Weekly message from Joanna Boaler, Director of Communications

By the time you read this, Italy will have played England in the Final of the UEFA Euro 2020… I am afraid at the time of writing I don’t know the outcome, but what I do know is, winner or runner up, two teams worked very hard to get to the final.

ADSO Awards 2021
Many of you will recall the two fabulous teams who won Team of the Year at the ADSO Awards 2020, North Kesteven District and West Suffolk Councils. They along with all those shortlisted Councils worked really hard to get to our final last year.

There is still time for you to nominate someone to win at the ADSO Awards 2021. We have three categories – Learner of the Year, Rookie of the Year and the Distinguished Service Award of the year.

Whatever the outcome in the football, let’s celebrate the amazing work of your colleagues. Nominations will be closing soon so please don’t hesitate in putting forward an individual whose achievements we should celebrate!

Council meetings
Like many of you, I am staring in the face of another social distanced council meeting. On Tuesday we will again be meeting at the sports centre, trying to make the meeting as good as possible, allowing democracy to continue despite everything. I suppose it shows that whether it is a car park or a sports centre or a grand chamber, it is not the venue that really matters. We have the added complication of several of the team having to self-isolate but as always, democratic services colleagues work to overcome these challenges. I will be glad when the meeting is over though.

Regional meetings
There are a few regional meetings coming up this week including the North East, Yorkshire and Humberside on Tuesday, the East of England meeting on Wednesday and the Themed and Combined Authority on Friday.  For more details please look at the calendar on our website. The meetings are always great opportunities to meet others, learn best practice and share ideas and be reminded that we are not alone with challenging issues.

ADSO website
Speaking of the website, if you are new to ADSO (or haven’t visited us in a while), do take time to have a look at the vast amount of content we offer.  Not only can you find jobs, training and qualification opportunities and latest news, you can also learn more about the role of Democratic Services. If you get a quiet moment over the summer, do have a look. If you would like to contribute to content on the website, please also let us know by emailing info@adso.co.uk , we love case studies including on careers and about your role.

LGA Code of Conduct guidance
You may have seen that the LGA has now launched the Code of Conduct guidance, you can find it here. ADSO have worked with Paul Hoey who has been leading on this to make the guidance as clear as possible.  If your Authority does adopt this Code, we hope you find it useful.

ADSO Autumn Training offer
I am pleased to share the ADSO Autumn training offer, look out for further information.

ADSO Consultancy and bespoke Training
ADSO is increasing its work in consultancy and bespoke training for both councillors and officers. Previous commissions for consultancy have included:

  •  reviews of Constitutions
  •  schemes of delegation and related processes
  •  the role and structure of democratic services teams
  •  changing governance arrangements
  •  best practice reviews.

The bespoke training has included chairing skills, rules of debate, code of conduct, member/officer relations, constitutions, licensing and appeals. All can be undertaken virtually as well as face to face when restrictions allow.

We can design our training and consultancy to suit your specific needs. Some authorities also offer the training to neighbouring councils which is a good way of spreading the cost.

Both the consultancy reviews and the training courses are carried out by experienced governance or legal professionals at less than commercial cost. Please contact John Austin (john.austin@adso.co.uk) if you would like further details.

We are now receiving more out of offices, so I hope that means many of you are getting some time off to rest and relax, you really do deserve a break. This will be my last newsletter for a while, we are taking a break in August, so I will not be back until the end of September. Hopefully the world around us will have calmed down a little, you will have had a bit of a rest over the summer and enjoyed the breaks from the rain and maybe a managed a little sun, and on a personal note I will have hopefully moved house… it is good to have ambition!

Joanna Boaler, Director of Communications

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