workshop: Devolution & the West of England

Thursday 21 September 2017, 17:00 – 20:00

Bristol, Evening Briefing

Industry Visit: BT – The Internet of Things and what it means for the future

Tuesday 19 September 2017, 11:00 – 16:00, Ipswich Visit

Inside Government

Exploring the Next Steps for Devolution Across the Northern Powerhouse

27 September 2017, 08:45-16:40, Central Manchester

Leadership and management

Birmingham: Disability Confidence Workshop – A Core Curriculum Event

Tue 22 August – 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

Birmingham DCLG Office, 5 St Philip’s Place Birmingham, B3 2PW

This course is suitable for all line managers and not just those who know they have disabled direct reports.

Women’s mentoring scheme

Bristol: Crossing Thresholds, HEO/SEO – A Core Curriculum Event

Tue 5 September – 9:15 am – Wed 6 September – 5:00 pm

Crossing Thresholds is a 12 month career mentoring programme for women who want to develop their career in a structured and supportive environment. Aimed at women who want the time, space and support to explore the next steps in their career, it helps you be clearer about your career goals and how to achieve them.

Cardiff: Crossing Thresholds, HEO/SEO – A Core Curriculum event

Thu 14 September – 9:15 am – Fri 15 September – 5:00 pm

JB home

 James Baldwin at home in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France, in 1979. Photograph: Ralph Gatti/AFP/Getty Images

‘Everybody’s journey is individual. If you fall in love with a boy, you fall in love with a boy. The fact that many Americans consider it a disease says more about them than it does about homosexuality’, “Eve Auchincloss and Nancy Lynch”, Conversations With James Baldwin

3. DCLG and BEIS

DCLG

Working with Ministers/ET

Drafting for Ministers 

Mon 21 August – 10:00 am – 1:00 pm; Fri 13 October – 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

One of the greatest skills a Civil Servant can have is to ensure you get your message across – and enable your Minister to do the same. This course will focus on how the style and substance of how you draft can change depending on its context.

Working with the Executive Team

Wed 13 September – 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm, 4B SW

The Executive Team is responsible for driving and managing the daily business of the Department. This short workshop will help you to understand more about the Executive Team, their offices and how to work more effectively with them.

Leadership and management

Time Management Zoo

Wed 16 August – 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Policy development

Legal Awareness Session: Introduction to Bills (inc. Handout Bills)

Wed 16 August – 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

How does a Bill become an Act of Parliament? What are the roles and responsibilities of key players in the Bill process? What is the process for Handout Bills? This introductory session is designed for attendees without experience of working on either a Government Bill or Handout Bill or for those who need a refresher on the basics.

Diversity and Inclusion

Building your Resilience – a Health and Wellbeing Workshop

Tue 15 August – 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Fair Treatment

Mon 18 September – 10:00 am – 11:30 am

This event has been set up to offer training to all staff to build awareness and understanding of what fair treatment looks like and how to make DCLG a fairer place to work.

Mindfulness sessions in August

A network between Home Office and DCLG runs a regular series of lunchtime mindfulness sessions – just 30 minutes a few times a week and open to all staff in 2MS.

“It took many years of vomiting up all the filth I’d been taught about myself, and half-believed, before I was able to walk on the earth as though I had a right to be here.” ― Baldwin, Collected Essays

BEIS

Digital

Digital Communications Drop In

1 September, 11am- 12pm

Parliamentary

Parliamentary Unit drop in sessions

Urgent Questions drop-in session 7th August

Oral PQs drop-in session 21st August

The PQ process drop-in session 4th September

SI drop-in session 11th September

The Debate Process drop-in session 18th September

The PQ process drop-in session 3rd October

Oral PQ process drop-in session 16th October

SI process drop-in session 23rd October

The PQ process drop-in session 13th November

SI process drop-in session 20th November

Leadership and management

Leadership Talk: Keeping the Lights on – Energy Industry Leadership Perspective with John Pettigrew CEO of National Grid plc

11 October, 2017 1:00 pm

Leadership Talk: The new Style of Leadership in the modern UK Civil Service with Clare Moriarty – Permanent Secretary of Defra

2 November, 2017 12:30 pm

Diversity and Inclusion

Mental Health Awareness

14 August, 2017 12:00 pm

Health Kiosk

15 August, 2017 9:30 am

Health Kiosk is returning! There is a limited opportunity for a complimentary health check from CS Healthcare: covering vital health signs such as body fat content, body mass index, blood pressure, heart rate and hydration. Advance booking is required.

Active Listening

17 August, 2017 11:00 am

Wellbeing event to give you awareness, understanding and tools you need to become an active listener.

Parental Support Network: Maternity Leave

19 September, 2017 1:00 pm

Will you or your partner soon be going on maternity leave or returning from maternity leave? Would you like to talk to others in a similar position or who have successfully navigated this transition? If so, do join us for this event. Do also join us if you have recently navigated the transition yourself and can offer some helpful advice to other parents in BEIS.

Policy

UK Governance focus groups – sign up to participate

14 August, 2017

The UK Governance Group (UKGG) is looking for volunteer civil servants to participate in research focus groups, being run on behalf of the UK Governance and Devolution team, it is conducting into civil servants’ engagement with a number of governance and constitutional issues later this month.

Volunteering

BEIS Volunteering Network’s Summer Programme – sign up now!

Volunteering is a great way to give something back to the community, as well as providing an opportunity to build new skills (for example coaching and mentoring), meet new people and get a better understanding of the public we serve. BEIS is keen to support staff volunteering – every staff member can take three days’ paid special volunteering leave each year. Check out our volunteering page on the intranet for more details and FAQs.

Building on the success of all of the great volunteering that has taken place over the past year, this year’s Summer Programme is packed full of volunteering and giving opportunities. From organising an event for your team to having a clear-out and donating your old work clothes to our giving programme, there are plenty ideas for how to get involved.

James Baldwin with Bayard Rustin at the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery.

“There are so many ways of being despicable it quite makes one’s head spin. But the way to be really despicable is to be contemptuous of other people’s pain.” ― Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room

4. Beyond CLoG

WIG Events

Policy

Priorities for National, Long-Term Infrastructure

Tuesday 05 September 2017, 08:00 – 10:30 London, Breakfast Briefing

Delivering on the UK’s emissions reduction targets: A collaborative approach

Thursday 07 September 2017, 12:30 – 16:00 London, Workshop

Transforming the Sustainability Landscape: Ben Ratliff, Head of Innovation, Specialist Services, DHL Supply Chain UK & Ireland

Tuesday 12 September 2017, 08:00 – 10:00 London, Roundtable

Jonathan Jones, Treasury Solicitor, Government Legal Department – The Article 50 process and The Great Repeal Bill

Thursday 21 September 2017, 08:00 – 10:00 London, Breakfast Briefing

Dame Kate Barker and Dr Craig Berry, The Industrial Strategy Commission

Thursday 12 October 2017, 08:00 – 10:00, London, Breakfast Briefing

JB MLK

James Baldwin, Sammy Davis JR and Martin Luther King JR, 1963

“Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. I use the word “love” here not merely in the personal sense but as a state of being, or a state of grace – not in the infantile American sense of being made happy but in the tough and universal sense of quest and daring and growth.” ― Baldwin, The Fire Next Time

 Leaders

Louis Taylor, Chief Executive, UK Export Finance

Wednesday 06 September 2017, 08:00 – 10:00 London, Breakfast Briefing

Jonathan Slater, Permanent Secretary, Department for Education

Thursday 07 September 2017, 08:00 – 10:00 London, Breakfast Briefing

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive, NHS England

Wednesday 13 September 2017, 08:00 – 10:00 London, Breakfast Briefing

Sir Robert Devereux, Permanent Secretary, Department for Work & Pensions

Thursday 14 September 2017, 08:00 – 10:00 London, Breakfast Briefing

Stephen Haddrill, Chief Executive, Financial Reporting Council

Wednesday 20 September 2017, 08:00 – 10:00 London, Breakfast Briefing

Tamim Bayoumi, Deputy Director, Strategy, Policy, and Review Department, International Monetary Fund

Tuesday 26 September 2017, 17:30 – 19:30

London, Evening Briefing

Government / Public Affairs Directors Roundtable: Ilan Jacobs, Director, Global Government Affairs, EMEA , Citi

Thursday 28 September 2017, 08:00 – 09:30 Roundtable

Kevin Cunnington, Director General, Government Digital Service

Thursday 05 October 2017, 08:00 – 10:00

London, Breakfast Briefing

Michael Gibbons, Chairman, Regulatory Policy Committee

Tuesday 10 October 2017, 08:00 – 10:00

London Breakfast Briefing

Dr Peter Ammon, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the United Kingdom

Tuesday 10 October 2017, 12:30 – 14:00 London, Lunchtime Briefing

HE Janice Charette, High Commissioner for Canada to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Wednesday 11 October 2017, 12:30 – 14:00 London, Lunchtime Briefing

Development

Enhancing Personal Impact & Presence

Thursday 07 September 2017, 09:00 – 16:30, Development Seminar

Heads of L&D Roundtable- From Expert to Leader

Thursday 07 September 2017, 12:15 – 14:00 London, Roundtable

WIG/Executive Action Workshop: So you want to be a Non-Executive?

Wednesday 13 September 2017, 09:00 – 17:00 London, Development Seminar

WIG alumni network: an evening with Dr David Halpern, Behavioural Insights Team

Thursday 14 September 2017, 18:00 – 21:00, Evening Briefing

Women’s Leadership: Courage & Presence

Thursday 21 September 2017, 09:00 – 16:30 Development Seminar

Commissioning Academy Alumni: Asset Based Commissioning, Better Outcomes, Better Value

Thursday 28 September 2017, 10:00 – 13:00

London, Commissioning Academy

Powerful, Persuasive Presenting

Thursday 05 October 2017, 09:00 – 16:30 Development Seminar

GDPR – What does it mean for your organisation?

Monday 09 October 2017, 14:00 – 18:00

London Workshop

The Secrets of Group Dynamics: How to influence and manage people in groups

Wednesday 11 October 2017, 09:00 – 16:30 Development Seminar

james BALDWIN

 

Whitehall EU Network

Civil Service Learning

Effective Statutory Instruments and Explanatory Memoranda workshop

Do you deal with Statutory Instruments (SIs) and Explanatory Memoranda (EMs)?  Do you have one coming up in the near future?  Would you like to increase your capability?  Take advice from those dealing with SIs and EMs every day in Parliament in a practical workshop.

Date: Friday 15 September 2017.  Time: 09:30 – 13:00.  Location: London, WC2N 5HX.

Further information and registration details can be found here.

The Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford

Masterclass – Britain’s place in the world

Speaker: Professor Ngaire Woods, inaugural Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government and Professor of Global Economic Governance.

As the UK leaves the EU, our interactions will change: not only with the other 27 Member States but with many governments and international organisations for whom our EU identity has shaped their approach to working with us.

Date: Tuesday 26 September 2017.  Time: 13:30 – 16:30.  Venue: Whitehall, London, SW1A.

Further information and registration details can be found here.

Government Digital Service

The GDS Academy is here

Whether you’re a specialist or non-specialist civil servant, the GDS Academy will help improve your digital awareness by giving you a better understanding of the user-centred methodologies which are at the heart of government transformation.

Westminster Policy Forum

Policy

Improving Apprenticeships in England – quality, assessment and options for policy

Morning, Tuesday, 5th September 2017, Central London

Growth in the UK creative industries and priorities for the Industrial Strategy

Morning, Thursday, 7th September 2017, Central London

Next steps for housing in London and the South East: affordability, meeting demand and the future for social housing

Timing: Morning, Wednesday, 13th September 2017 Venue: Central London

Developing the Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford Corridor: infrastructure, governance and economic growth

Thursday, 7th December 2017, Central London

Priorities for UK broadband connectivity: infrastructure, investment and the Digital Strategy

Morning, Tuesday, 12th September 2017, Sixty One Whitehall, London SW1A 2ET

Diversity and Inclusion

Improving equality at work for BME employees

11th October 2017

Mental health in the workplace – improving support for employers and employees

Monday, 20th November 2017, 9am – 1pm (registration from 8.30am) Central London

Civil Service College

The Legislation Process: From Policy Development to an Act

Understanding the UK Legal System

Behavioural Public Policy

14 November 2017, from 10:00-17:00

Operationalising Policy: Hitting the target but missing the point?

19 October 2017 (10:00-17:00) St James’s Park, London. The course is priced at £550+ VAT.

Inside Government

Policy

Tackling Homelessness and Rough Sleeping

28 September 2017, 08:45-16:00, Prospero House, Central London

Delivering and Investing in Future Infrastructure Projects

Tuesday 31st October 2017, Central London

 

 Getty, Ullstein Bild

“It is astonishing the lengths to which a person, or a people, will go in order to avoid a truthful mirror.” ― James Baldwin, This Morning, This Evening, So Soon

LSE          

In case you missed it:

Good Growth by Design – A Vision for London

Recorded on: 10 July 2017

Speaker(s): Sadiq Khan, Professor Ricky Burdett, Professor Sadie Morgan, Jackie Sadek

For this one-off event the Mayor will describe what good growth will mean for London and Londoners, and how he intends to work with London’s developers, architects, planners, local authorities and communities to deliver it.

Play | Download: Audio, Video

The Evolution of Global Inequalities: the impact on politics and the economy

Recorded on: 5 July 2017

Speaker(s): Professor Branko Milanovic

Play | Download: Audio, Video, Slides

Upcoming events

The Role of the Attorney General: in conversation with Shami Chakrabarti

Thursday 28 September 2017 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Economics for the Common Good

Tuesday 17 October 2017 6:30pm to 8:00pm

When Jean Tirole won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Economics, he suddenly found himself being stopped in the street by complete strangers and asked to comment on issues of the day. His transformation from academic economist to public intellectual prompted him to reflect on the role economists and their discipline play in society.

5. News and Reviews

Whitstable

15 of us made our way to sunny Whitstable for a day of team bonding. Questionably seasoned cockles (too much vinegar) were sampled by some, while others stuck to a trusty has-never-been-and-will-never-be-99p 99 cone. We were hosted by members of the coastal team and it was a great opportunity to see tangible examples of the sorts of issues the unit is trying to tackle.

