In changing and austere times for councillors,
Highlights of what we offer
Frontline Consulting Associates includes experienced leaders, councillors and officers who understand the politics of local government and the wider public sector.
Frontline Consulting offers support to Police and Crime Panels given the different accountabilities introduced in 2012. We frequently deliver induction, review and development programmes for numerous Police and Crime Panels, and share good practice through regional PCP Networks, annual conferences and www.pcps-direct.net.
We provide the Secretariat for the Non-Executive Academy.
Working with the Local Government Information Unit, we are helping local authorities to explore their roles in supporting school improvement and promoting high educational attainment in the light of the move to academies and free schools.
We also are delivering a series of seminars on commissioning for councillors, working with the LGiU.
We help tackle political management issues, within a political group or across the authority or with cross-sector partners. We provide advice, offer mediation, tackle governance issues and promote ethical governance.
Frontline Consulting provides training and advice on ethical governance and support members and political groups in councils where there is weak governance.
Many of us have experienced a change of control or minority administrations, and can work with you if you are forming a new administration, going into opposition or operating on a hung council; some Associates have experience of local government reorganisation.
Our Associates bring experience of working in majority ethnic authorities, of building community cohesion, and of working through councils and partners to address the impact of migration on communities and services. We can work with council leaderships to develop strategies and action plans, bringing the local authority, service users, residents, community groups and other stakeholders together to identify challenges and develop solutions.
For more details, contact us.
Who we are
Frontline Consulting offers advice, consultancy, learning and development activity, and mentoring for local authorities and the wider public sector, particularly elected members, in changing times.
Our Associates have experience as local authority leaders, cabinet members, frontline councillors, scrutineers, officers, civil servants, policy advisers, communications specialists and trainers with experience across the public, private and third sectors.
All our learning and development is interactive and tailored to your particular requirements and organisation. We use a mixture of briefings, good practice, case studies, applied learning, group discussions and activities.
Ann brings extensive experience to this leading role in the consultancy, which she established in 2007 to support councillors in their frontline roles and to respond to changes in the public sector by developing cross-sector working.
Ann is establishing the Non-Executive Academy. She also is an Adviser and Regional Advocate for the South of England with the Centre for Public Scrutiny, a Tutor with South West Councils and a Consultant with the Local Government Information Unit. She has worked with the Local Government Association and the former IDeA and the Leadership Centre for Local Government.
She has been an active ward councillor, a cabinet member and in the leadership of the council in a London borough. Ann also has experience in a minority administration on a hung council and spent two years in opposition. She has been on the board of a regeneration project, chaired a town centre partnership and was an environmental lead. She was elected on to her parish council in May 2015.
Ann focuses on governance issues on councils, having had practical experience on the working group that introduced new structures in her authority, and having worked in both the committee system and the executive scrutiny split. She specialises in community engagement and overview and scrutiny, having conducted reviews across the country. Ann also is interested in the political management of groups, having been the national head of local government for a political party. In that role, Ann worked closely with ministers and local government agencies.
Ann has been an agent at numerous local and Parliamentary elections, so has broad experience of local democracy, electoral registration and representation.
Natalie Ainscough is a specialist in understanding Parliamentary procedures and advising senior figures on how to influence political and civil service thinking at senior levels.
Natalie is particularly skilled in analysing complex issues from all sides, analysing risks, helping people develop solutions and consensus while ensuring the issues are understood and clearly communicated.
She has nearly ten years’ experience working on public policy development for Government agencies. This includes nearly six years at Standards for England in a key policy role developing and implementing an evolving local standards framework where she led a multi-disciplinary team in the development of statutory guidance. She also developed and implemented entity risk management systems designed to identify, assess and prioritise risks to local authority governance from standards issues.
She has experience of working with senior politicians and officers at national and local level and extensive knowledge of negotiating at the highest political levels across parties. Her particular areas of expertise are in understanding policy intentions behind legislation, production of clear and focused briefing and guidance materials and organising events. This includes responsibility for management of content for Standards for England’s national stakeholder conference.
