November 2016

Welcome to November’s L & D blog…


I cannot rest, I must draw, however poor the result, and when I have a bad time come over me it is a stronger desire than ever.

Beatrix Potter was born 150 years ago on 28 July 1866 in Kensington.  Although from a wealthy family, she overcame the significant obstacle presented by her gender to excel in mycology, natural history, entrepeneurship, conservation, historical and cultural heritage, and, of course, writing and illustrating for children. For this she became world famous, and is commonly acknowledged to be the bestselling children’s author of all time.

Beatrix Potter exemplifies many of the qualities and ways of working which CLoG seeks to champion across Whitehall.  She made the very best of her circumstances. She tried new things.  She refused to settle for the status quo.  She insisted on the highest quality in all her publications and products.  And much of her life’s work was with an eye on the legacy she would leave, carefully planned to leave her society changed for the better decades and centuries later.  What are we trying to achieve if not lasting change for the better?

The photographs and captions interspersed among the L & D material below give a flavour of the range and variety of her accomplishments, and will hopefully inspire many of us to revisit and reinvigorate our L & D plans.  As she herself once wrote, “There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they’ll take you.”


Wray Castle, Windermere (photograph taken in 1882 by Beatrix’s father Rupert Potter).  Family summer holidays spent here, and prior to that in Dalguise (Perthshire, Scotland), inspired Potter’s love of the natural world and honed her powers of observation. She and her brother Walter were given great freedom to explore the countryside unaccompanied.

In This Edition…

1. CLoG Activities
2. BEIS and DCLG Opportunities

3. Across the Country…and Beyond
4. News and Reviews

1. CLoG Activities

Policy Teach Ins

Wednesday 9 November 1300-1400
Single Pot and Gain Share – Robin Froggatt-Smith, Paul Miller

Thursday 24 November 1300-1400
Business rates pilots – Paul Miller, Robin Froggatt-Smith

Wednesday 7 December 1300-1400
Debt and bonds – Robin Froggatt-Smith

Beatrix with her mother Helen.  Her childhood was privileged and sheltered, with her education provided by governesses and a key interest being her extensive collection of pets (including mice, a hedgehog, rabbits and bats) which she sketched and wrote about extensively.

2. BEIS and DCLG Opportunities


Have a question for the Transition Team?

Come along to drop-in sessions in the BEIS Transition Spaces where you can learn more about the transition programme, our new department, and provide your feedback.

• 12.30 to 1.30pm, every Monday in The Innovation Space, 1VS

• 12.30 to 1.30pm, every Wednesday in Room 508, 3WHP

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Meet the Industrial Strategy team

Learn about Industrial Strategy and put your questions to the team. What does industrial strategy mean, what does it set out to achieve, what are the milestones in the coming months and how can you get involved?

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‘To me, to EU’ – Joint working off to a great start

Teams across BEIS are starting to work together closely. Read about what has been going on in the Europe team to ensure they build on their respective strengths and ensure the new directorate is a great place to work.

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High-level governance structure for BEIS confirmed

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Beatrix Potter’s drawing of the Leiota Friesii (Freckled Dapperling), September 1895.  Her drawings of fungi are used in standard texts to this day, and her 1896 paper “On The Germination of the Spores of Agaricineae” was presented to the Linnean Society by renowned myconologist George Massee on Potter’s behalf because women were not allowed to present.  The Society issued an apology for its sexist attitudes in 1997.
Meet the transition team

Find out who’s who in the transition team and explore opportunities to join the team.

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BEIS School

There are lots of exciting seminars, suitable for all staff, coming up in the next few weeks – see the find out more on the intranet.

Potter’s childhood pet Peter Piper.  In her mid-late 20s in the 1890s, and seeking an independent income, Potter sold a number of her drawings as greetings cards and book illustrations.  This gave her the inspiration to write and illustrate her own material.


DCLG’s Relationship with Parliament

Thursday 3 November, 10:00am – 12:30pm

More details

Introduction to Local Government Policies

Tuesday 8 November, 10:00am – 4:30pm

More details

All DCLG November L and D Events

Details here

The first edition of “The Tale of Peter Rabbit”, self-published in December 1901, and republished by Frederick Warne and Co. in October 1902.  An instant best-seller, Potter’s wrote 24 children’s stories in all.  Approximately 2 million of her works are still sold every year, approximately four every minute.