Whitstable

GRaD

Provided by Antonia Holdgate

Over the past year I’ve been working on the secondary legislation to implement devolution deals. I’ve been enjoying my work in the world of legislation and combined authority policy but I had never seriously considered working in Private Office. I always thought the hours were too long to make it enjoyable. So when I was asked to cover Rachel Meehan’s old role – responsible for the Secretary of State’s event invites, visits and the daypack – for 3 weeks covering the week of the General Election until the end of June, I said yes. On paper it looked like an exciting opportunity to see Private Office at a busy time – post-election and pre-summer recess – with new Ministers potentially on the horizon. With the potential for long hours in the office plus an hour and a half to two hours commute each way, I learned to get savvy when it came to making the most of my time – enter #OvernightOats for the morning commute and a stash of emergency food.

The first few days were about settling in and familiarising myself with the role, seeing the departure of Steven Howell and a welcome to James Nation as the new PS for Housing and Planning. This was followed by a brief period of excitement as the General Election took place and we waited to hear of our Ministerial line-up.

Week 2 and Sajid Javid was back in the office. I wrote my first ever box note (hint – it needs to be easy to read and concise, with a clear purpose). I learned quite quickly that organisation reigns in private office, and that knowing what is coming in and when is incredibly important.

Then on 14 June, a fire started in a tower block in West Kensington that rapidly consumed the building. I first heard of it as I was waiting for the train in Essex – my auntie in the Philippines messaged me over Facebook simply to say “I hope you are ok”: Cue confused googling and checking BBC News. I didn’t initially realise the scale of what was happening until I saw it on the 4th floor TV screens which surround you with a constant stream of images.

The fire prompted a massive rapid response from the Department, with colleagues working overnight and through the weekend. I saw herculean efforts from every single member of the private office team, especially as the scale of disaster began to unfold and the Finsbury Park attack added to pressure. Colleagues worked tirelessly to keep Ministers updated and to understand the problems themselves, eventually settling into a more even rhythm the following week. And they did it all without a massive sense of humour failure.

Despite all of this, routine business continued. Submissions were sent, box notes continued to be drafted, briefing was requested and invites to events continued to flood in. Although it was easy to be swept up into supporting the Grenfell work, it was important to ensure the routine items carried on. Some invites provided a bit of light relief – an invitation to a Christmas tree handover in December deserves an honourable mention.

So I ploughed on with the invites as well as chasing updated CRIPs, and briefing for the daypack. One of the highlights of the cover period was working alongside Beth Lambert in the MSU visits team to organise, in under an hour, a successful visit for the Secretary of State to the Westway centre. I also got to stand with the rest of the team and Grenfell response colleagues when the PM came to visit – close enough to see the leopard print on her pumps.

I feel that I saw Private Office in the most extraordinary of times. I certainly have a new appreciation for the deadlines they set and how work is prioritised. Here are a few of the things I took away from those 3 weeks:

  • Preparing box notes takes time. Talk to the private secretaries and meet your deadlines.
  • If you’re not sure about a commission – ask.
  • Remember the routine work – even if it doesn’t seem like a priority or you feel it’s unimportant, leaving it until later can leave faces red if you’re not careful.
  • When you’re all under the cosh, take a bit of time to talk to your colleagues, small things like making a cup of tea can be helpful and also gives you a bit of breathing space away from the desk.
  • Take care of yourself and allow yourself to recognise that it’s ok to feel stressed – your feelings are not invalid simply because you’re not experiencing the situation first hand.
  • Plastic containers are much better than mason jars for overnight oats – you feel 90% less hipster and more confident about chucking your bag around on the trainTo end the cover period I took 3 days off before returning to my normal role. This time allowed me to de-compress, rest up and get ready to throw myself back into the exciting world of combined authorities. Would I cover again? Yes. Would I consider a role in Private Office? Yes, although I would definitely need to live a bit closer. The work-life balance IS manageable; not every night is a late night but it just didn’t work out for me personally. Most importantly I enjoyed it. The people are great, the work is fascinating and it’s changed the way I look at the department for the better Plus I got a handshake from the man himself.

Finally, if you’re heading off on holiday this summer or simply fancy something different for the train home, have a go at Gemma’s holiday themed word-searches:

TRAVEL WORDSEARCH

HOLIDAY WORDSEARCH

June’s L & D Blog

Welcome to June’s edition of the Learning and Development blog.

This introduction is a little on the sombre side; you are welcome to skip it if it might be upsetting. So:

I sometimes utterly despair at the human capacity for inflicting injustice. I am also sometimes in absolute awe of the human capacity for compassion. These two perspectives have hung heavily with me for the past two weeks, with (seemingly) ceaseless tragedies gripping communities across the UK. Some of these hit close to home.

However, I found myself concluding that in times like these, it is the latter belief in the human capacity for compassion that forges and bolsters the resilience needed to overcome tragedies, to look after those that have survived and, indeed, to begin instigating the long-term changes needed to ensure that these things stop happening.

It has been genuinely uplifting to see people come together in support of their communities. Whether organised and efficient or spontaneous but well-meaning in their response, plenty of people have displayed a remarkable capacity for compassion.

As such, this month’s post will generally feature some of the wonderful displays of community that have occurred over the past few weeks.

You’ll notice that much of these have come about through people’s willingness to volunteer, and actively participate in the communities in which they live. If you feel like doing the same in some way, please do consider using your civil servant volunteer days.

I am very proud of, and grateful for, the volunteering that colleagues have already undertaken in relation to recent events. And if you’d like to speak to someone in confidence about any of the above, please do ask your manager about the help available in BEIS and DCLG.

Support and solidarity are very much the order of the day.

In this edition…

  1. CLoG Activities

  2. Regional opportunities

  3. BEIS and DCLG

  4. Beyond CLoG

  5. MOOCs, podcasts and videos

  6. News and Reviews

Next CLoG Learning and Development Day – July 13th

By 2030, we should see the biggest change to the Civil Service since the Northcote-Trevelyan report which revolutionised the civil service in the middle of the 19th Century. It’s a big claim, but Trevalyan’s report was the culmination of efforts to reform government to reflect the changing world of the industrial age, and we are at a similar cross road. Even though we may not realise it, we are at the end of the digital beginning and the whole world is reshaping and retooling itself for life in the new normal. By 2030, we won’t be talking about digital this or digital that, it will just be the accepted mode of delivery, the question for us is, are we ready?

Our next L&D Day, on Thursday 13th July, will focus on the new normal. We have arranged a series of interactive sessions to open our minds up to the possibilities available to us to enhance ourselves as great policy makers. This will include developing our understanding of the current Government position through a session on the digital strategy. We want to build on this throughout the day, and challenge ourselves on how digital can enhance our work. This will take place through workshops on digital devolution from Tech UK, digital high streets, collaboration software, social media and infographics.

Unfortunately, there won’t be a hologram of Tom Walker, but there will be a robot and a digital treasure hunt to get your extra dose of excitement for the day – we look forward to seeing you there!

2- Grenfell volunteers

Grenfell volunteers setting up at the Westway Sports centre. Photograph: Dinendra Haria/Rex/Shutterstock

2. Regional opportunities

Policy

Transport in the North of England: infrastructure, economic growth and devolution

Morning, Tuesday, 18th July 2017, Central Manchester

The future for the Midlands Engine

Morning, Tuesday, 12th September 2017, Central Birmingham

Leadership and management

Leeds: Performance Coaching Workshop  

Fri 7 July – 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

Nottingham: Performance Coaching Workshop

Wed 12 July – 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

Leeds: Time Management Zoo – A Core Curriculum Session

Tue 18 July – 11:45 am – 12:45 pm

Two in five of DCLG staff told the People Survey that they don’t have an acceptable workload, and almost a third said they don’t have a good balance between their work and private lives – the scores on these questions were statistically significantly worse than those of high performing units across the civil service. So if we’re all very busy, what can we do about it?

CI UK LEAP Academy 2017

Birmingham, United Kingdom Friday, 7 July 2017 at 17:30 – Sunday, 9 July 2017 at 16:00

Now in its sixth year, the programme will give the opportunity for aspiring leaders to become better leaders, through the high quality training delivered, and the chance to reflect on how personality styles impact on so much of what we do, and how we interact with others.

Unconscious Bias by Northern Powerhouse Briefings

£64.31

Wed 12 July 2017, 09:30 – 12:15, York

Understand and learn how bias can affect your decision regarding, recruitment, promotions, support your team.

Women’s mentoring scheme

Bristol: Crossing Thresholds, Grade 6 & 7 

Thu 6 July – 9:15 am – Fri 7 July – 5:00 pm

Crossing Thresholds is a 12 month career mentoring programme for women who want to develop their career in a structured and supportive environment.

Glasgow: Crossing Thresholds, HEO/SEO (EO)

Mon 10 July – 9:15 am – Tue 11 July – 5:00 pm

Birmingham: Crossing Thresholds, Grade 6 & 7

Tue 25 July – 9:15 am – Wed 26 July – 5:00 pm

Career development

Leeds: Career Advice Session  

Tue 18 July – 10:30 am – 11:30 am

We are often so caught up in the battle of doing our day-to-day work that we don’t take the time to think about what we are learning as we go along. This session is a set of top tips that have been accrued and combined together, some of the best pieces of advice that have been received by civil servants or which civil servants want to share with their colleagues.

3 - Grenfell volunteers setting up iftar

Volunteers setting up a street iftar (the meal at which Muslims fasting during the holy month break their fast) near the Grenfell site

3. BEIS and DCLG

BEIS

Policy and policy development

Policy Masterclass: Science Advice in an Emergency

5 July, 2017 2:30 pm

Learn with colleagues across government on the role of science advice in a national or international emergency.

Feminism in policy making

4 July, 6:00 pm – 7:15 pm

Hosted by the cross-Whitehall exploring economics network, this event will explore the different ways in which gender is constructed in economic thinking and how feminist approaches to economics may be harnessed to inform better policy decisions.

BEIS Academy Seminar: Introduction to Home and Local Energy Efficiency Policies

13 July, 2017 2:00 pm

This seminar sets out what BEIS is doing to drive energy efficiency across buildings in the residential and public sector. This seminar is for government officials who have either no, or only some, knowledge of the policy area.

Parliamentary

Bespoke PQ Training from BEIS Parly team:

Parly Unit recently did a series of talks & workshops on a range of parliamentary work, including PQs training. For those who couldn’t make it to the PQs session, I would like to offer policy teams the opportunity to have the PQs session to be repeated for their team. Alternatively, if there was something more bespoke you were looking for or you just wanted someone just to come along to your next team meeting to talk about Parliamentary Questions, then we’d like to hear from you.

As the next couple of weeks are going to be relatively quiet as goes parliamentary work, we thought this would be an excellent opportunity for teams to look at PQs, answer drafting tips, the life cycle of a question, and get theoretically and practically engaged with the PQ process.

If your team is interested in doing something like this over the next couple of weeks, do let us know and hopefully we can arrange a suitable date, time and venue.

Please email BEIS Parly Unit for more information, or to take up the offer.

How Parliament Works – and what this means for you

21 July, 2017 9:30 am

Are you new to the department, or new to parliamentary work? Either way, this event is designed for you.

The Legislative Process – how does this work and let’s look at lessons learned

21 July, 2017 11:00 am

Are you new to working on a bill? Then this is the session for you.

Secondary Legislation 1

21 July, 2017 2:00 pm

How S.I.s are co-ordinated and how to effectively instruct Legal to draft your S.I.s

Secondary Legislation 2

24 July, 2017 9:30 am

Do you know your Negatives from your Affirmatives? Come along to this session to find out what we need and what’s involved.

Parliamentary Questions and how you can improve your performance

24 July, 2017 11:00 am

If the thought of staring at a blank PQ template fills you with horror, worry no more. This session provides all the essentials you need to draft effective PQ answers, and will give you an insight as to the importance of PQs to the Department and the wider political process.

Select Committees – roles and responsibilities in the inquiry process

24 July, 2017 2:00 pm

Finding Committees a cause for confusion? This interactive session will familiarise attendees with Select Committee procedure and give a detailed overview of the inquiry process from beginning to end.

4 - FP flowers

Hundreds of Londoners gathered for the Finsbury Park vigil, carrying flowers

Leadership talks

Leadership Talk: Putting the Customer First with Liv Garfield – Chief Executive of Severn Trent

5 July, 2017 1:00 pm

Part of the Leadership Talks

Leadership Talk: Keeping the Lights on – Energy Industry Leadership Perspective with John Pettigrew CEO of National Grid plc

11 October, 2017 1:00 pm

Part of the Leadership Talks

Leadership Talk: The new Style of Leadership in the modern UK Civil Service with Clare Moriarty – Permanent Secretary of Defra

2 November, 2017 12:30 pm

Part of the Leadership Talks

5 - refugee week at South bank centre

Southbank Centre and Counterpoints Arts came together to celebrate Refugee Week –  the theme was ‘Our Shared Future’, looking at how both settled and newly arrived communities have come together for generations to contribute to the fabric of the UK.

Diversity and inclusion

Parental Support Network: Starting Secondary School

4 July, 2017 1:00 pm

Do you have a child making the transition from Junior to Secondary school in September? Would you like to talk to others in a similar position or who have successfully navigated this transition? If so, do join us for this event. Do also join us if you have recently navigated the transition yourself and can offer some helpful advice to other parents in BEIS.

Dyslexia & Dyspraxia Network Meeting

5 July, 2017 4:00 pm

An informal meeting of the new BEIS Dyslexia and/or Dyspraxia Network. Open to everyone, this is an opportunity to help shape the Network’s ‘offer’ to both staff with dyslexia/dyspraxia and those who work with them.

Health Kiosk

1 August, 2017 10:30 am

Health Kiosk is returning! There is a limited opportunity for a complimentary health check from CS Healthcare: covering vital health signs such as body fat content, body mass index, blood pressure, heart rate and hydration. Advance booking is required.

DCLG

Working with Ministers

Drafting for Ministers – A Core Curriculum Event

Mon 21 August – 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Leadership and management

Introduction to Negotiation: Hints and Tips

Tue 4 July – 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Time Management Zoo  

Tue 4 July – 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Policy and policy development

Policy Essentials: An Introduction to Policy in DCLG (Part 2)

Thu 6 July – 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Policy Essentials: An Introduction to Policy in DCLG (Part 1)

Mon 7 August – 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Consultation and Engagement  

Tue 11 July – 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Housing Induction Day  

Mon 17 July – 9:30 am – 5:00 pm

The effectiveness of the planning system to support housing and building more new homes is at the heart of Government policy and attracts high public interest. We have designed two workshops – one covering planning and the other housing – which provide an overview of the policy area, and the current policy initiatives and challenges.