Natalie also is a Director of Hoey Ainscough Associates Ltd.
Cllr Ralph Berry has been a Bradford Councillor since 1991. Having been re-elected five times in a sometimes politically turbulent city, he has experience of working in a climate where extreme political groups need to be challenged by restoring and promoting the role of the local elected member. He is currently the Cabinet member with responsibility for Children and Young People. Ralph is an LGA accredited peer mentor for Children’s Services.
Ralph has been an active Ward Councillor as well as a Portfolio Holder in opposition and now in power. He was Opposition spokesperson mainly in the areas of Education and Children Services, quality improvement, Health and Community Development.
He has experience in Minority, Opposition and Minority leadership roles and has overseen a number of major changes to improve outcomes and led change at times of challenge in Health, Children’s and Education Services and the move from the Committee to the Cabinet system.
Ralph has a professional career in Social Work and the Probation Services and was a senior manager in CAFCASS until 2011. He is a qualified social worker with Offenders and Families, including four years as a team manager.
Ralph is a member of Bradford’s Health and Wellbeing Board and Strategic Partnerships. He also serves as a Non-Executive as a Director of a local Social Enterprise. He has held two NHS Non-Executive Chair roles over the past ten years.
Ralph has experience in leading major change built upon consultation and he led the successful return to local public delivery of education services in Bradford from Serco. Ralph has many years experience as a School Governor at some very challenging inner city schools.
Ralph offers a blend of hands on experience of service delivery and strategic political leadership, particularly of Children’s Services. He is committed to improving democratic local accountability as a means of improving outcomes for children. He has handled some very sensitive issues over recent times such as child sexual abuse and corporal punishment in Supplementary Schools. He has extensive experience of working well with minority ethnic communities.
Ralph is also an Associate Hospital manager, a visiting lecturer with Bradford University, and works with the Co-operative Schools programme for Co-operatives UK. He is a Trustee of Reading Matters
To contact Ralph, ring 07976 382993 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard Cotton has 30 years experience in local government including 24 years advising four successive leaders in the London Borough of Brent.
Whilst working full time, he obtained a Masters Degree in Contemporary British Politics at the University of London and was awarded a distinction for his dissertation ‘Modernising Local Government: Will it all end in tiers?’ (2002).
Richard has taught local government to FE students and trained councillors and council staff on the political history of local government, electoral reform, ethical standards, political publicity, casework and campaigning. He has received a number of local government delegates from abroad, informing them about British local government.
He has written speeches, organised press conferences and was responsible for media strategy. He produced and drove through the Group’s strategy for opposition between 2006 and 2010, and the successful election strategy in 2010.
An expert psephologist, he wrote the Council’s submission on Brent’s external boundaries in advance of the City and London Borough Boundaries Order 1993 and assisted with Brent’s submissions to the parliamentary boundary reviews prior to the 1997 and 2010 General Elections.
Richard was elected onto Camden Council in May 2014.
Susan is a member of Northumberland County Council and the Policy Board Member for Adult Care and Public Health. She is a member of the Health and Wellbeing Board, and is on the Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust Governing Body and the Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Trust.
Susan was a councillor on Blyth Valley Borough Council for 12 years. In that time she chaired the overview and scrutiny management board, the arts and leisure trust and the community assembly and was vice-chair of the housing services committee and the economic and community services committee.
She has been an IDeA regional lead peer and worked on CPA inspections for the Audit Commission. Her work with the IDeA included member development, reviews, top team development and mentoring of individuals and political groups. Susan is an Associate with the Centre for Public Scrutiny.
Susan is keen to recruit more women into local government and to challenge the ways in which councils work, in order to ensure that there is more diversity within groups.
As a communications professional with over 25 years experience operating in a range of working environments covering broadcasting, business, industry, the public sector including trade unions, local government, political parties and the voluntary sector, Helen brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to Frontline Consulting.
She also has an extensive practical background in local campaigning and electioneering that includes standing as a candidate in local council elections, seeing service for a time as a Town Councillor as well as being approved at one time as a Parliamentary candidate.
