Event report: The 21st Century Councillor framework Tested

On Friday 5 July, Councillors, council officers, and participants from the voluntary, community, faith, and social enterprise sector joined us at Federation House for a half-day workshop exploring findings from focus groups re-examining the role of local Councillors. This was the closing stakeholder event for our ARC project, Testing the 21st Century Councillor framework, delivered in partnership with North West Employers.

Those attending included people who had participated in the original focus groups, and others who recognised the value of the conversation. Facilitator Dawn Kelly (pictured below) ran through the key findings, and mapped out the recommendations within the report, before opening up group discussions to reflect on what everyone might do differently to enhance relationships between Councillors and those they work with and for.

    What did we discuss?

    Together we considered three questions:

    1. What spaces could be created to enable all stakeholders (Councillors, officers, communities) to work together more?

    2. How can stakeholders find out more about what different communities are looking for?

    3. How can stakeholders understand more about what it means to be a Councillor?

    What were the outcomes?

    There was very positive feedback about the benefit of working through the findings together, as a chance to recognise different perspectives and think about what motivates us. Sharon Senior gave a short presentation about the current learning and development offer provided by North West Employers, making connections with the research, and identifying new possibilities for her work with Councils.

    Council officers left with a commitment to re-examine the training and support provided for Councillors. One authority is now considering the possibility of cross-sector activities with all stakeholders, while others will be using the findings with Councillors to explore the appetite for co-production. All stakeholders wanted to look at how we might create more spaces for collaboration and co-production. A further report from this event will be forthcoming, and North West Employers will take an active role in disseminating findings to other stakeholders, including at their AGM (pictured below).

    Find out more

    Photo above courtesy of North West Employers Director, Kash Haroon (@kmhistaken).
    Photo of Dawn taken by Jason Lawton for Jam & Justice, 3 July 2019.