Introduction to Project Planning

Tue 25 July – 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Parliamentary

Legal Awareness Session: Introduction to Bills

Tue 11 July – 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

IT and correspondence

Join a session to see the upgraded Despatch Box

Word for Beginners  

Wed 19 July – 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

DCLG Economic and Social Research Seminar

Inequalities in later life – reflections from the Centre for Ageing Better When: Tuesday 04 July 12:30-13:30 What is it about? Anna Dixon, Chief Executive of the Centre for Ageing Better and Claire Turner, Interim Director of Evidence discuss the Centre for Ageing Better’s work on inequalities in later life. Who should attend? Anyone working on or interested in social care and those wanting to enjoy later life to the fullest or will one day be old.

10 - world refugee day art

“All I left behind. All I will discover” was held at London’s Oxo Tower as part of Refugee Week, featuring work from refugee teenagers, supported by the Red Cross. Image: One Country. “One World. One Planet. One Future.”  is a work that plays on the themes of board game snakes and ladders and shows the routes taken by refugees on their way to the UK. More than 80 teens aged 15 to 19 from countries including Syria, Eritrea and Sudan contributed to the project.

4. Beyond CLoG

WIG events

The Whitehall & Industry Group (WIG) is an independent charity and membership organisation. WIG champions learning and understanding between the sectors through a diverse calendar of events, leadership programmes for different career levels, and a talent function placing people across sectors in short-term roles.

Departments

Philippa Lloyd, Director General, Higher and Further Education, Department for Education

WEDNESDAY 19 JULY 2017, 08:00 – 10:00 BREAKFAST BRIEFING

Policy

Michael Gibbons, Chairman, Regulatory Policy Committee

TUESDAY 04 JULY 2017, 08:00 – 10:00 LONDON, BREAKFAST BRIEFING

Brexit and the UK food and drink sector

WEDNESDAY 05 JULY 2017, 08:00 – 10:00 LONDON, BREAKFAST BRIEFING

Sir John Kingman, Chair, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) – Commercialising Research and Innovation

THURSDAY 13 JULY 2017, 08:00 – 10:00, BREAKFAST BRIEFING

Heads of Brexit Roundtable

THURSDAY 13 JULY 2017, 12:30 – 14:00 ROUND TABLE

WIG Open Data Forum

TUESDAY 18 JULY 2017, 09:00 – 12:30 LONDON WORKSHOP

Public/Private sector leaders

D&I Network Roundtable: Paul George, Executive Director of Corporate Governance & Reporting, Financial Reporting Council

THURSDAY 06 JULY 2017, 08:15 – 09:30 LONDON, ROUND TABLE

Rob Shaw, Chief Executive, NHS Digital

WEDNESDAY 12 JULY 2017, 08:00 – 10:00 BREAKFAST BRIEFING

Stephen King, Senior Economic Adviser, HSBC

THURSDAY 15 JUNE 2017, 08:00 – 10:00 LONDON

Duncan Taylor CBE, British Ambassador to Mexico

FRIDAY 14 JULY 2017, 08:00 – 10:00 LONDON, BREAKFAST BRIEFING

Westminster policy forum

Westminster Forum Projects (WFP) has its origins in the UK national Parliament, but its work now extends to policy decided in UK devolved Parliaments and Assemblies, the Oireachtas, and the European Commission and Parliament. WFP currently offers 16 influential, impartial and cross-party forums.

Diversity and inclusion

Improving equality at work for BME employees

Wednesday, 11th October 2017

Mental health in the workplace – improving support for employers and employees

Monday, 20th November 2017

Policy

Priorities for transport in London and the South East: infrastructure, funding, and the Mayor’s Transport Strategy

Morning, Thursday, 29th June 2017, Central London

Fake news – scope, public trust and options for policy

Morning, Thursday, 13th July 2017, Central London

Next steps for technical education in England – T-levels, implementing the Post-16 Skills Plan and financial sustainability

Morning, Monday, 3rd July 2017, Central London

Devolution and economic growth in London – assessing the impact of London’s devolution agreement on infrastructure, competitiveness and skills

Morning, Tuesday, 11th July 2017, Central London

Improving Apprenticeships in England – quality, assessment and options for policy

Morning, Tuesday, 5th September 2017, Central London

Next steps for housing in London and the South East

Wednesday, 13th September 2017, Central London

Developing the Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford Corridor: infrastructure, governance and economic growth

Thursday, 7th December 2017, Central London

6 - JC heart

The Greater Get Together 2017 took place between 16-18 June. Image shows pupils in Birmingham paying tribute to Jo Cox.

Showcase events

Globalisation in Crisis? The Urban and Regional Challenges of the Great Instability Conference

Cambridge Political Economy Society

Thursday, July 13, 2017 – Friday, July 14, 2017, 09:00 – 17:30

Good Growth by Design – A Vision for London (Speaker- Sadiq Khan): Hosted by IPA, LSE cities and LSE London, Mon 10 July  6.30-8pm

Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, will be speaking on 10 July at LSE on the issue of ‘good growth’ and how he intends to work with developers, planners and LAs to achieve it in London. Should be relevant those interested in the direction of travel for development projects in London and the wider civic renewal agenda.

It’s a free but ticketed affair- you will need to apply directly at the link below:

http://www.lse.ac.uk/Events/2017/07/201707101830vLSE/Good-Growth-by-Design

 

Inside Government

Effectively Regulating Private Housing and Tackling Rogue Landlords

13 July 2017, 08:45-16:00

Cavendish Conference Centre, London

The Future of Technical and Vocational Education

11 July 2017, 08:45-16:20

Hallam Conference Centre, London

Delivering and Investing in Future Infrastructure Projects

Tuesday 31st October 2017, Central London

7 - Dorking church

The event, in memory of Jo Cox, was marked with street parties, picnics and gatherings in churches, mosques and synagogues. Image shows a church in Dorking decorated with bunting.

Diversity and inclusion

The below lists reports and opportunities related to diversity and inclusion:

  • Diversity Benchmark brings clarity to disparities.  Thomas Colquhoun-Alberts, Business in the Community Diversity Benchmark and Knowledge Manager examines the disparities between the employment rate of BAME and White people and encourages participation in the Business in the Community Diversity Benchmark as a key consideration in developing a strategic approach to tackling these inequalities.
  • The time for talking is over – read the report.
  • New View is an exciting new publication launched by Inclusive Boards with the aim of supporting BAME professionals in their career journey, and promoting more BAME representation in a range of sectors UK-wide.
  • Disability Inclusion – Building a diverse and inclusive workforce requires a work culture where all employees feel fully engaged and able to fulfil their potential. Leadership and human resources practices both play critical roles in shaping an organization’s work culture, and are therefore key to making employers more inclusive of employees of all diversities and abilities.
  • Reducing gender gaps would significantly benefit women, society and the economy
  • Take part in the following consultation: the Mayor’s vision for a Diverse and Inclusive city

Start date: 15 June 2017 End date: 11 September 2017

You can click here for a full list of upcoming DCLG BAME network events:  BAMEnet events handout

5. MOOCs, podcasts and videos

BEIS Leadership talks

Leadership Matters: 3×15

Centre for Cities

City Talks: Voice of the city – lessons for the English metro mayors

City Talks: How can we achieve inclusive growth?

City Talks: what does a modern industrial strategy actually look like?

More City Talks podcasts can be found here.

LSE

Learning from Complaints: the benefits to organisations of listening to uncomfortable truths

Prejudice

Britain’s Housing Crisis: causes and cures

Breaking the Glass Ceiling

Future Learn

Planetary Urbanisation: Global Challenges in a Changing World

Business Fundamentals: Project Management

8 - traders in borough market

Traders in borough market support one another following the market’s reopening in the wake of terror attacks (Picture: PlanZheroes)

6. News and reviews

GRaD – a General Election wisely spent?

A fuller version of this review featuring graphs, can be read here: A recess wisely spent_GRaD.

At the end of April, the Intranet urged us all to take the opportunity of the general election period to get up to date with the housekeeping, make the most of the L&D opportunities on offer and snatch some well-earned R&R. So, how did we do? And what else did we get up to? … we ran our own survey to find out.

Unsurprisingly, election planning came top of our list – we all got involved in iterating slide packs and other products for incoming ministers, and drafting advice on matters requiring urgent attention, like the South Tees Development Corporation. We also all managed to take some annual leave, largely thanks to Her Majesty (Happy Birthday!). We got a fair bit of housekeeping done in preparation for the PIMS switch-off and the new telephony system, but we were less keen on tidying our lockers and writing objectives, and we failed miserably to nominate anyone for a CS diversity and inclusion award.

So how did we do on L&D?

Pretty well, actually. It proved a more popular general election period occupation than both filing and submitting expenses claims! And between us we did a huge range of things to grow our skills, knowledge and experience – from the core curriculum and beyond.

  • we learned skills for negotiation, despatch box, consultation and involving the public in policy making
  • we know more about Ramadan, HS2, opinion polling and policy change
  • we have heard from leaders on their careers, personal resilience and the general election and met the new Mayor of the West Midlands
  • we have visited Parliament, Birmingham, Nottingham and Strasbourg, and a couple of us went all the way to the 4th floor of 2MS to cover roles in Simon’s office and the Secretary of State’s office.

We have also helped with L&D for colleagues, facilitating the Party Manifestos workshop and LGBT Ally induction session, and we gave a presentation on the history of local government reorganisation in England since 1974 at a conference in Eupen, Belgium.

We have also been turning our lessons learned work into some practical products to share – a policy board game and a top 10 tips piece on making secondary legislation are both in development.

It seems safe to conclude that here is GRaD we are more informed, more rested and better prepared to serve the new Government … in short, a general election period well spent!

Governance Reform and Democracy Unit

9 - reopening

Reopening of borough market

Visit to MIRA EZ – 5 JUNE 2017

John Millar is the Area Lead for Sheffield City Region

12 of us recently visited to Motor Industry Research Association (MIRA) near Nuneaton which is now owned by Horiba – a Japanese measurement instrumentation company. This is a very impressive site with ambitious plans for future expansion. The key issues/learning points we took away from the visit were:

  • The current finite life of business rate relief poses a problem for this EZ given the delayed start to development generally experienced by EZs at the end of the noughties;
  • Backlog issues with Valuation Office could potentially prevent new buildings being allocated a rateable value – thus possibly causing a lag in generating business rates;
  • Importance of encouraging collaboration within companies on the EZ – security and infrastructure remain very important issues for tenants;
  • Important to have a good relationship with LEP – MIRA has an interesting model of using recycled business rate uplifts supporting local development. LGF also being used to support a new skills centre being developed by the local college and the LEP is also supporting MIRA’s marketing efforts;
  • Relationship with Local Authority also very important – interesting example of improving the main road using RGF with both direct and indirect jobs targets and the LA as accountable body – also getting overall planning policy for the site agreed very important as this enabled planning decisions on individual buildings to be made quickly under delegated authority arrangements.

One of the great start-up companies we visited on the EZ was Baro:

http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/golf-buggy-maker-hopes-to-create-50-jobs/story-30226359-detail/story.html

A day in the life of Tom Walker

Palbinder Sandhu is currently on secondment to CLoG from Bradford Council, and works in the Future Growth Funding team.  

Last week I shadowed Tom for a day and gained insight into the working day of our Director. We attended lots of meetings ranging from transformational work stream discussions with officers to introductory meetings between policy leads and the new Minister, Jake Berry. It was interesting to see his initial engagement with the LEP, Industrial Strategy and Future Funding policy areas that were presented to him.

Tom was great at explaining what was coming up next and giving me some background and context as we dashed from one meeting to another.

In the afternoon’s Leadership team meeting there was plenty of strategic discussion on ‘place conversations’, the potential opportunities to engage with Ministers and the People Plan.

Unfortunately, I had a deadline to meet so I couldn’t attend a pre-brief that followed for a mayoral phone call, but nevertheless it was an interesting day that gave me exposure to high level leadership discussions. The highlight was being able to plug for a Northern Powerhouse railway station in my hometown of Bradford when I met Jake Berry – #NextStopBradford.

I would highly recommend shadowing as part of your Learning and Development …you’ll also get to see Tom’s multi-tasking skills in action: walking, talking and responding to emails on the go. Do make sure to bring a packed lunch though, as I discovered there’s no time at the top to stop! Thanks for the opportunity, Tom.

1- EW replace

…skipping across the pond for a moment to acknowledge Pride month in the US:

As part of their 30 Days of Pride initiative, Billboard kicked off the month with a project titled “Love Letters to the LGBTQ Community” — where notable pop culture luminaries submit open letters to the LGBTQ community. Due to an outpouring of interest, they decided to continue this project by adding more letters to the collection – including one from Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Warren’s letter says, ‘Pride shows our country at its best: diverse, inclusive, united, and strong.’ I think the sentiment can be applied universally.

May’s L & D Blog

Welcome to this guest edition of the CLoG L&D Blog. When our resident editor Maariyah asked me to pick a theme for and find some photos, I immediately thought along the lines of spring and renewal. Little did I know how fitting that would be with the surprise announcement of a general election on June 8th.

Right, while I’m the captain of this ship, I’m going to use this opportunity to give a shameless plug to my own photos that have some sort of tenuous link to the spring/renewal theme. Before that though, I’ve been trying to renew my love of reading for leisure. By that token I mean I’ve spent an unreasonable amount of money on books and left them to gather dust on my shelf. A book I have finished reading recently is Enid Blyton’s Five Go On A Strategy Away Day: one of the very few Famous Five books I never managed to locate in my community library decades ago. We all love a good away day (in fact, Ben and Joe’s division have one coming up in May!) so if you’d like to borrow my copy give me a shout!

Speaking of literature, Tom Walker mentioned, in his pre-Easter weekly note, J.A. Baker’s The Peregrine and a family trip to RSPB Wallasea Island Nature Reserve. I picked up the book and am slowly making my way through it, a few pages at a time. This review might encourage you to do the same.