Helen’s particular skills cover writing, editing and art direction including the production and development of targeted communications such as leaflets, booklets, newspapers, magazines and websites. She is also experienced in developing local and national strategic communications and campaign planning; plus event management including conferences, seminars, exhibitions, dinners and large outdoor events.
Helen has two degrees in politics including an MSc from Strathclyde University where she majored in public policy making. She is currently a communications consultant and works extensively on a voluntary basis in the areas of social and palliative care.
Paul Hoey has worked extensively for central government nationally and internationally for over 20 years in a range of policy roles including over ten years as the director in charge of strategy and stakeholder relations at Standards for England.
He has been the acknowledged national expert on the local government standards framework for the last decade and has worked with individual authorities and groupings of authorities on implementation and development of local standards arrangements as well as advising Standards for England, the Government and key national regulators and representative bodies on standards issues. He has given expert evidence to both the Parliamentary Select Committee and Committee on Standards in Public Life enquiries into local government standards.
More generally, he has wide experience of operating in a political environment, working with senior politicians across the political spectrum on policy development and implementation and strategic negotiations, covering a diverse range of areas including housing policy, environmental policy and latterly a range of issues relating to local authority governance, constitutions and political management.
He has particular experience of working closely with Ministers and understanding their needs and developed particular expertise in Ministerial speech writing and policy statements, ensuring they were targeted effectively to ensure maximum clarity of message and political buy-in.
He has similar experience working alongside senior officers at national and local level as well as within the political parties and has a deep understanding of the workings of Whitehall and Parliament.
Paul is skilled at developing consensus across a wide range of stakeholders, building effective alliances and facilitating events and discussions. His particular expertise lies in developing and testing policy solutions to problems and then ensuring effective delivery through consensus and team-building.
Paul also is a Director of Hoey Ainscough Associates Ltd.
Ann John OBE was the Leader of Brent Council from 2001 until 2006 and from 2010 until 2012; she has been one of the few women to lead a London borough council.
Ann was a councillor on the London Borough of Brent from May 1990 until May 2014, and represented a very deprived ward in the south of Brent. She remains committed to policies to tackle social exclusion and to promote economic regeneration and create jobs.
Brent is unique in that it has an ethnic majority population served by an ethnic majority workforce and Ann’s leadership saw the council commended by Ted Cantle amongst others for its work in celebrating diversity and promoting community cohesion. She remains particularly interested in the role of the voluntary sector in bringing diverse communities together.
As a leading councillor, Ann was never afraid to tackle difficult issues if it would lead to improved services for local communities. She took the lead in developing policies to combat domestic violence and chaired a scrutiny review on FGM. She remains keenly interested in education as a member of a number of governing bodies and is a supporter of better youth facilities, including, as a former Board member of the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn, promoting access to drama. She has expertise in planning and regeneration, having overseen the building of a new civic centre alongside the national stadium in Wembley and the rebuilding of much of Brent’s social housing.
Ann is a member of the Corporation Board of the College of North West London and a Director of the Wembley National Stadium Trust.
Ann was awarded the OBE for services to local government in the New Years Honours list in 2009.
Proud of Brent’s record under her leadership, Ann is keen to share her experiences with others.
Oliver Moore joins Frontline Consulting Associates as an interim marketing coordinator and to support a project evaluating the first term of Police and Crime Panels.
Neil brings extensive experience of managing and commissioning health and adult social care services. Neil has served as an NHS non-executive director and was for eight years an elected member of Brent Council in London where he chaired the Overview Committee and led on the introduction of health scrutiny.
Neil worked until recently at the Department of Health where he established and led London Social Care Transformation Leads and the London LINks networks.
Neil is skilled at bringing a wide range of stakeholders together, including users and statutory organisations, and at facilitating events and discussions, steering people to a consensus. He is proficient at enabling organisations and services to identify a desired future state, and then back-engineering delivery plans using skills in challenge, risk assessment and problem-solving.
A registered social worker, Neil lives in London and is a governor of the local Pupil Referral Unit . Neil is a member of the RSA Connected Communities Steering Group and the Jewish Care Community Services Advisory Group.