3. Across the Country…And Beyond

The Future of Public Sector Apprenticeships

In the May 2016 Enterprise Act the government pledged to have 3 million new apprenticeship starters by 2020 representing an increase of 25% on the number of starts achieved in the last Parliament.

With disparity between the number of apprentices taken in by the public and private sectors a lot of this growth is expected to come from increasing the number of public sector apprenticeships available. To achieve this it is muted that the government will set a target of 2.3% apprentices for each English public sector organisation that has a staff of over 250.

It is therefore essential public sector organisations make use of the new Apprenticeship Levy which will be introduced 6th April 2017 to help fund new apprenticeship schemes. To understand how you will be affected, join HR, skills and training leaders at, ‘The Future of Public Sector Apprenticeships’, an interactive strategy discussion taking place 6th December 2016 in Central London.


  • Sue Husband, Director of the National Apprenticeships Service, Skills Funding Agency (SFA) 
  • Carl Cresswell, Deputy Director of Apprenticeships, Apprenticeships Directorate, Department for Education (DFE)
  • Cllr Phillip Atkins, Local Government Association Executive Board, Local Government Association

ALSO CONFIRMED: Greg Hobbs, Joint Head of Fast Stream & Early Talent , Civil Service Fast Track Apprenticeships will deliver an interactive case study entitled, ‘Attracting and Retaining Central Government Apprentices’ which will cover the following key discussion points:

  • Offering a springboard into the civil service through a variety of roles and significant experience over a 2 year period
  • Providing access to a lively apprentice community to share learning opportunities to further career progress
  • Supplying apprentices with a mentor for the entirety of the apprenticeship process to help select appropriate pathways in future


Potter designed the first Peter Rabbit doll in 1903, registering the patent herself and making Peter Rabbit the first licensed literary character in the world.  She went on to design and market branded tea sets, paining books, bedroom slippers and board games, pioneering new marketing and merchandising techniques and acquiring a significant fortune in addition to her publishing royalties.
Demystifying Data

Next available date: 14th November

£495 + VAT

This course is designed to give delegates the tools to effectively understand, scope and confidently interpret data by unlocking the key principles, techniques and uses of quantitative analysis.

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Data Visualisation: Simplifying Your Message

Next available date: 19th October

£550 + VAT

This course gives delegates an introduction to the visualisation tools and skills needed to create effective and interesting visual presentations that will capture their audience’s attention.

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Managing Freedom of Information (FOIs)

Next available date: 15th November

£595 + VAT

This course is designed to enhance delegates confidence when dealing with FOI requests and when justifying their decisions.

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In 1913 Potter married William Heelis, a solicitor from the Lake District.  Beatrix had bought Hill Top Farm near Windermere in 1905, and following her marriage to Heelis moved with him to a nearby property Castle Cottage from where she continued to develop her growing intests in agriculture, heritage, conservation and animal husbandry.
Funding for regional projects beyond the European Union referendum – partnerships, devolution and the transition of EU Structural and Investment Funds


Iain Derrick, European Regional Development Fund Manager, European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020 Policy Team, Department for Communities and Local Government;

Patrick Magee, Chief Operating Officer, British Business Bank;

Sandra Rothwell, Chief Executive, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership;

Dr Peter Simpson, Director, N8 Research Partnership; and

Sarah Whitney, Founding Director, Metro Dynamics

Chaired by:

Tom Blenkinsop MP, Member of Parliament for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland and Stephen Gethins MP, Shadow SNP Spokesperson on Europe

Morning, Thursday, 9th February 2017

Central London

Book Online | Live Agenda | Our Website

Foreign and Commonwealth Office – ‘Understanding, working with and influencing the EU’ Practitioner Level 5-day Course (21 – 25 November)

Applications are now open for the 5-day EU course which takes place in London with an overnight visit to Brussels. In this changing political landscape it is crucial that we have the knowledge and skills to work within and with the EU. This course helps colleagues to develop EU expertise in order to promote British interests and deliver as our relationship with the EU transitions. To apply for a place, please complete this application form and return it to Morgan McArdleDeadline: Friday 21 October. Places are limited so may be decided on the basis of a sift. To note, Europe Faculty will cover the cost of the course, expenses including lunch and dinner should be covered by your home department. You must be able to attend the full programme and be SC cleared. Only successful applicants will be notified.

EU in the world – Foreign Policy Challenges

Chris Rampling, Foreign Policy and Development Counsellor.

Date: 19 October. Time: 12.30 – 13.30 Location: Entente Cordial. Further information and registration details can be found here.