Tom also mentioned in a more recent huddle that we should use the pre-election period to get out and see some places. Chris Turner and Ed Chapman are organising visits to Enterprise Zones in the coming weeks so get in touch if you’re interested. Being a fairly keen cyclist I’d pre-empted Tom’s suggestion and decided to cycle the 50 miles from my home to Wallasea Island on Easter Sunday, making it in time to catch a stunning sunset and see directly how our local growth work is indirectly supporting the reserve. It’s a great place to visit and I recommend it to anyone.

We’ll all be coming out of end of year moderation and thinking about our meeting our objectives and how we can improve in the coming year. For Muslim colleagues, Ramadhan is also approaching, a time of year when many renew their intentions to become better versions of themselves. I’ll be looking at what I want to achieve spiritually and in my personal life, as well as at work. One of things I’ve always been interested in is telling stories. Previously I did this through words, but now I’ve found a new/additional method and passion – photography. If I can help you tell the story of your area/policy with photos, do get in touch. In the mean time, get out and enjoy the remnants of spring and the photos that follow!

In this Edition…

  1. CLoG Activities
  2. BEIS and DCLG
  3. CLoG and beyond
  4. News and Reviews

     

    1

    The Famous Five, like CLoG, love an away day!

1. CLoG Activities

Policy School

Tees Valley, 13-14 June

The Cities and Local Growth Unit’s Policy School is one of the teams flagship L&D opportunities.

It’s an intensive two day event that explores a range of the policy tools and techniques and provides an opportunity to apply them to develop new place-based policies. Attached is last year’s participant pack for more information.

You will be:

  • given the opportunity to hone your policy-making expertise through sessions with policy profession experts;
  • put into teams and challenged to generate a researched policy idea to support local growth in the Tees Valley (with a focus on the Industrial Strategy and inclusive growth); and
  • pitching your policy proposals to a panel including Simon Ridley, Director General for Decentralisation and Growth (DCLG) and Andrew Lewis, Managing Director (TVCA)

Work-life balance case studies –following on the from the unit’s last learning and development day, please contact Robin Froggatt-Smith for copies of the work-life balance case studies.

The unit’s next L&D day: 13th of July

The theme for the day will be “Digital” – mark/accept it in your calendar!

2

A visit to Wallasea Island, inspired by one of Tom Walker’s notes.

1. BEIS and DCLG

DCLG

May:

Do Something Digital

Steve O’Connor, DCLG’s new Chief Technical Officer, together with policy, communications and L&D colleagues, is putting together a Digital L&D Fortnight in May.

‘Digital Fortnight: Do something digital’, will be a major part of the Learning at Work Week and will offer a really great digital experiences for everyone.  There will be formal presentations, coaching sessions, Q&As, show and tell and ‘how to’ sessions throughout the month starting on 15th May.  The idea is that we all learn something new and relevant about digital working and do something different/new as a result. Steve is looking for people from across the business who have experience of one or more of the digital packages listed below and are willing to share it with others through a small coaching or ‘how to’ sessions:

  • Trello.
  • Survey Monkey (& equivalents).
  • Brandwatch.
  • Eventbrite.
  • Twitter.
  • Other Social Media – Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat)
  • Mailchimp.
  • Slack/Basecamp.
  • WordPress.

If you are up for spreading the word and helping others develop their knowledge and skills of these or other great business digital tools (there may be others we haven’t thought of) then please get in touch with Kate Abbott (the Head of Learning and Development) asap.

3The trusty steed that transports me to places, taking in the sunset at Wallasea Island.

More information can be found on the intranet: https://intranet.dclg.gov.uk/news/make-a-date-to-do-something-digital/

Selection Tools Training

Wed 10 May – 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

This training will help managers understand what selection tools are available to them and how to use them. This would be particularly useful for those who have not sifted or interviewed before and for those deciding how best to assess candidates.

Spotlight: Perspectives on Industrial Strategy – Paola Conconi on the Future of Trade

Thu 11 May – 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Paola Conconi is Professor of Economics at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, a Member of the European Centre for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES) and Research Associate of the Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS). Her main research interests are in international trade, firm organization, and political economy. In this session, she will be speaking on the evolving nature of trade, as well as future risks and opportunities it presents.

Policy Essentials: An Introduction to Policy in DCLG (Part 1)

Fri 12 May – 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Policy is a key part of what we do in DCLG. This course will give you a framework to help structure your policy thinking so that you can approach various policy challenges with confidence. Policy officials are expected to provide succinct advice to ministers so that they can take well-informed decisions.

Return to part 2 of the course to share your reflections of the application of the learning.

Performance Coaching Workshop

Mon 15 May – 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

These workshops are designed to help provide managers with the tools necessary to deliver effective development focused conversations.

Building your Resilience – a Health and Wellbeing Workshop

Tue 16 May – 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Delivered by Kate Abbott, Mental Health Ambassador and Mental Health First Aider

Compliant Recruitment

Tue 16 May – 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

This course will help managers recruit compliantly and effectively. It will talk through the stages of the recruitment process and answer questions such as ‘how many people should be on a sift/interview panel?’

Introduction to Project Planning

Tue 16 May – 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

This course will help you understand how to effectively plan a project and some of the main reasons why projects fail.

Planning induction

Thursday 25 May

4

I didn’t see any peregrines at Wallasea Island, but did manage to snap this splendid swan at sunset.

June:

DCLGs relationship with Parliament

DCLG Economic and Social Research Seminars: Spring-Summer 2017

Government 3.0: Transforming government productivity to deliver better outcomes for less Thursday 18 May 12:30-13:30 What is it about? Tera Allas, visiting Fellow at McKinsey Global Institute and former Director General at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and former Deputy Head of the Government Economic Service discusses improving the efficiency and the quality of services government agencies provide using tried and proven methods.  Who should attend? Anyone working in efficiency and reform of government services and those interested in the challenges the government face in meeting the needs of the growing, on-demand future.  Book your place: https://dclg-seminar-18may-tera-allas.eventbrite.co.uk     

Economic prospects for the UK post-BREXIT When: Wednesday 21 June 12:30-13:30 What is it about? Patrick Minford, Professor of Applied Economics at Cardiff University and supporter of the Better Off Out campaign to leave the European Union discusses the economic prospects for the UK of leaving the EU.  Who should attend? Anyone working on or interested in Brexit related policies or those interested in the challenges facing the UK outside of the EU.

 Productivity performance and prospects in the UK When: Wednesday 28 June 12:30-13:30 What is it about? Sir Dave Ramsden CBE, Head of the Government Economic Service, and Chief Economic Adviser at HM Treasury discusses productivity performance  and prospects in the UK. Who should attend? Anyone interested in sustainable economic growth, macro economic sustainability, and paying less tax.

Inequalities in later life – reflections from the Centre for Ageing Better When: Tuesday 04 July 12:30-13:30 What is it about? Anna Dixon, Chief Executive of the Centre for Ageing Better and Claire Turner, Interim Director of Evidence discuss the Centre for Ageing Better’s work on inequalities in later life. Who should attend? Anyone working on or interested in social care and those wanting to enjoy later life to the fullest or will one day be old.

5

I also captured a kestrel in Bushy Park a few weeks ago, which is about as close as you can get to a peregrine, I think.

There are many nature reserves in London and the UK, and having explored a number of them I have to say Bushy Park is my firm favourite with its wonderful mix of well-tended plantations, its wilder fields and an abundant variety of flora and fauna.

BEIS

Parliamentary

Parliamentary Questions and how you can improve your performance

24 May, 2017

If the thought of staring at a blank PQ template fills you with horror, worry no more. This session provides all the essentials you need to draft effective PQ answers, and will give you an insight as to the importance of PQs to the department and the wider political process.

Statutory Instruments/Laying Papers

24 May, 2017

Do you know your Negatives from your Affermatives? Do you know your Acts from your Command Papers? Then come along to this session to find out what we need and what’s involved.

Select Committees

24 May, 2017

Finding Committees a cause for confusion? This interactive session will familiarise attendees with Select Committee procedure and give a detailed overview of the inquiry process from beginning to end.

The legislative process

24 May, 2017

The legislative process – how does this work and let’s look at lessons learned. Are you new to working on a bill? Then this is the session for you.

Select Committee Drop-In

5 June, 2017

Interested in learning more about Select Committees? Drop in and have a chat

6

Other BEIS events/opportunities

BEIS Academy Seminar: An Introduction to Financial Markets

8 May, 2017 10:00 am

We all know that around £200Bn investment requirement in UK energy infrastructure is dependent on private sector funding, this seminar is open to anyone who wishes to learn more about the finance community and its role in financing energy (and energy efficiency) investment. No prior knowledge is required.

Spotlight: Perspectives on Industrial Strategy – Professor Paola Conconi

11 May, 2017 2:00 pm

Paola Conconi on the evolving nature of trade, and its future risks and opportunities.

BEIS Academy Seminar: Electricity Interconnection – panacea for the energy trilemma?

15 May, 2017 10:00 am

This seminar is for all BEIS staff interested in understanding the biggest change to energy systems over the next decade.

Commercial Skills- Module 1- Energy Markets

17 May, 2017 9:00 am

This workshop will focus on Electricity & Gas markets in the UK, the International perspective and alternatives to the UK model, and trading strategies.

Commercial Skills- Module 2- Financial Markets

18 May, 2017 9:00 am

This module will take a detailed look at sources of finance including debt, equity, project finance and analysis (including risk analysis).

BEIS Academy Seminar: Introduction to Climate Change Science – Fact, Fiction and Future

22 May, 2017 2:00 pm

This seminar is aimed at all BEIS staff who would like a better understanding of the science, facts, fiction, and challenges surrounding climate change. It will be particularly useful to new starters or existing staff seeking to update or refresh their knowledge of climate change.

BEIS Academy Seminar: Introduction to Local Growth, Energy and Devolution

22 May, 2017 2:00 pm

The seminar will provide participants with the key information on local energy and the work that is being delivered at a local level and help them understand how devolution affects their work

BEIS Academy Seminar: How to Review the Quality of Evidence Properly

23 May, 2017 2:00 pm

This seminar starts by covering the common misuse of the terms, ‘literature review’ and ‘evidence review’, and then shows how evidence quality can be assessed quantitatively to determine what evidence is deemed to be of a high enough quality to inform policy development

7

Spotlight: Perspectives on Industrial Strategy – Professor Philip McCann

25 May, 2017 2:00 pm

Philip McCann on ‘Meso-level’ institutions and Industrial Strategy.

BEIS Academy Seminar: An Introduction to Devolution

Event 12 June, 2017

This seminar will provide participants with the key information they need on devolution and help them understand how devolution affects their work.

BEIS Academy Seminar: Introduction to Local Growth, Energy and Devolution

26 June, 2017 2:00 pm

The seminar will provide participants with the key information on local energy and the work that is being delivered at a local level and help them understand how devolution affects their work.

BEIS Academy Seminar: Introduction to Risk Management in BEIS

Event 28 June, 2017

The seminar is an introductory session designed for all staff who would like a basic overview of BEIS new risk management framework/ may not have had a great deal of experience of risk management and would like the opportunity to develop their skills accordingly. The seminar will also be of benefit to staff who wish to refresh their existing risk management skills and for new entrants to BEIS to gain an overview of how the department approaches risk management.

8

3. CLoG and beyond

In Conversation with Robert Peston: ‘Brexit Britain’

Date: 6:00PM, 11 May 2017

Venue: Peston Lecture Theatre, Mile End Road

Inside Government

Income Generation forum

Tuesday 16th May 2017

Congress Centre, London WC1B 3LS

This forum will explore innovative and effective methods to generate income, as local authority budgets have been reduced by up to 40% in the last few years.

Delegates attending will hear from keynote speakers outlining Government plans to increase local government power, generating income through legal services provision, and successfully creating a joint venture to raise income.

View the agenda and book a place online

Westminster Policy Forum

Next steps for regional development and local devolution deals

Morning, Thursday, 22nd June 2017

Central London

Overall, areas for discussion include:

  • Assessing the current landscape for regional development;
  • Next steps for developing the Northern Powerhouse;
  • Progressing devolution deals, with focus on funding, managing risk and attracting investment;
  • Opportunities for improving international connectivity to support growth;
  • Driving growth across the country, as outlined in the Industrial Strategy;
  • The future for regional development policy, with Tom Walker, Director, Cities & Local Growth Unit.

Priorities for transport in London and the South East: infrastructure, funding, and the Mayor’s Transport Strategy

Morning, Thursday, 29th June 2017, Central London

Fake news – scope, public trust and options for policy

Morning, Thursday, 13th July 2017 Central London

with

Patrick Walker, Director of Media Partnerships EMEA, Facebook

Next steps for technical education in England – T-levels, implementing the Post-16 Skills Plan and financial sustainability

Morning, Monday, 3rd July 2017

Central London

This timely conference will examine reforms to technical education in England and implementation of the Post-16 Skills Plan.

Devolution and economic growth in London – assessing the impact of London’s devolution agreement on infrastructure, competitiveness and skills

Morning, Tuesday, 11th July 2017

Central London

Transport in the North of England: infrastructure, economic growth and devolution

Morning, Tuesday, 18th July 2017, Central Manchester

National Infrastructure forum

13th June 2017 at ExCeL in London

Full agenda for the day can be found here.

9

Personal Development plan – CSL Learning

To help you get started, why not explore CSL’s most popular topics from the curriculum, as rated by civil servants. The objective setting topic is well worth investigating and managers have also been upskilling themselves with topics on giving feedback and coaching skills. There’s a trend towards making an impact, with learners interested in presenting confidently and engaging people through story-telling. Unconscious bias features prominently, representing our shared objective of building a diverse and inclusive workforce. Alongside these a handful of more personal topics, such as first aid at work, are proving popular.

WIG events

A full list of the 2017 events can be found here.