Neil was re-elected onto Brent Council in north west London in May 2014.
Anthea focuses on adult social care. She was the Director of the Learning Disability Coalition and currently is working as the Public Policy Advisor at Real Life Options and as the Interim Chief Executive of The Association for Real Change Ltd.
She served as a Peterborough City Councillor for nine years where her roles included chair of the community services committee and Leader of the Opposition. She was a senior member providing leadership when Peterborough became a Unitary Authority, helping to ensure a successful transition. Representing a ward with considerable numbers of people experiencing deprivation meant that housing, community cohesion and work with young people were strategic priorities that Anthea actively championed, including the establishment of a new community trust.
Anthea’s other roles have included tutoring Return to Learn and Lifelong Learning Advisors courses for the WEA and UNISON, developing innovative day services for people with learning disabilities, non-executive director of an NHS trust and parliamentary candidate. Anthea provided leadership in social policy and campaigning for the Methodist Church, including considerable media work on significant and often controversial issues, meetings with government ministers, intensive networking with other partners and mobilising members. She was the Director of the Learning Disability Coalition and currently is working as the Public Policy Advisor at Real Life Options.
Anthea is a trained drama practitioner and has expertise in International Human Rights Law.
Barrie has spent his working life promoting citizen engagement in decision-making processes. He is a Labour Councillor on Westminster City Council, where he is Deputy Leader of the Opposition and a Scrutiny Commissioner.
Prior to becoming self-employed in 2003 he held a number of posts – as a Commissioner for Patient & Public Involvement in Health; an Expert Advisor for the Centre for Public Scrutiny; an adviser / consultant to PCTs, NHS development agencies, the Appointments Commission and the World Health Organisation (Europe).
Barrie has experience in training elected members across a broad range of local authorities – City Councils, County Councils, Metropolitan Boroughs and London Boroughs. He is an enthusiast for scrutiny and has advised, designed, presented and facilitated seminars on health scrutiny for local authority members.
He has acted as a keynote speaker at regional and national conferences and has presented on scrutiny at universities, the Local Government Association and the Local Government Information Unit. He often chairs DODs Westminster Briefing seminars and has lectured on public and patient involvement in health within the European Union and the European Economic Area.
Barrie has an MSc in Public Policy.
To contact Barrie, ring 07973 135255 or email email@example.com
Tim Young is our Senior Associate; he leads on the major project with Police and Crime Panels and also on Commissioning.
Tim has worked as an independent consultant since 2006, carrying out assignments for a wide range of local authorities and other bodies. In doing so, he draws particularly on his experience as the former Head of Scrutiny at the London Borough of Camden (a council which earned a national reputation as a leading edge authority for Overview and Scrutiny) and on extensive networks built up during sixteen years in local government.
He has worked extensively with Members across the political spectrum and with officers from different types of authority, across the country. Projects have included policy development, evaluations, facilitated meetings, Action Learning Sets and skills training and development in a range of fields. Tim also has extensive experience of the voluntary sector through working in a policy, research and campaigning capacity for regional and national organisations. He holds postgraduate research degrees in politics from the University of Sussex and has written on a wide variety of topics, including a range of toolkits, protocols, guides and reports.
Tim also works as an Expert Adviser with the Centre for Public Scrutiny and a Consultant with the Local Government Information Unit.