Hill Top Farm in Near Sawrey.  On her death Beatrix Potter left over 4,000 acres to the National Trust, land which later formed the core of what became the Lake District National Park.
Justice and Home Affairs Masterclass

Chris Jones, Director for Justice, Security and Migration, DExEU.

Date: 25 October. Time: 13.30 – 14.30 Location: Scott Room. Further information and registration details can be found here.

Engaging with the European Parliament

Kate Davenport, 1st Sec European Parliament UKRep.

Date: 1 November Time: 12.30 – 13.30 Location: Scott Room. Further information and registration details can be found here.

Negotiating and Influencing – Top Tips

Baroness Catherine Ashton, former High Representative of the Union of Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and First Vice President of the European Commission.

Date: 22 November Time: 12.30 – 13.30 Location: tbc. Further information and registration details can be found here.

Brexit Britain: what when wrong and what next?

The left overwhelmingly backed an ‘In’ vote in the EU referendum, but we weren’t able to persuade a majority of the British public to support case. Now it’s time to reflect and regroup. What stance should we take towards the negotiations? What does the exit vote mean for the huge strains that years of austerity have put on the European project? How do we defend free movement while engaging the public?

Date: 8 October 2016. Time: 11.00 – 17.00. Venue: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building.

Further information can be found here.

Beatrix Potter at Hill Top Farm with her sheepdog Kep.  In her later years she became a national authority on the breeding of Herdwick sheep, becoming the first elected female president of the Herdwick Sheep Breeders’ Association in 1943.
Post Brexit Diplomacy – Tom Fletcher

With Britain plunged into uncertainty by the EU referendum, what does this mean for European and global diplomacy? Is citizen empowerment making it easier or harder to govern? And how can we ensure that diplomacy is part of the answer to the challenges of the 21st century, and not part of the problem?

Date: 17 October 2016. Time: 18.30 – 20.00. Venue: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building

Further information can be found here.

The European Union at the Crossroads: Brexit and after

With the UK heading for Brexit, the European Union faces a historic challenge but also an opportunity to rethink its own future. Join diplomats, politicians and academics from across the continent to debate the future of Europe.

Date: 31 October 2016. Time: 18.30 – 20.00. Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building

Further information can be found here.

Europe and its Neighbourhood, Conflict Prevention and Crisis Management in the 21st Century

The second annual conference on Europe and its Neighbourhood organised in partnership with International Crisis Group and Al Sharq Forum will assess the effectiveness and external perceptions of Europe’s collective and national-level responses to the crisis in its neighbourhood and consider how Europe can use its political and social capacity to manage the current crisis environment.

Date:  14 November 2016. Time: 09.00-17:30. Venue:  Royal Society of Arts, London.

Further information and registration details can be found here.

Expanding the role of universities in their local economies: devolution, skills and growth

Morning, Thursday, 8th December 2016, Central Manchester

  • Jacqui Ward, Deputy Director, Local Growth Policy and Delivery, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
  • Kevin Richardson, Local Growth Consultant, HEFCE
  • Robin Foale, Santander Universities UK
  • Professor Ellie Hamilton, Lancaster University
  • Professor Mike Hinton, High Value Manufacturing Catapult
  • Matthew Rhodes, Encraft and Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership
  • Professor David Smallbone, Kingston University London
  • Tristan Watson, Ignite Accelerator
What next for English devolution?

14 November 2016

The future of the planned devolution of powers to English towns and cities is in the balance.  The Mile End Institute and LGiU will bring together key thinkers and practitioners to assess its possible directions.

Time: 5:00 – 6:30pm
Venue: LGiU, 251 Pentonville Road, N1 9NG

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The Mice at Work: Threading the Needle c.1902 by Helen Beatrix Potter 1866-1943
During her later years Beatrix Potter became an authority on traditional Lake District crafts, period furniture and stonework, inspired to devote a significant portion of her energies to heritage and conservation work by Hardwicke Rawnsley, the founder of the National Trust.

4. News and Reviews

This month in GRAD…..

Has been a busy one for us all as we have finalised the detailed advice for the Secretary of State on whether the statutory tests have been met to proceed with the legislation for eight of our ten deal areas. As a result of that we have begun the write round process for these eight areas to seek agreement across Government Department’s to continue with the statutory process of laying orders. In parallel to that we have been working with our legal team (Richard, Swyrie and Ruairi) and colleagues across Whitehall, particularly DfT, on finalising the first drafts of these orders which will transfer the functions and powers agreed in the deals and, in four areas, establish new mayoral combined authorities. A significant milestone last week is getting Parliamentary lawyers’ nod of approval on the draft Order which will confer the first set of agreed powers on Greater Manchester, and which we are preparing to lay before Parliament in this week.