Mallika Ishwaran, Senior Economist, Shell

Thursday 04 May 2017, 08:00 – 10:00

London, Breakfast Briefing

Industry Visit: SAP – An insight into Digital Transformation

Tuesday 09 May 2017, 10:00 – 14:00, Feltham Visit

Delivering on the UK’s emissions reduction targets: a collaborative approach Thursday 18 May

Managing the 60 year career – Alison Wilcox, Group HR Director, BT Tuesday 23 May

Breakfast briefing by Jonathan Slater – Permanent Secretary, Department for Education Thursday 25 May

Commissioning masterclass for providers of public services Thursday 25 May

Alex Chisholm, Permanent Secretary, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Tuesday 20 June 2017, 08:00 – 10:00, London

Breakfast Briefing

Cambridge Political Economy Society

Globalisation in Crisis? The Urban and Regional Challenges of the Great Instability Conference

Date/Time

Thursday, July 13, 2017 – Friday, July 14, 2017, 09:00 – 17:30

The themes for the conference will include:

  • The Crisis of neoliberal Globalisation
  • Financialisation & its future
  • Inclusive Growth
  • Future of Cities
  • Europe after Brexit
  • Regional Theory in a post crisis world
  • Industrial Strategy: Where to next?
  • Reindustrialising regions
  • Shifting relations in the world economy

10

4. News and Reviews

This month, Dorothy Dray has kindly followed up with some top tips that she took away from a recent DCLG-run event on Making the Most of Ministerial Visit:

Identify

  • programmes and places which would particularly benefit from a ministerial visit – particularly where these:
    • span more than one policy area: e.g. boosting local growth, skills; driving up housing supply; supporting stronger communities etc.
    • span geographies, social, economic and environmental contexts, where possible
    • demonstrate recognised best practice
    • will deepen ministerial understanding and insight in relation to particular policy challenges and opportunities.
    • expose the minister to critical policy challenges and opportunities which are best understood through exposure to frontline practice or engagement with particular external stakeholders
    • put ministers in touch with people they wouldn’t otherwise meet
    • build and maintain key relationships

Consider

  • opportunities for joint visits with OGDs
  • social media activities and photo opportunities ahead of and during visits – drafting tweets for digital side / photos for twitter once there can ensure you get the right press or communications angle and best photo opportunities.

Take into account

  • the current political landscape and current affairs
  • individual ministerial interests, as well as their portfolio responsibilities
  • the target demographic of each policy / project and how this relates to the demographics of those covered by the visit
  • key stakeholders – national and local, ensure those affected are covered by the visits strategy
  • local considerations and sensitive issues.

Do

  • Horizon scan – tie together visits with policy announcements wherever possible*
  • Forward plan media and possible interviews, and lines to take to avoid bear traps for the Minister
  • Work with ministerial visits teams across OGDs to ensure strategic alignment.
  • Work closely with policy teams and External Comms teams in the relevant government departments to develop and implement the visits strategy
  • Ensure feedback from visits is shared back to policy teams to inform policy development, and future visits planning.

11

Finally, with these books, cycling adventures and escape into nature I’ve been renewing and fulfilling my childhood passions, identifying links between literature and landscapes, and developing my relationship with both. Here’s a pic of me ‘allowing’ myself to be photo-bombed on a mountain adventure last bank holiday weekend. It was in aid of Palestinian and Syrian orphans, so if anybody would like to donate you can do so at www.justgiving.com/sunsetsnowdonkam

March’s L & D Blog

March 8th marks International Women’s Day, easily one of the most important International Days celebrated by the UN and many countries around the world. It is a day when women are recognised for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political. This year’s theme is: Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030.

The statistics relating to progress made in achieving gender parity, particularly in relation to work, are sometimes heartening but often deeply disappointing. For anyone interested, you can use this tool developed by ONS to track the gender pay gap in the UK. Fawcett Society has also created infographics highlighting how many ethnic minority women are particularly ‘left-behind’ by pay gap progress. Needless to say, efforts to change the world of work must continue.

Indeed, last month’s post touched upon ‘hidden figures’ and many of these individuals were women that have gone relatively uncelebrated in spite of their remarkable professional achievements. Imagine what we could learn if we had an opportunity to pick their brains!

As such, it has been a real pleasure to collate some thoughts from the many inspiring women that work in the Cities and Local Growth Unit! I asked colleagues to describe what their favourite job roles have been, share the best advice they have been given and would pass on to others, and to pick a woman that inspires them and explain why. I hope you enjoy reading the responses as much as I did.

Happy International Women’s Day, one and all.

In this Edition…

  1. CLoG Activities
  2. IWD events and opportunities for women
  3. BEIS and DCLG
  4. CLoG and beyond
  5. News and Reviews

Michelle Obama_1

A popular choice – Michelle Obama, chosen by:

Rowena Limb

What do you do in the unit?

Lead the cross Whitehall work on the Midlands Engine and run the East Midlands and South East Midlands Cities and Local Growth team.

What has been your favourite job role (in or outside government) so far and why?

This one which is why I am still doing it. From No 10 to a small innovative business on a scruffy trading estate in one day. What could be better?

What is the best advice you have ever received and what advice would you like to pass on to others?

Received – Fill your kit bag with experience and expertise so you know whether the experts are helping you. Pass on – Do something you love and try and do it well.

A woman that inspires you and why: Michelle Obama – how did she always make me feel so positive even when she wasn’t saying anything?

1. CLoG Activities

Data Training

The Growth and Places Analysis Team recently ran a Data Training workshop for staff. The session was a short, useful guide for CLoG staff on how to access reliable and up-to-date official statistics for local areas / constituencies / LEPs through the NOMIS website. If you would like a copy of the PowerPoint guide please email Danny Turner on danny.turner@communities.gsi.gov.uk

Quiet Leadership and what it means to CLoG

Here are some slides (200202-quiet-leadership-slides) on Quiet Leadership and why it matters for the Cities and Local Growth Unit. They contain an overview of what quiet leadership means, the evidence behind it, the issues it raises for us in the workplace and the Unit’s commitments to supporting all forms of leadership as part of its diversity and inclusion pledge. Importantly, it also suggests some core learning that both individuals and teams are encouraged to complete over the coming year to find out more about their own personality types and how best they can work with others. If you want more to find out more feel free to contact Pete Northover, Claire Denniss or Kirsty Pearce.

Mentoring in Cambridge

Career development outside London is often an issue that is raised by colleagues. Shan Lloyd and colleagues have therefore set up a new mentoring scheme in the Cambridge office. Mentoring is a really effective way of helping with career development and progression. The mentee can gain huge amounts from discussing issues with their mentor, gaining fresh perspective, being encouraged to think through solutions and planning strategies to move things forward. Being a mentor can also be very rewarding, not only for personal development but if is a real joy to watch and support someone to develop and grow in their career. This new scheme is open to all civil servants in the Cambridge office, covering a whole range of Government Departments and other partner organisations including Legal Aid Services, DEFRA, Arts Council, HCA and many others. This new mentoring scheme will also help with greater networking between the different departments locally.

Anita Roddick

Anita Roddick, chosen by:

Shân Lloyd

What do you do in the unit?

Area Lead in Norfolk and Suffolk (New Anglia LEP area)

What has been your favourite job role (in or outside government) so far and why?

Trustee for Home-Start Cambridgeshire. Home-Start is the UK’s leading family support charity, a voluntary organisation offering support to families who have at least one child under five when family life becomes difficult through isolation, postnatal illness, multiple births, disability, bereavement or those who are just finding parenting a struggle. I love being able to directly influence the direction of the organisation and make a positive difference to the lives of children and parents. It also gives me great experience and new opportunities.

What is the best advice you have ever received and what advice would you like to pass on to others? Life is short so focus on the things that really matter

A woman that inspires you and why: I’m always inspired by many women I meet on a day-to-day basis who are positive and supportive while juggling a million different roles but if I had to pick one women then it would be Anita Roddick, founder of Body Shop – a risk taking entrepreneur, strong leader and primary carer to her young family who stayed true to her values – she opened my eyes to wider world issues.

Devolution Learning Week

Monday 13 March – Friday 17 is ‘Devolution Learning Week’ from 13th March. This will be marked by a programme of events designed to build Civil Servants’ understanding of how the devolution settlements in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland affect their work. With Brexit, IndyRef, Assembly elections and more, there’s never been a better time to boost your knowledge of how the UK devolution settlement works.

There are several events taking place in DCLG to promote awareness of UK devolution:

BEIS will also be marking the week through the following events, again open to all CLoG staff:

  • On Thursday 16th there will be a panel session on EU Exit and Devolution. Panel members will be the 2 EU Exit directors from BEIS – Emma Ward and Susannah Simon – alongside Sarah Maclean, Deputy Director of the Cabinet Office’s UK Governance and Devolution Team, and Chris Walker, Deputy Director of the DExEU Devolution Team https://intranet.beis.gov.uk/event/eu-exit-and-devolution/
  • On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 14:00-15:00 on the 5th floor square in 1VS there will be drop in sessions with members of the BEIS devolution team. Again – there may be swag!

There will be blogs on both intranets throughout the week.

James is an alumnus of the Cabinet Office’s UK Devolution Team and is very happy to deliver short (~20 minute) presentations about the basics of UK devolution for team meetings etc. Please get in touch with him if this is something you’d like to arrange.

Lips choir

Women of Lips Choir: http://www.lipschoir.co.uk/gallery-2/

Chosen by:

Julia Wilcox

What do you do in the unit?

Skills policy lead in the Labour Markets team

What has been your favourite job role (in or outside government) so far and why?

Deputy Prime Minister’s office working as his policy and economic advisor. Working at the heart of government with excellent people and a great supportive, collaborative and empowering working environment

What is the best advice you have ever received and what advice would you like to pass on to others?

more advice I’d like to pass on rather than necessarily best advice ever – Don’t apologise or downgrade what you say, e.g. starting a sentence with sorry or using ‘umm’ or ‘kind of’ excessively as it will reduce your impact

A woman that inspires you and why

most of the women in my choir. They work hard at their jobs but all also work hard as feminist activists and to support women who are affected by the asylum system as well as being excellent singers. Very empowering to be part of that community.

Correspondence training

Sam McCaffrey and Catherine Newbitt-Jones from the Unit’s Communications Hub will deliver a correspondence training session for colleagues in Bristol on the 15th of March, with a view to replicating this in teams in other regions.

Learning and Development Day

Our next L&D Day will take place in just a couple of weeks on Wednesday 22nd March, 10.30am – 4pm in the 1VS Conference Centre, on the theme of Renewal. Book your train tickets, dig out those cake recipes and keep an eye on your inboxes for the full agenda and workshop sign up soon…

JK Rowling

JK Rowling, chosen by:

Leila Mottahedeh

What do you do in the unit?

I am the Deputy Area Lead for the Liverpool City Region, and part of the Northern Powerhouse Team – all of which I deliver on a part-time working pattern.

What has been your favourite job role (in or outside government) so far and why?

My favourite role has been working with a team of Trade Sector advisors in what used to be HM Customs & Excise. The team comprised of 12 private sector experts from various industries, from Banking to Telecoms, who developed policy using horizon scanning methods. My role was to provide them with evidence based research. I learnt an amazing amount from them on their respective sectors.

What is the best advice you have ever received and what advice would you like to pass on to others?

Two pieces of advice that have stayed with me and that I have shared with my mentees…

In delivering presentations – you can’t always please everyone. In a room of 10 people there will be 1 person that doesn’t like your presentation, but it’s the 9 that did that count. (I guess this could be applied to many things in life.)

In interviews – sometimes a little arrogance goes a long way. Have confidence because you can do it!

A woman that inspires you and why

This may be a little predictable but JK Rowling is my inspiration. I follow her on twitter and find her absolutely spot on with her comments and thoughts. She stands up to bullies, reflects on the positives of having imperfections (Failure is good because you learn from it) and has an amazing sense of humour. I also love her Harvard Commencement speech which in itself is a must watch for anyone unsure of what life holds for them. I showed it my 10yr old and he now thinks that the author of the Harry Potter books is a hero!

2. International Women’s Day events and opportunities for women

BEIS

Lady Barbara Judge: Inspirational Speakers series

23 March, 2017 1:00 pm

BEIS Women’s Network is delighted to present a talk by Lady Barbara Judge CBE, chair of the UK Institute of Directors (IoD), as part of our Inspiring Speaker series and programme of activity for International Women’s Day in March.

Crossing Thresholds: Career Mentoring for Women

Crossing Thresholds (CT) is a year-long career mentoring programme for women who want to develop their career in a structured and supportive environment. It is aimed at women who want the time, space and support to explore the next steps in their career and helps you be clearer about your career goals and how to achieve them. Additional information about the programme can be found here.

Programme start dates and locations are as follows:

AO/EO  Starting Thu 27th Apr 2017 in Glasgow

HEO/SEO  Starting Wed 29th Mar 2017 in Bristol Starting Tue 9th May 2017 in London Starting Wed 17th May 2017 in Birmingham Starting Mon 22nd May 2017 in Bristol Starting Mon 22nd May 2017 in Newcastle Starting Wed 24th May 2017 in Manchester Starting Mon 12th Jun 2017 in Belfast Starting Wed 14th Jun 2017 in Leeds Starting Wed 19th Jul 2017 in London

Grade 6/7  Starting Tue 21st Mar 2017 in Bristol Starting Tue 25th Apr 2017 in Glasgow Starting Wed 26th Apr 2017 in London Starting Tue 2nd May 2017 in London Starting Wed 10th May 2017 in Cardiff

Jessica Ennis Hill

Jessica Ennis-Hill, chosen by:

Naomi Green

What do you do in the unit?

I am currently the Area Lead for the South East Midlands, but I am soon to join the LEP Policy and Local Growth Communications team.

What has been your favourite job role (in or outside government) so far and why?

My favourite job was leading DfT’s response to the PM’s (then Gordon Brown) housing growth challenge. DfT needed to start supporting housing growth and better planning and funding transport to align with the country’s housing needs. I left the job to go on maternity leave – and now, 7 years later, the debate around transport and housing continues! It was a great job because it felt like an insolvable challenge (I love a puzzle) and I got to work directly for an amazing, and inspirational Director General – a lady who was the perfect example of the power of quiet leadership!

What is the best advice you have ever received and what advice would you like to pass on to others? Always look forward, never look back.

A woman that inspires you and why

It doesn’t have a lot of depth – but Jessica Ennis Hill, a lady who wasn’t fazed by how a baby would affect her career, she took a big risk to return to athletics after having a child, and we all loved her for it.

South Bank Women of the World (WOW) series

Missing From History

10:00 am, 7 Mar 2017 – 12 Mar 2017

Celebrate disabled heroines who have been written out of history in this WOW series

Women’s Day at WOW

6:45 pm, 8 Mar 2017

Six women from six continents give their top three predictions for the next 12 months

Polari

7:30 pm, 8 Mar 2017

Celebrate writing by LGBT women in this collaborative event between Polari and WOW

Women, Power and Change

9:30 am, 10 Mar 2017

What do the events of the last 12 months mean for women and girls?