The feedback that is coming back from partners, officers and members is extremely positive. You played a key role in ensuring its success, so a personal thank you for your involvement. We could not have done it without you! I’ll certainly be in touch with regard to future working opportunities (Head of Scrutiny, Metropolitan Council)
Ann is very professional in her approach and she was well prepared and fully engaged to the end. (Workforce and member development officer)
Pleasant, professional, clear, encouraging, effective (Police and Crime Panel support officer)
I just wanted to say thank you for delivering for us yesterday – you have an engaging style of delivery and I certainly appreciated the inclusive nature of training. Your knowledge was impressive and you clearly love what you do. It comes through very strongly! (Learning and development officer)
Members involved and I were really happy with what you did with us on the Ageing Well agenda (Scrutiny officer, unitary)
Thanks – much appreciated … the day went very well (Director, Metropolitan Council)
I want to thank you for the flexible approach you have taken in supporting us in trying different ways of working (Police and Crime Panel support officer)
Many thanks for running the workshop … we would love to have you back later this year (Leader, Metropolitan Council)
The event was a huge success largely thanks to yourself, and our members are rather excited about some of the work that might come from the day (Scrutiny officer, County)
Let you learn at your own pace which is good (Police and Crime Panel member)
Good set up, very knowledgeable advisor, with innovative suggestions. In the set up for the day Ann did everything that was asked of her, and took the initiative when it wasn’t. On the day Ann really worked to ensure that the whole event ran as smoothly as possible (Scrutiny officer, County)
This is an excellent report which accurately reflects our findings / subsequent recommendations (Head of Overview and Scrutiny, Metropolitan Council)
Very good – particularly in handling difficult situations, defusing conflict and moving along some quite difficult exercises (Police and Crime Panel support officers)
Thanks for coming along and organising the session; I think it was very well received and is certainly food for thought (Scrutiny officer, unitary)
Facilitators were both very good at presenting information, managing the group and enabling us to move on (Police and Crime Panel support officer)
All feedback seems to be good. If anyone is thinking of using your services, I’d be happy to recommend (Police and Crime Panel support officer)
Thank you for the thoughtfulness of this preparation. It makes my work so much easier (Scrutiny Chair)
Thank you for this – it’s really helpful to have such a useful brief prior to chairing the Meetings – much appreciated (Regional network Chair)
Just a quick email to thank you for all your help in getting the group together. I think that we have covered some good topics and the information sharing is encouraging more joint scrutiny across the county. We have a good platform to move forward and I’m hopeful that the group can be established on a permanent basis. Thanks again (Scrutiny manager, County)
I value both the networking and working relationship that we have developed and certainly we would look to utilise you again in future training needs (Officer, District)
Always good to see and speak with you – much more light emerging now at the end of the tunnel (Officer, District)
It was great to meet you and the seminars certainly seemed to go well. You were very brave to use role play – and I was impressed with how Members a) threw themselves into it/enjoyed it and b) got a lot out of it into the bargain (Officer, County)
Thanks again for your presentation and discussion with the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee – I had some very positive feedback on the session (Scrutiny officer, City)
Conferences and courses
Our Associates include specialists in adult education, communications and training. They are experienced in local government, health and social care, safeguarding, policing and crime and comunity cohesion.
We provide tailored seminars and workshops for candidates and councillors, mentoring and coaching for councillors in particular roles, induction programmes, skills workshops, action learning programmes, reviews and facilitation of group away days or development cafes.
We organise events including conferences, summits, seminars, roundtables and forums, tailored to specific themes or requirements.
Frontline Consulting regularly provides training:
- for Police and Crime Panels
- for frontline councillors eg ward working and community leadership, including through South West Councils
- for councillors about commissioning councils, including with the LGiU
- for councillors about changing accountabilities in education, with the LGiU
- for councillors in chairing skills, questioning and listening techniques and public speaking, including through South West Councils
- for officers and partners on political awareness, including through South West Councils
- for councillors on corporate parenting and safeguarding
- for councillors and officers about equalities’ duties and diversity
- for councillors, officers and partners on Overview and Scrutiny, including through the Centre for Public Scrutiny
- for councillors, officers and partners on the health and care system.
Please contact us if you would like us to deliver any learning and development activity or could host a regional seminar in your local authority.
For more information or to discuss your requirements with Ann, Tim, Neil, Richard or Anthea, please contact us.
Policing and crime
Frontline Consulting has worked with more than half the Police and Crime Panels in England and Wales as they have been developing their role of challenge and support to their Police and Crime Commissioner. We have held four successful national conferences for PCPs, and have supported meetings in three regional PCP Networks. We deliver induction and development seminars covering PCPs’ statutory duties regarding the precept and plan, confirmatory hearings, complaints and the annual report, and promoting innovation, including proactive scrutiny, budget scrutiny and developing work with the PCC.