As we reach this important stage in the process for implementing the deals members of the team, alongside CLoG, have supported Ministers as they visit West of England, Greater Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Suffolk and the West Midlands. We have also been to Manchester to meet with representatives from all the mayoral combined authorities and to support them as they prepare for their council meetings where decisions will be taken to proceed with these deals. The next meetings will take place in London on 3 November and Manchester on 17 November.

Finally, for those of you that haven’t already met them yet I wanted to introduce the new(ish) members of our team – Rose Fletcher, Sabine Stieber, Hannah Condon, Nicola Chissell, Louise Beckingham – although they have all been in the team for a few months now I think they have yet to make an appearance in the CLoG Blog! We also say goodbye to Leigh Bura on Friday who is starting a secondment to the British Transport Police Authority leading the work on devolving the force in Scotland. In the last eighteen months Leigh has lead the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act through Parliament and more recently has lead for GRAD on Liverpool City Region, East Anglia and the finance regulations. We wish Leigh the best of luck in his new role and an announcement of his successor will be made in due course.

Details of GRAD responsibilities and the people to contact are here: governance-reform-and-democracy-grad-team-details

The World Of Beatrix Potter in Bowness-on-Windermere opened on 28 July 1998.  Its 15,000 annual Japanese visitors testify to her remarkably enduring and international popularity.
Civil Service Live

BEIS West Midlands was flying the flag for the Cities and Local Growth Unit at Civil Service Live 2016 (near Coventry) in the summer.  Visitors to our stand included John Manzoni who was impressed with the wide range of activities covered by the team and very interested in our devolution work. It was a good opportunity to raise the profile of the Unit and hear about the work of other departments.


Civil Service Live is a programme of learning events organised by Cabinet Office and delivered in partnership with Dods. It is a fantastic chance to bring together Civil Servants working in government departments and agencies, and private sector organisations to learn, network and collaborate; sharing ideas to help make best practice the norm. Watch out for 2017 events in Manchester, Gateshead, Birmingham, and London (next June/July).

The CLoG L & D Day on Tuesday 4 October – Celebrating Diversity, Inclusion and High Performance

Reflections from the organising team

What does it take to be a diverse, inclusive and high performing team?

The saying that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” is why I got involved in the development and delivery of the L&D day. We are all unique and contribute in our own ways within the working environment, and in our personal lives, and it’s about getting the best out of every person. We wanted to create a day that acted as a springboard for us to look across all of our diversity and inclusion characteristics and celebrate what’s working well and how we can improve.

Our working group was made up of passionate individuals with a real commitment to the day; each of us took a lead at different stages which created its own challenges and opportunities. The most important learning take away for me was understanding the different drivers for why people do the things that they do, including myself, and how to harness that as a strength. The day was a culmination of a true peer leadership group effort, and I hope that future L&D days are led by non SCS staff, but with their support and backing.

The challenge for all of us is whether the learning we all took from the day (as a whole unit collective) actually changes anything in our day to day practice. I’m confident that it will.

Organising the day was hard work and it took up a lot of time, but it was really worth it to work with a great peer group who all really care about improving diversity and inclusion. The highlight of the day for me was watching the videos (not mine!) and seeing other people’s reaction to CLOG members of staff opening up about their diversity. I hope that we can continue to do this and promote this feeling to make us a stronger team.

In all of the L&D events that I have been involved with I have always found colleagues’ enthusiasm and positive outlook very inspiring. Although the theme of each event has differed greatly (In particular with this D&I event), the motivation to deliver a successful day has been strong. Each event raises the bar for delivering on CLoG related themes to a high standard.

As we grow as a unit it is clear that we have a powerful network of partners and a knowledge base that we can utilise to our advantage. Our partners welcome working with us and we are clearly held in high regard by them. For me, our L&D events help to celebrate the relationship that we have with partners.

A real success, highlighting the passion from the unit on this theme. The organising was hard work and challenging, however I value the strengthened relationships I have made with colleagues in the working group.

Probably the last photograph ever taken of Beatrix Potter.  She died on 22 December 1943 at the age of 77.