What does Brexit mean for women?

11:30 am, 10 Mar 2017

Debate the pros and cons of the Brexit result with leading UK political voices

One Planet, Double Standards

11:30 am, 10 Mar 2017

Hear from women leaders in sustainability and environmental policy, locally and internationally

Womenomics: The State of Women in the Global Economy

11:30 am, 10 Mar 2017

What barriers do women face in getting their hangs on the purse strings?

WOW Mass Speed Mentoring

3:00 pm, 10 Mar 2017

Join our mass speed-mentoring session to share your challenges, ideas and stories.

The full list of events can be found here: https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whats-on/festivals-series/women-of-the-world#events

Jackie Kay

Jackie Kay, chosen by:

Rachel Dickenson

What do you do in the unit?

I work on the Midlands Engine, at the moment working on the new Midlands Engine Strategy.

What has been your favourite job role (in or outside government) so far and why?

My favourite jobs have all been one with an impact outside, so working in the Neighbourhood Renewal Unit, on homelessness policy and in the Unit have all been favourites for that reason.

What is the best advice you have ever received and what advice would you like to pass on to others?

This isn’t advice so much as an example. I’m a geographer and naturally interested in places, so working on place based agendas is great, and that was sparked by my two A-Level geography teachers. Both were passionate about the subject and that made it easy to engage with which means that in turn, my advice would be to do the things that interest you and that you enjoy.

A woman that inspires you and why

I pick two which may, or may not, be cheating. One is the writer Jackie Kay who became Makar, the Scottish poet laureate, last year. I pick her because the characters in her writing are well observed and because at readings she is warm and also funny. My second pick is Norma Waterson, one of the finest folk singers, picked for her staying power in the face of age and health problems and her proud Yorkshire roots. No one who hears her perform would doubt her leadership qualities.

Norma Waterson

Norma Waterson

Inside Government

Preventing and Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls

28 March 2017 09:00-16:20

Hallam Conference Centre, Central London

Worthwhile reads

International Women’s Day: the women leading local government – video:

https://www.theguardian.com/public-leaders-network/2017/mar/06/international-womens-day-leading-local-government-video

This has been coordinated by the New Local Government Network and includes three videos featuring women, and some men, from various local authorities across the UK talking about:

  • Why diversity is important in policy making
  • How mentoring has helped women in local government
  • How to reduce inequality and sexism in the workplace

10 ways to “Man up!” on International Women’s Day

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/10-ways-man-up-international-womens-day-rob-mukherjee

Be Ambitious … For Life, not just For Work

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/ambitious-life-just-work-manisha-lath-gupta

Carly

While Carly did not choose herself as her pick for inspiring woman, she did kindly provide a photo of herself! Carly’s pick was actually her grandmother:

Carly Freeston

What do you do in the unit?

Head up the Devolution Strategy Team

What has been your favourite job role (in or outside government) so far and why?

This one of course! But the job that has the best memories and most interesting stories has to be when I was Oliver Letwin’s private secretary. I headed up his office for the first 18 months of the Coalition Government. This included facilitating the Programme for Government negotiations; implementing new systems within Government to improve the way we take decisions; and driving structural reforms across the public sector to deliver manifesto commitments.

What is the best advice you have ever received and what advice would you like to pass on to others?

Don’t run in the office. Running creates a sense of panic. You don’t need to run – it won’t get you there much quicker.

A woman that inspires you and why

Since having a baby, any mother who also works (in any job) inspires me. I think the woman that has the biggest impact on me so far has been my Granny. She struggled through a lot and came out smiling. I always hope I make her proud with what I achieve.

3. BEIS and DCLG

BEIS

Spotlight: Perspectives on Industrial Strategy – Professor Jonathan Haskel

17 March, 2017 2:00 pm

A seminar with Professor Jonathan Haskel on intangible investment and the productivity puzzle.

BEES AT BEIS! Getting to be the Bees knees!

21 March, 2017 12:30 pm

Did you know that to help support biodiversity in the local area and boost the dwindling bee population, BIS in 2012 set up with a hive on the 5th floor balcony of 1 Victoria Street? The Department has several beekeepers that look after the bees and have produced honey for a few years now (the bees, not the beekeepers!) If you want to know or do more, this presentation will cover beekeeping, bees, the hive, equipment (with props), and how you can help the bees. To book a place, please register via: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/getting-to-be-the-bees-knees-tickets-31702235239?utm_term=eventurl_text

Spotlight: Perspectives on Industrial Strategy – Professor Nick Crafts

31 March, 2017 2:00 pm

A seminar with Professor Nick Crafts on the history of industrial strategy

EU Exit and Devolution

16 March, 2017, 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

The Exchange, Lower Ground Floor, 1 Victoria Street

Emma Ward and Susannah Simon (Directors with EU Exit responsibilities within BEIS) will be joined by Sarah MacLean from the UK Governance Group in the Cabinet Office and Chris Walker from DExEU devolution team to discuss what the challenges are for Government in ensuring that the perspectives and interests of the devolved nations are effectively addressed as we leave the EU.

This session is relevant for anyone with an interest in EU Exit.

To help with numbers please book by sending an email to devolution@bis.gsi.gov.uk if you can, but you can also just join on the day.

DCLG

Birmingham: APM Fundamentals Certificate – A Core Curriculum Event

Thu 30 March – 9:00 am – Fri 31 March – 5:00 pm

This is a 2 day course and exam which is the first step towards a professional project management qualification. Those who attend this course will develop a broad understanding of project management delivery tools, techniques, terminology and principles. Attendees should generally be individuals who are actively working on projects with no previous project management qualifications or people interested in exploring a project management career.

Day 2: Birmingham: APM Fundamentals Certificate – A Core Curriculum Event

Thu 30 March – 9:00 am – Fri 31 March – 5:00 pm

If you would like to attend one of these events in the future, please contact the Delivery Unit

Introduction to Local Government Policies – A Core Curriculum Event

Thu 9 March – 10:00 am – 4:30 pm

This course gives you an introduction to local government finance and policies. It covers how the local government finance system works and is evolving, the framework for local government and its accountability, devolution deals, and introductions to policy areas such as Integration and Faith, Community Rights, Local Government Efficiency, and Resilience and Emergencies

Core Curriculum: Consultation and Engagement

Fri 10 March – 10:30 am – 1:30 pm

There is a statutory requirement to consult on policy proposals but this is the minimum requirement. Policy makers are encouraged to adopt the Open Policy Making principles which set a much higher ambition to be open and transparent in the way we make and deliver policy.

DCLG has a reputation as being relatively good at collaborative policy making – both across government and externally. The course will reinforce this approach and draw on the good work that we do.

‘Devolution and You’ stall

Monday 13 March 2017 – 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Do you have questions about devolution in the UK? Would you like to know the differences between the devolved settlements in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland? Visit the ‘Devolution and You’ stall on Monday 13 March. DCLG colleagues have teamed up with the Home Office and Civil Service Learning to answer your questions and offer advice.

Devolution: Legal Awareness Session – A Core Curriculum Event

Wednesday 15 March 2017 – 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm

The Core Curriculum is the learning and development offer for all colleagues and forms part of the DCLG People Plan. This session will explain existing local government structures, including combined authorities

Policy teach-in: Devolution in the UK

Wednesday March 15, 2-3pm

Policy teach-in: City Deals and working in the devolved context

Thu 16 March – 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

City Deals are a key lever for UK Government to empower city-regions to drive economic growth through new powers and funding. Although they started in England, since the Glasgow City Deal was announced in 2014 they have extended to cities across Scotland and Wales, creating new opportunities and complexities for the devolution settlement.

In this session, led by William Lord from the Cities and Local Growth Unit, we will explore the critical relationships needed to successfully deliver a Devolved Administration City Deal, insights from previous negotiations, and the future of City Deals in Scotland and Wales.

Talk: Four nations devolution in the UK – A Core Curriculum Event

Fri 17 March – 1:15 pm – 2:15 pm

Join Paul Rowsell CBE and friends from the territorial offices for a talk on the latest developments in devolution in England and across the UK.

Michelle Obama at Mulberry School for Girls.png

Michelle Obama – chosen by Rachel Fisher, with the photo chosen by me because this is from her visit to my former sixth form and the young woman on the left is my friend’s little sister!

Rachel Fisher

What do you do in the unit?

I lead the Infrastructure team, so basically that’s looking at all the built environment aspects of growth from housing, to transport to digital.

What has been your favourite job role (in or outside government) so far and why?

This is my first job in Government and so far I’m enjoying it immensely. My favourite other role is helping to set up Urbanistas – which I do in my ‘spare’ time. This is a women-led network of people wanting to change the way we think about urbanism. It’s grown from 15 women in 2012 to over 1000 today with chapters all over the UK, one in Sydney and one in New York. I love it because it gives me a chance to meet incredible and passionate people who want to make cities better for everyone.

What is the best advice you have ever received and what advice would you like to pass on to others?

The best advice I’ve received is to basically be nice to people. Note that this doesn’t always mean telling people what they want to hear…

A woman that inspires you and why

I’m American and at the moment I’ve got to say I’m still pretty inspired by Michelle Obama… The way she inhabited the role of First Lady was really impressive and I’m really excited to see what she does next.

Mental Health First Aid – Part 1 of 2 – A Core Curriculum Event

Wed 22 March – 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Mental Health First Aid – Part 2 of 2 – A Core Curriculum Event

Thu 23 March – 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

This is an internally recognised two day course in Mental Health First Aid. All DCLG Mental Health Ambassadors have completed this course.

By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • Recognise the symptoms of mental ill health
  • Provide initial help
  • Guide the person to appropriate professional help
  • Be mindful of your own wellbeing

This is a two-day course to be held on the 22nd and 23rd March and you will need to book a place separately on each. Please click here to book a place

APM Fundamentals Certificate – A Core Curriculum Event

Thu 23 March – 8:00 am – Fri 24 March – 5:00 pm

This is a 2 day course and exam which is the first step towards a professional project management qualification. Those who attend this course will develop a broad understanding of project management delivery tools, techniques, terminology and principles. Attendees should generally be individuals who are actively working on projects with no previous project management qualifications or people interested in exploring a project management career.

If you would like to attend one of these events in the future, please contact the Delivery Unit

Compliant Recruitment – A Core Curriculum Event

Thu 23 March – 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

This course will help managers recruit compliantly and effectively. It will talk through the stages of the recruitment process and answer questions such as ‘how many people should be on a sift/interview panel?’

Drafting for Ministers – A Core Curriculum Event

One of the greatest skills a Civil Servant can have is to ensure you get your message across – and enable your Minister to do the same. This course will focus on how the style and substance of how you draft can change depending on its context. You will see how a ‘line to take’ for Cabinet is different to that for a speech. The same message delivered in the Commons will vary considerably in the Lords.

This course is recommended for new and experienced drafters alike. Use the online service to book your place.

Social Surveys: the good, the bad and the entirely unrepresentative – A Core Curriculum Event

Thu 30 March – 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Ever wondered what makes a ‘good’ social survey? Don’t know the difference between a panel survey, a longitudinal survey, or a cross-sectional survey?  In this seminar, the English Housing Survey team will give you the low down on all this and more.

Anyone can attend this event particularly those who use data and statistics. Please click here to book a place.

From Market Fixing to Market Making: Implications for Smart and Inclusive Growth – A Core Curriculum Event

Thu 30 March – 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Anyone interested in or working on growth or anyone interested in how risks and rewards can be shared allowing growth to be inclusive is welcome to attend this event.

Mariana Mazzucato, Professor in the Economics of Innovation, University of Sussex will be discussing a dynamic economic policy framework which focuses on market shaping and market making rather than the traditional focus on market failure and market fixing. Including how to pick a direction and tilt the playing field in that direction and how to build learning organizations in the public sector which welcome trial and error. Please click here to book a place.

Performance Management

As you start preparing for your end of year review, don’t forget to make use of the related CSL learning and development resources. In particular, you may find the following helpful:

IT skills

Thursday 16 March – Selection tools training

Thursday 23 March – Compliant recruitment

 4. CLoG and beyond

WIG events

Why not take part in one of the WIG events happening this month? They are free for DCLG staff.

Tuesday 14 March – HR Network: Brexit: HR challenges and opportunities

Tuesday 14 March – Breakfast briefing by Sue Owen, Permanent Secretary for Department for Culture, Media and Sport

Wednesday 15 March – Breakfast briefing by Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer, Health at Work

Tuesday 21 March – Breakfast briefing by Joanna Whittington, Chief Executive, Office of Rail and Road

Tuesday 28 March– View from the board: Sir John Parker, Chairman, Anglo American

Friday 31 March – Building trust through good governance and diversity

Grandma factory_Jacqui

Jacqui’s grandmother (fourth from left) and colleagues, chosen by:

Jacqui Ward

What do you do in the unit?

Deputy Director on the local growth side – this covers a number of different local growth policies and programmes, but current priorities are place-based industrial strategy, the future local growth funding landscape, and the review of the role of LEPs

What has been your favourite job role (in or outside government) so far and why?

[Sick bags at the ready] – this one. Nowhere else have I found such interesting work and such great people.

What is the best advice you have ever received and what advice would you like to pass on to others?

I struggled with this one. So I asked my Mum what was the best advice she ever gave me. She said: “Always get your round in”. So there you go.

A woman that inspires you and why

It’s easy to reach for famous names, but in the end it’s the more personal stories that inspire me to keep trying to make a difference, however small. The picture shows my grandma (fourth from left) and her friends / colleagues, keeping ICI Teesside up and running during wartime. She, and thousands like her, so ably demonstrated that women belong in the workplace. I doubt she thought she was doing anything particularly heroic.   

Inside Government

Delivering and Investing in Future Infrastructure Projects

29 March 2017 08:45-16:40

Central Birmingham

The Future of Housing Supply 2017

30 March 2017 08:45-16:20

Congress Centre, Central London

Raising Education Standards and Attainment Across the Northern Powerhouse

30 March 2017 8:45-16:20

Central Manchester, Manchester

Raising Education Standards and Attainment Across the Midlands

30 March 2017 09:00-15:40

Central Birmingham

Reducing the Risk and Impact of Flooding

27 April 2017 8:45-16:20 Central London

Public Service Transformation Academy

Institute for Government

Is the civil service ready for Article 50?