We are able to support other regional PCP networks, especially given increasing regional collaboration between Forces, and after the elections for Police and Crime Commissioners (5 May 2016) we will be offering joint induction events to enable early development of effective working relationships between the PCC and her/his Panel.
In early 2016, we are conducting a Survey of PCPs, PCCs, OPCCs and Chief Constables about the role of PCPs during their first term of operation; with the support of Grant Thornton, findings will be published in March. Linked to this, we can offer first term reviews of the operation of your PCP.
Our next Conference for PCPs will take place on Thursday 20 October 2016 from 10 am to 4 pm in Birmingham Council House. We invite chairs, members and support officers from PCPs to attend. The focus will be on meeting new challenges. Details will be posted on our partner website: www.pcps-direct.net (see below). The conference fee has been held at £99 per delegate including VAT; you can reserve your places through the conferences and courses section of this website. We are grateful to our sponsor, Grant Thornton.
We support an online resource, information exchange and social network for PCPs in partnership with Councillor Direct Community Interest Company: www.pcps-direct.net. PCPs may send us articles for the site that is moderated by Tim Young, our Senior Associate and the Lead on policing and crime and Helen Findlay, an Associate and Director of Councillor Direct CIC. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com with features or items for the digest. Anyone with an interest in policing accountabilities may register on the social network of www.pcps-direct.net, and set up circles or networks to communicate with others working on or with PCPs.
On request, we can also provide support for refreshed working relationships between stakeholders at Force level or beyond, mentoring of your PCP Chair, tailored induction for Independent Members, and facilitation or action learning for joint working by PCPs in response to growing regional collaboration by Police Forces and Police and Crime Commissioners.
For Force area induction, reviews or development programmes or to set up a regional network for PCPs, contact Tim Young on 07985 072979 or contact us here.
Frontline Consulting has set up the Non-Executive Academy and is providing the Secretariat at the development stage.
The Non-Executive Academy is committed to:
- Increasing transparency and accountability
- Improving decision-making
- Securing better outcomes for the public
- Protecting the public purse.
Our objectives are:
- To be a voice for non-executives in public sector governance and a champion of the public interest
- To seek to drive debate and understanding of the role of non-executives, particularly in the context of devolution
- To promote a focus on cross-sector working between non-executives based upon place and neighbourhoods.
Members of the Advisory Board are:
- Karen Buck MP (Parliament)
- Professor Ted Cantle CBE (community cohesion, iCoCo foundation)
- Professor Colin Copus (academia, De Montfort University)
- Jessica Crowe (chair)
- Baroness Margaret Eaton DBE DL (Parliament and local government)
- Jacqui McKinley (public accountability, Centre for Public Scrutiny)
- Emma Knights (education, National Governors Association)
- Julian McCrae (governance, Institute for Government)
- Cllr Neil Nerva (Vice-chair, Local Government Information Unit)
- Pascoe Sawyers (Local Government Association)
- James Tickell (housing)
- Rob Whiteman (Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy)
- To be appointed (health)
- To be appointed (central government)
Through CIPFA, we have contributed to an introductory collection of essays, following which CIPFA plan to conduct surveys of non-executives to explore roles, responsibilities, powers and support within each sector. Longer term plans include the development of a course for the public sector non-executive, leading to an accredited qualification at a university.
It is intended that the Non-Executive Academy will stand alone as an independent charity during 2016-7.
To discuss this further, feel free to telephone:
Ann on 07903 96481207903 964812
Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults
Councils continue to have a general duty to promote high standards of education and fulfilment of potential, as set out in section 13A of the Education Act 1996. Frontline Consulting Associates has worked with the Centre for Public Scrutiny on ‘Back to School’, identifying a role for councillors and overview and scrutiny in particular in the new governance arrangements for schools. We also work with the Local Government Information Unit to deliver seminars where elected members and senior officers think through councils remaining powers relating to education and develop work with schools according to their different governance models.
If you would like to host a seminar on the role of councils and councillors in relation to schools, email firstname.lastname@example.org
The safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults remains a significant responsibility for local government. It is often one of the most challenging areas for a council’s political and organisational leadership. The local authority has the prime responsibility to ensure different agencies work effectively together and support both Local Safeguarding Children Boards and their Vulnerable Adult counterparts. Councillors cannot afford to ‘leave it to the professionals’, but need to understand the issues, face up to challenges and ensure a stronger resilience amongst the communities in your local authority area. Frontline Consulting includes two specialists who are able to work with councillors to help them to fulfil their safeguarding duties. We can deliver training that is tailored to your needs and that will help you to secure practical solutions to any safeguarding concerns. We provide councillors, whether executive or non-executive, and groups within the faith and voluntary sector with the tools and knowledge to have confidence in facing up to and fulfilling their safeguarding responsibilities.
Email email@example.com if you would like either Associate with a background in social care who specialise in safeguarding to work with you.
Work with officers and public sector partners
We offer mentoring and three courses: Induction and Learning and Development for Political Assistants; Political Awareness for Local Government Officers; and an Introduction to Local Government for partners in the public sector.
The Political Assistant is a bridge between the locally elected representatives and the officers, and needs to secure the trust of both to ensure the effectiveness of her/his group and the smooth conduct of council business. In practice the role varies according to local political culture and whether or not the group forms the Administration or is in opposition. It often combines the roles of policy advisor, researcher, caseworker, counsellor and press officer. Frontline Consulting is able to provide mentoring for new Political Assistants, and seminars that would cover local government law, political management, communications, political publicity, equal opportunities and time management.
With experienced council officers and councillors on our team, we provide briefings and workshops on Political Awareness for council officers. We include perspectives from councillors, and cover respective motivations and roles, scenarios, coping with challenges and advice.
We run a half day seminar for a maximum of 20 people from public sector partners eg Clinical Commissioning Groups, private sector contractors, to provide an introduction to local government – how it works, its structures and responsibilities. It covers how local government relates to the relevant part of the public sector, and how to establish networks and build relationships. It also explores links across the public sector eg with Executive Mayors, Police and Crime Commissioners etc. The programme is always adapted to the local context and can be delivered in alternative time slots, according to requirements.
For more information or to discuss your requirements with Richard, Ann or Tim, please contact us.
While good governance and conduct issues are often taken for granted, when problems do occur they can have a debilitating effect on a council, its performance and its relationships with its partners and communities. Public trust once lost can be hard to win back and can damage a council’s reputation for years.
Given the abolition of Standards for England and the national regulatory and guidance framework, we can support individual authorities to develop effective tailored standards systems and relationships to anticipate and deal with problems or to rebuild their systems when they have broken down. We also offer training for councillors and can provide consultancy to investigate individual cases.
Our Associates are recognised national experts who offer support to officers and members to help them avoid or mitigate problems, develop and assess the effectiveness of your governance and standards arrangements, and work to identify risk factors that may lead to future problems if not addressed.
Our partners, Hoey Ainscough Associates, deliver local workshops for Members, Monitoring Officers and Independents on case handling under the current standards arrangements, and also provide support for town and parish councils to improve governance.
Together we have run successful conferences for Monitoring Officers to address key issues arising from the Localism Act 2011 changes to standards arrangements, and hosted a review of its impact in January 2015, working with the Committee on Standards in Public Life.
For more information or to discuss your requirements, speak to Paul or Natalie or please contact us here.
Our Associates are based in the North, North West, Midlands, London, the South East and the South West.
Our Associates include councillors with experience in the leadership or membership of London borough councils, unitary councils, metropolitan councils, district councils and town and parish councils.
We also include experienced council officers and others who have worked in the health service or government departments.
Contact Ann on 07903 96481207903 964812 or 01963 22037801963 220378 for more information.
If you would like to get in contact by email click here.
Frontline Consulting Associates
8 Waterlow Court
Hampstead Garden Suburb