13th March 2017

The triggering of Article 50 is imminent; the UK is about to start the formal process of withdrawal from the European Union.

All Change: how to persuade government to stop reinventing the same policies

14th March 2017

This event will launch a new Institute for Government report, All Change, examining policy churn in government.

How will new mayors work with Whitehall to improve their city-regions?

Institute for Government, 2 Carlton Gardens, London SW1Y 5AA

20th March

12:30-14:00, This event will be livestreamed.

Panel:

  • Tom Walker, Director, Cities & Local Growth Unit, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Department for Communities and Local Government
  • Martin Reeves, Chief Executive, Coventry City Council
  • Dave Smith, Managing Director, Sheffield City Region team
  • John Wrathmell, Head of Strategy at New Economy Manchester

Civil Service College

Inclusive Leadership: Free Lunchtime Taster

9 March, 12-1.30pm

Join Civil Service College and EW Group on 9th March 2017 for a taster of the Inclusive Leadership Programme, complete with free lunch and networking. The session will take place at the headquarters of Civil Service College in St James’ Park, London.

MaMaddie Hinch

Maddie Hinch MBE, chosen by:

Michelle Kynaston

What do you do in the unit?

Deputy Area Lead for Greater Birmingham & Solihull and Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEPs, based in the West Midlands team

What has been your favourite job role (in or outside government) so far and why?

Assistant Private Secretary to a Minister of State in DfE. It was super varied, ridiculously fast-paced and incredibly fun and reactive; ranging from the cool – meeting the Chinese First Lady as part of the 2015 State Visit, to the chaotic – sprinting (literally!) through Birmingham with the Minister after a full day of school visits to get him to the studios in time for an interview on the 6 o’clock news! Plus it’s pretty great exposure to some very senior people in the department; I definitely recommend giving Private Office a shot if you have the opportunity.

What is the best advice you have ever received and what advice would you like to pass on to others?

When at work; never run, always smile and say it with conviction. There can be a tornado whirling inside your head but if you break a run or lose that smile then other people will know that you’re panicking and it all goes to pot! (from a SpAd whom you could depend on to be calm in any situation – it’s exceptionally soothing to everyone around you.)

A woman that inspires you and why

This is always a tough question but I’m going to go for Maddie Hinch (MBE). As a hockey goalkeeper myself (albeit a far more average one than her…), she is seriously inspirational to me.

She started playing goalkeeping after a PE teacher told her that the way she threw herself around a rounders pitch might be better suited to a hockey goal (I started because no-one else wanted to and we needed a keeper!). She worked her way up to England number 1, making her senior debut in 2008 against Germany, and since then has gone on to be the hero of the penalty shootout at the women’s hockey final at the Rio Olympics, helping GB to take Gold and receiving an MBE for her efforts. She said meeting Prince William to receive her MBE was “100 per cent” more nerve-wracking than the Olympic final! In February, she also received the 2016 Goalkeeper of the Year Award from the International Hockey Federation (FIH) – third time lucky!

MOOC – Future Learn

Current courses:

Smart Cities

Explore the role of technology and data in cities, and learn how you can participate in the creation of smart cities

Courses starting soon:

Business Fundamentals: Effective Networking: Learn how to build and sustain your network to enhance your professional relationships and open up career opportunities.

Systems Thinking and Complexity: Learn how to use systems and complexity thinking to address a variety of social, managerial and policy problems.

Management and Leadership – Leading a Team: Develop a business plan and build a team with one of two courses in the Management and Leadership program

Ethical Cities – Shaping the Future of Your City: Understand the problems cities face and learn how they can be resolved with ethical solutions

The Mind is Flat: the Shocking Shallowness of Human Psychology: Make better personal and professional decisions, considering the psychological dimension to choices, with this free online course (date TBA)

5. News and Reviews

Lusine Manukyan, in the LEP team, has written an excellent blog entry about her secondment experience for the DCLG intranet. You can read this here: https://intranet.dclg.gov.uk/blog/huddles-in-the-ministry-of-magic/

Kate Tempest

 Kate Tempest, chosen by:

Katie Jenkins

What do you do in the unit?

I am the Area Lead for Gloucestershire, overseeing and supporting the work of local partners to drive growth across the county.

What has been your favourite job role (in or outside government) so far and why?

This one! Seriously. I love having my own patch to cultivate and the level of autonomy that gives me, whilst at the same time being part of a fantastic local team within a high profile and exciting part of Government. The sheer amount of different policy areas and initiatives that we are involved in can be mind boggling at times but it means there’s never a dull moment!

What is the best advice you have ever received and what advice would you like to pass on to others?

You’ve got to enjoy the process. I used to be very keen on getting things done and finished. But if being a civil servant has taught me anything it’s that the job is never really done – things evolve, change, come back around again… I’ve had to learn to appreciate the ongoing!

A woman that inspires you and why

The poet/rapper/musician/writer Kate Tempest. She’s a phenomenal talent – passionate, insightful, eloquent – look her up if you haven’t come across her before. I’ve seen her live a few times, and at WOMAD festival this year she was at pains to pass on a message to young people about hard work and dedication in today’s instant-gratification society: there’s no rush, take your time, hone your craft. Wise words.

Katie also provided a lovely photo of her with her son:

Katie Jenkins and her son

An update from GRAD

It’s now just 2 months until 6 new Mayors are elected and start working with the combined authorities to undertake all of the new activities and promote economic growth across the country.

We have come a long way since the first devolution deal was agreed between Greater Manchester and the Government in November 2014. And so has the country’s legislative framework.

Since introducing the Devolution Bill just over three weeks after the 2015 General Election and leading its speedy passage through Parliament, the team has not stopped for breath. Working closely with our lawyers and the areas, we have developed over 20 pieces of secondary legislation (statutory instrument – SI) almost 400 pages in total, and supported the Home Office and Department of Health to deliver more.

The first piece of secondary legislation saved £2m – £3m of public money. We had a 2 month window to legislate to create the position of Greater Manchester Mayor – the first ever City Region Mayor outside London. And because the GM Mayor will also take on the Police and Crime Commissioner functions, we cancelled the May 2016 PCC election. We achieved this in the 2 day window between the powers coming into force and the PCC election being called – needing nifty foot-work, and close working with Manchester, Home Office and Treasury.  

That was not even one year ago.

On Greater Manchester alone there are 8 pieces of secondary legislation to implement the devolution deal – with more to come later. We have:

  • created a position of “interim mayor” in March 2015
  • created a position of elected Mayor with PCC functions in March 2016
  • devolved major new powers on housing, planning, transport and skills in December 2016

 

and we have developed legislation to:

  • transfer the Fire and Rescue functions to the Mayor and abolish the Fire and Rescue Authority
  • set out how the Mayor is to undertake the PCC role
  • confer more functions – mayoral development corporations, waste, and information sharing
  • confer public health functions on to the combined authority, and
  • enable the CA to borrow for activities other than transport

 

And that’s just for Manchester.

Watch this space in the next month or two as we complete the initial legislative phase to ensure the 7 new Mayors and combined authorities can start to undertake the functions devolved to them – and contribute to economic success across the City Regions and the country.

americanflags

US flags used instead of  a photo of Catherine’s sister!

Catherine Newbitt-Jones

What do you do in the unit?

I head up the Strategic Comms team for the Cities and Local Growth Unit.

What has been your favourite job role (in or outside government) so far and why?

I really enjoyed fixing hearing aids in the Heath Hospital in Cardiff for lovely old ladies and gents. I was just the receptionist for the hearing department but the old chaps often turned up without appointments, so rather than turn them away I would try to fix them myself.  I reckon I had a 50% success rate.

What is the best advice you have ever received and what advice would you like to pass on to others?

There are swear words in it … sorry. Do come find me if you want to know what it is.

A woman that inspires you and why

My sister who left everything she knows and loved to live and work in the USA. By herself.

February’s L & D Blog

One of the films that I am very excited to see this year (while fully aware that it will be riddled with a fair few clichés) is Hidden Figures. Based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly, the film is billed as being ‘the incredible untold story of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson – brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanised the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big’.

I take issue with that last sentence. As inspiring as their story is in retrospect, the fact remains that the contributions made to the moon-landing by these remarkable women remained largely overlooked until quite recently. I haven’t watched it, but apparently they aren’t featured in the 1995 film Apollo 13.

This all got me reflecting on a number of issues that warrant serious consideration in a forum that isn’t my intentionally light L&D blog! However, the idea is an interesting one it set me off in search of more ‘hidden figures’ whose contributions to the world have gone relatively uncelebrated.

Please enjoy some of the images and quotes below, and remember to email me with your answers to the riddles for a chance to win some chocolate!

Lastly, here’s to everyone out there, quietly ploughing away, getting things* done.

*used as a substitute for the more appropriate swear word. Intentionally light, see?

hidden-figures

Starring: Janelle Monáe, Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer

In this Edition…

1. Fun and Games
2. BEIS and DCLG events
3. CLoG and beyond: speakers and events
4. News and Reviews

1. Fun and Games

Competition time: there are six riddles below and the first person to email me with the correct answers for all six will win chocolate…

Rule: Do not cheat by conferring with others or searching for the answers online!

Riddle 1

When I was 10, my sister was half my age. When I am 100, how old will my sister be?

Riddle 2

A robber steals $100 from the till of a shop. The shoplifter returns to the shop the next day and uses the stolen money to purchase $70 worth of goods. The shopkeeper gives the robber $30 back. How much money has the shopkeeper lost in total?

Riddle 3

You will always find me in the past. I can be created in the present, But the future can never taint me. What am I?

Riddle 4

What belongs to you but others use it more than you do?

Riddle 5

A murderer is condemned to death. He has to choose between three rooms. The first is full of raging fires, the second is full of assassins with loaded guns, and the third is full of lions that haven’t eaten in 3 years. Which room is safest for him?

Riddle 6

What can travel around the world while staying in a corner?

Katherine Johnson Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom

Former NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson is seen after President Barack Obama presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in WashingtonImage: NASA/Bill Ingalls

2. BEIS and DCLG events

DCLG

Legal Awareness month

February is Legal Awareness month!  Throughout February members of the department’s Legal team will be delivering events to demystify various legal topics and provide you with the right level of information to help you in your jobs.

Wednesday 15 February Public Sector Equality Duty – A Legal Awareness session

Tuesday 21 February Judicial review and the Duty of Candour – Legal Awareness session

Tuesday 21 February Introduction to statutory instruments – Legal Awareness session

Thursday 23 February Legal risk and good decision making – Legal Awareness session

Tuesday 28 February Introduction to bills – Legal Awareness session

Tuesday 28 February Advanced bills – Legal Awareness session

beatrice-tinsley

Beatrice Tinsley was responsible for breakthrough discoveries on how galaxies moved with time but her name is virtually unknown outside academic circles. Born in England, she spent most of her schooling in New Zealand before moving to Texas, achieving recognition for her work by the late 1970s.

IT skills

The below range from events for beginners and people wishing to develop their basic skills to those looking to build on existing knowledge and understanding:

Wednesday 15 February:  Smart ways of working with IT and telephony

Thursday 16 and Wednesday 22 February:  Despatch Box session

Wednesday 15 February: Introduction to Excel

Thursday 16 February: Word for beginners

Monday 20 February: Yammer basics

Tuesday 21 February: Microsoft OneNote basics

Wednesday 22 February: PowerPoint

Tuesday 28 February: Demystifying mapping

Tuesday 7 March: Demystifying databases

Parliamentary Insights

Do you want to understand how Parliament works? Do you want insights to help you in your job?

Join Civil Service Learning for Parliamentary Insights, a new series of seminars replacing Parliament Explained (previously managed by UK Parliament Outreach and Engagement Service).

There are two sets of seminars: one for SCS staff and one for all staff who are interested.

Seminars cover the following topics:

  • Introduction to Parliament
  • Primary legislation
  • Delegated legislation
  • Select Committees
  • Debates and voting
  • Pre and post legislative scrutiny
  • Parliamentary Questions

How to sign up

Register for seminars on Eventbrite:

Other events

Wednesday 22 February

Tuesday 28 February

The dates for this year’s Civil Service Live have been announced

This annual, cross-department learning event, invites thousands of civil servants to regional events to learn, network and share best practice.

Content this year is focused on the themes of the Civil Service vision and will highlight the progress departments have made working to achieve the vision of becoming ‘A Brilliant Civil Service’.

The events will take place on the following dates, at these locations:

Thursday 8 June: EICC, Edinburgh

Thursday 15 June: Manchester Central, Manchester

Tuesday 20 June: The Sage, Gateshead

Thursday 29 June: City Hall, Cardiff

Thursday 6 July: NEC, Birmingham

Tuesday 11 and Wednesday 12 July: QEII Centre, London

Registration opens in April, when the programme will be published, so keep an eye on the intranet for more details at that time. In the meantime, make a note of the date of your local event so you can keep it free.

alan-turing

Alan Turing was a soldier who helped crack the Nazi wartime code Enigma at Station X in Bletchley Park. Cracking the enigma code shortened World War II by an estimated two years, saving thousands of lives. Turing’s ideas catapulted algorithms and automatic processing to the forefront of computing theory. Instead of being celebrated as a hero, Turing was discriminated against by the state. Turing was gay at a time when homosexuality was still a criminal offence in the UK. He ended his life at 41 by taking a cyanide. Andrew Hodges, author of the biography on which the 2014 film The Imitation Game was based, criticised the film for downplaying Turing’s daily struggle against anti-LGBT discrimination as a gay man working for the British state.

BEIS

Pairing For Performance Drop-In Session – 14 February, 2017 12:30 pm

This scheme gives you the opportunity to observe and give feedback to a member of the SCS and it allows you to improve your feedback skills.

Induction into Energy and Climate Change – 20 February, 2017 10:00 am

This seminar is for all staff new to BEIS and existing staff who need an overview of the work of the Department.

Financing of low-carbon energy technologies in Europe – crossing the Commercialisation Valley of Death – 22 February, 2017 10:00 am

All staff within BEIS with an interest in existing financial support schemes in Europe for innovative low-carbon TRL 7/8 energy technologies (Technology Readiness Level), market conditions affecting innovative projects and key success factors for attracting private sector financing.

How to Review the Quality of Evidence Properly – 2 March, 2017 2:00 pm

This seminar starts by covering the common misuse of the terms, ‘literature review’ and ‘evidence review’, and then shows how evidence quality can be assessed quantitatively to determine what evidence is deemed to be of a high enough quality to inform policy development.

Introduction to behavioural insights in BEIS – 16 March, 2017 2:00 pm

This seminar is primarily focused at policy people, but is available for all BEIS staff.

A full list of upcoming BEIS Learning and Development events can be found here.

Coretta Scott King

Coretta Scott king: when her husband, Dr Martin Luther King, was assassinated in April of 1968, the young widow and mother of four stepped right into the role of “First Lady of the Civil Rights Movement,” fearlessly championing the mission she and her husband had helped to launch. Coretta worked to make her husband’s birthday a national holiday in the US and anyone currently keeping up with US politics, or using Twitter, will see how her activism has continued to have influence. 

3. CLoG and Beyond

LGBT History month events

LGBT History Month – Stonewall Talk on ‘Inclusive Workplace Practice and the Importance of Allies/Networks’

Monday 13th February at 2pm until 2.30pm in Conference Room 3B (PG48)

The 1967 Act and Beyond: a tale of North and South

Wednesday 15 February 2017 7:00PM to 9:00PM

This talk marks the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act which partially decriminalised homosexuality, and launches the Opening Doors London “ODL50” programme.

A full list of events covering: London, South East, Midlands, South West and Yorkshire can be found here: http://lgbthistorymonth.org.uk/national-festival/national-festival-events/

BAME Network

Pathway to achieving your goals – Action Learning Sets – hosted by BAMEnet

Open to all colleagues at AA to SEO grades

This is an opportunity to get together with your peers, where you have a mutual concern or issue, you would like to address or resolve in a safe environment.

Each Action Learning Set will consist of 4 – 6 attendees and each set will have three sessions to discuss issues of personal and mutual importance.  They are designed to deal with the specific needs of the set participants and will require agreed action by the end of each meeting.  Each set will be facilitated and participants will need to make a commitment to attend all the sessions in their set.

Self-belief and building confidence

Unblocking your career potential

Raising your profile

1826

Indian classical singer MS Subbulakshmi. Born in 1916 into the Devadasi tradition – a lineage of temple courtesans, whose job was to entertain and serve rich and upper-caste men – she built a career that took her from Madurai temple custom to film stardom to the embodiment of independent India’s national culture. Once her prodigious gift was recognised, she broke with her mother and her home town, took a renowned musician and then a canny manager as lovers, and sought out the musicians she admired most, to help develop her talent. The few letters of hers not destroyed by image keepers are rife with attitude and passion. But her public persona was, and remains – she died aged 88 in 2004 – that of a demure housewife whose accomplishments were simply visited upon her by the gods.

Civil Service START: Round the Houses

Free tours of Parliament – 15th and 16th February – book here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cs-start-round-the-houses-tickets-31806892271

WIG events

Women’s Leadership: Purpose, Power & PromotionTuesday 21 February 2017, 09:30 – 16:30

Breakfast briefing: Jacqueline Minor, Head of Representation, Representation of the European Commission on the UK – Wednesday 22 February

Industrial strategy series breakfast briefing: David Hill, Director, Apprenticeships Directorate, Department for Education – Thursday 23 February

Take Control of Your CareerMonday 27 Feb – Tuesday 28 Feb

WIG Smart Cities ForumWednesday 01 March 2017

Martin Wolf, Chief Economics Commentator, Financial Times – Monday 06 March 2017, 17:30-19:30

Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer – Health at Work15 March 2017, 08:00 – 10:00

photo-2

Betty Shabbaz, wife of Malcolm X, and Civil Rights activist and nurse. Following Malcolm X’s assassination, Betty was left to raise six children by herself and went on to pursue an impressive higher education. In late 1969, Shabazz completed an undergraduate degree at Jersey City State College, followed by a doctoral degree in higher-education administration at the University of Massachusetts. She then accepted a position as an associate professor of health sciences at New York’s Medgar Evers College. She worked as a university administrator and fund-raiser until her death.

LSE

A Lecture by Ruth Davidson

Monday 13 February 2017, 6:30PM to 8:00PM

Ruth Davidson will use the lecture to speak about the fresh case for the United Kingdom in the wake of the Brexit vote.  

Messy: How to be creative and resilient in a tidy-minded world

Monday 20 February 2017 7:00PM to 8:30PM

The Impact of Brexit on the City of London

Monday 20 February 2017 6:30PM to 7:45PM

Lindsey Naylor will discuss the impact of Brexit on the financial services sector. Lindsey Naylor is a partner in Oliver Wyman’s Global Corporate & Institutional Banking practice, based in London.

Europe’s Growth Challenge

Monday 27 February 2017 7:45PM to 9:00PM

bayardrustin

Bayard Rustin was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania, on March 17, 1912. He moved to New York in the 1930s and was involved in pacifist groups and early civil rights protests. Combining non-violent resistance with organisational skills, he was a key adviser to Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s. Though he was arrested several times for his own civil disobedience and open homosexuality, he continued to fight for equality. He died in New York City on August 24, 1987.

Inside Government

Preventing and Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls

28 March 2017 09:00-16:20 Hallam Conference Centre, Central London

Delivering and Investing in Future Infrastructure Projects

29 March 2017 08:45-16:40 Central Birmingham

The Future of Housing Supply 2017

30 March 2017 08:45-16:20 Congress Centre, Central London

Raising Education Standards and Attainment Across the Northern Powerhouse

30 March 2017 8:45-16:20 Central Manchester, Manchester

Raising Education Standards and Attainment Across the Midlands

30 March 2017 09:00-15:40, Central Birmingham

Reducing the Risk and Impact of Flooding

27 April 2017 8:45-16:20 Central London

MHN.jpeg

Malak Nifni Nassef (1886-1918): An early feminist who scored a number of impressive firsts in Egypt: the first woman to get a degree from a government college, the first woman to lecture publicly, and – at the age of only 13 – the first to publish poetry in a mainstream journal. Today, though, she is largely forgotten and overshadowed by Hoda Sha’rawi who is widely considered to be founder of the modern Arab feminist movement.

Public Service Transformation Academy

Join the debate on Developing the Social Care Market … at a conference on 6th April in partnership with the LGA. Speakers include Benjamin Taylor, Chief Executive of the PSTA, Fiona Richardson of the IPC at Oxford Brookes University and a panel of social care providers from the voluntary and private sectors. Apply here.

MOOC – Future Learn

Current courses:

Smart Cities

Explore the role of technology and data in cities, and learn how you can participate in the creation of smart cities

Literature and Mental Health: Reading for Wellbeing: Find out how poems, plays and novels can help us understand and cope with deep emotional strain in this free online course.

Courses starting soon:

Business Fundamentals: Effective Networking: Learn how to build and sustain your network to enhance your professional relationships and open up career opportunities.

Systems Thinking and Complexity: Learn how to use systems and complexity thinking to address a variety of social, managerial and policy problems.

Management and Leadership – Leading a Team: Develop a business plan and build a team with one of two courses in the Management and Leadership program

Ethical Cities – Shaping the Future of Your City: Understand the problems cities face and learn how they can be resolved with ethical solutions

The Mind is Flat: the Shocking Shallowness of Human Psychology: Make better personal and professional decisions, considering the psychological dimension to choices, with this free online course (date TBA)

irenasendlerowa

Irena Sendlerowa was named a national hero by Poland in 2007 for her secret work in the Warsaw ghetto. As a social worker, she smuggled children out through sewers and in suitcases and boxes, saving 2,500 Jewish babies and children from the Nazi death camps. Photograph: Stach Antkowiak/AFP

4. News and reviews

A fuel injection for the Midlands Engine

Katie Jenkins reflects on what motivated her to get involved with helping the Midlands Engine team produce their strategy:

Having been an Area Lead for four years, I had started to worry that my ‘policy’ skills were getting a bit out of shape and had been scouting around for a while for something that might exercise them. I had been involved in developing strategy-type documents in my early civil service career at DfT, so I guessed it was likely to involve a lot of high level manoeuvring between Ministers and departments, collaboration with a wide range of officials, lots of contact with private office and drafting, of course. This one would have the added excitement of strong interest from number 10 and a high profile business leader heading up a veritable smorgasbord of local stakeholders, far wider and more diverse than those I am used to working with in Gloucestershire. So I put my hand up and fortunately my line manager and DD agreed to release me from my usual duties to temporarily support the work.

In contrast to previous strategies I had been involved in, this one was to be developed in collaboration with the local Midlands Engine partners. My objective was to co-locate with the local team producing the strategy and support them to develop something that would both excite HMG and get wide buy-in locally. But this was nothing if not a fast-paced and changing area of work, and it was soon decided that the strategy would be a high-level, government narrative, written by us to an Autumn Statement timetable – a sister document to the government’s Northern Powerhouse strategy, to which local partners would respond on a longer timeframe.

As a team, we wrote the strategy, during which time I took on the task of trying to secure commitments from across Whitehall on skills. This was easier said than done, for a whole host of reasons we can probably all relate to (Ministerial priorities, budgetary pressures, resource issues – it’s a familiar list). I’m sure the time I spent getting told off for our (necessarily but insanely compressed) Whitehall write-round deadline was ‘character building’.

Whilst we were writing the strategy, the Midlands Engine geography (always somewhat blurred) changed when SEMLEP decided to withdraw from the formal partnership. I set about documenting in a spread sheet every statistic in the strategy, on which geography it was based and what the various different geographies actually meant. It’s a somewhat dubious accolade but one I will take nonetheless: I’ve been told that no-one on the team will ever see a Midlands Engine statistic again without thinking of me. They should also think of analyst Alex Lim, who was a hero on this.

At the time of writing, the strategy is back with number 10. Local stakeholders anticipate it with baited breath and are considering how they might respond with their own ambitious vision and action plan. I return to my Area Lead duties, musing whether I might be able to convince Gloucestershire to join the Midlands Engine. They’re not really in the South West, but that is another story…

So what did I learn? First and foremost, I learnt what it was like to work with a new team, a different DD with a different style and some very talented individuals (special mentions to Charlotte May and Rachel Dickenson). I got to see some of the inner workings of number 10 and Treasury, and to understand on a very practical level that just because something is really important to us, or even to number 10, others won’t necessarily be empowered to help. It’s testament to the persistence and skill of people in this Unit that we get so much collaborative work done. I made some good contacts outside of my usual geography and brought my relationship management skills to bear in strengthening the lines of communication between the core local Midlands Engine team and our Unit. My part-time hours were a challenge at times, because it was such a fast-paced and ever-changing area. I could turn up after two days off and the whole plan had changed! But we worked around it and found a rhythm, which I think was a positive learning curve on both sides. Part-time working shouldn’t be a barrier to supporting something high-profile in the Unit, and we should actively seek and support these sorts of opportunities for anyone who wants them, as Rowena and Diarmid did for me. It helps to cement central/local working too!

Ultimately my stint with Midlands Engine helped me to build confidence that I can try my hand at something different and add value; that I can use the skills I already have in a different setting and stretch myself in a different direction. And I return to South Central and West with some fantastic insights into how regional collaboration is working in the Midlands, just as the South West Turbine (or whatever it shall be called) begins to turn. All brilliant reasons to step out of the comfort zone.

A fortnight is a long time in Politics…

Sam McCaffrey reflects on his parliamentary experiences so far

While sketching out my new role leading on all things Parliamentary for CLoG, I set myself a target of going to Westminster at some point to see our policies in action if or when the opportunity arose. It didn’t take long – within days we had 2 Westminster Hall Debates, DCLG Orals and also a Private Members bill going through the house.

I got to go in the officials’ box for the Westminster Hall Debates and for the Parking (Variation in charges) Bill in both the committee rooms & the Commons chamber, whilst also sitting in the stranger’s gallery for DCLG Oral question time. All of this within two weeks!

I met the MP who was taking the Parking Bill through the Commons along with some Ministers from DCLG and got a real sense of the relationship between civil servants and ministers.

The message I want to give is that there is an array of opportunities within the unit to get involved with and the best way to learn is to see things first-hand.

If you don’t ask you don’t get. Take some time to see what another policy team are working on, offer some of your time. You never know where you might end up sitting – in my case it was a few metres from the Speaker!

An update from GRAD

Though the focus of the GRAD team in recent months has been to get the Orders creating mayoral combined authorities through Parliament (a process which is on-going), we have also been working to ensure the regulations by which the combined authority mayors are elected are in place for the first elections in May. We are very pleased that the Order enabling these regulations to be applied was made on the 30th January.

We needed new regulations as the combined authority mayors are subject to slightly different requirements which set them apart from other local authority elections. The deposit required in order to stand is £5000, which is higher than the general local authority deposit due to the greater area covered and the increased powers given to the mayors. It is also in line with Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs), which is important as the combined authority mayors can also hold the post of PCC. Combined authority mayoral candidates must also get at least 100 signatures in order to be nominated to stand, with at least 10 of these coming from each local authority within the combined authority. This ensures they have support from all areas, not just a couple. It’s a higher requirement than is in place for other local government elections, for the same reasons as the higher deposit. We also needed to establish the post of CARO, to make sure there was one individual with responsibility for the elections, to act almost as a project manager. Other than these requirements and some other minor differences, the new regulations are consistent with regulations governing all other local authority elections.

Now that these regulations are in place, the CAROs can apply the above requirements to the candidates and run the elections in a way which is consistent with other elections, but reflective of the greater powers and responsibilities of combined authority mayors.

Our other major achievement in the last month is the making of the snappily-titled Combined Authorities (Overview and Scrutiny Committees, Access to Information and Audit Committees) Order 2017. Following a smooth (even positive!) passage through the Commons and the Lords, the legislation providing the basis for accountability in combined authorities was made on 9th February and comes into force when the new mayors take office on 8th May. Essentially, this builds on the provisions in the 2016 Act and sets out further detail on the overview and scrutiny and audit committees in combined authorities, meaning there will be a robust and consistent approach to accountability in all combined authorities. The legislation was welcomed by the Lords for putting in place a clear framework to ensure that once powers and budgets are devolved, and mayors elected, their actions and decisions (and those of the combined authority) will be openly and effectively scrutinised.