The annual conference is not far now, please let us know what workshops you will like to attend. Descriptions and contact form are below.

Day One (Thursday 22nd November)

Workshop 1: The Standards Framework and the Relationship between Democratic Services and the Monitoring Officer role

Suki Binjal, Lawyers in Local Government and John Austin, ADSO Chair (now fully booked) 

This session will summarise the work of the Committee on Standards in Public Life in relation to the Standards Framework and will look at how legal and democratic services staff (through the Monitoring Officer and Deputy roles) can promote good governance amongst principal and local authorities and support the Monitoring Officer function more effectively.


Workshop 2: Would a better way to handle difficult conversations make you more resilient?

Sam Dyer, Executive Coach and Trainer


During this session, we will learn Sam Dyer’s AGREE Conversation Model, which is designed specifically for handling planned difficult conversations. We’ll also learn techniques to manage your own state and the impact it has on others. Sam will then link both of these in with how you can become more resilient in all aspects of your life.


Workshop 3: Members behaving badly: an update on standards issues

Paul Hoey, Hoey Ainscough Associates Ltd

This session will update delegates on current standards issues including the ongoing review by the Committee on Standards in Public Life.  It will give delegates a chance to discuss any live local issues they may have and look at a number of case studies, to discuss how difficult situations might best be handled and what support officers can draw upon to support them in dealing with challenging members.


Workshop 4: Current Case Law: You be the judge

Simon Goacher, Partner, Weightmans

This session will be an interactive review of recent cases affecting local authorities, particularly those relating to administration and decision making.  You can put yourself in the position of the judge; what decision would you have made and will it be the same as the decision made by the real judge(s).  There will be an opportunity to discuss the cases and the implications for local authority decision making processes.



Day Two (Friday 23rd November)

Workshop 5

The Northamptonshire Story: Delivering Democratic Services in a Crisis

Paul Hanson, Democratic Services Manager, Northamptonshire County Council (now fully booked) 


This workshop will take delegates on a journey through Northamptonshire County Council’s well-publicised financial and governance difficulties. Paul will focus on the role of democratic services in supporting the authority through a period of significant crisis and upheaval. Delegates will be encouraged to reflect on the role they might play in preventing a failure of governance in their own authorities. Themes to be covered will include:

  • Dealing with a developing crisis, including handling a Section 114 notice, an auditor’s Advisory Notice and managing political fallout;
  • Re-prioritising resources in a fluid environment;
  • The role of democratic services in ensuring the effectiveness of overview and scrutiny arrangements; and
  • Working with commissioners and other new faces.

Workshop 6
The Dorset Story: Partnership Working

Susan Dallison, Democratic Services Manager, West Dorset District Council (Dorset Councils Partnership)

In 2012 West Dorset District Council and Weymouth and Portland Borough Council agreed to work in partnership and a few years later in 2015, North Dorset District Council joined the partnership forming the first tri-council partnership in the country.   On 26th February 2018 the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP agreed to the creation of two new unitary councils for Dorset. The two new authorities will replace Dorset’s nine existing councils and will go live on 1st April 2019. One will cover Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, and the other, ‘Dorset Council’ will replace Dorset County Council and five district councils.   The presentation will tell the story of how democratic services has transformed to meet the challenges of partnership working and the preparations to deliver a democratic service for Dorset Council on 1st April 2019. 


Workshop 7
The Road to West Suffolk:

Leah Mickleborough, Service Manager – Democratic Services/Monitoring Officer, Forest Heath District and St Edmundsbury Borough councils
This workshop will explore the journey of how West Suffolk moved from developing shared services to the point where creating a whole new District Council simply became the next logical step with over 70% of public support.  Next March, St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Forest Heath District Council will be abolished, and replaced with West Suffolk Council.  This is one of the very first District-tier mergers in the country, which presents exciting opportunities to explore political and community leadership – but also a huge amount of challenges in getting everything ready for the new Council to begin.  This session may particularly interest those who are working in authorities exploring their shared service relationships with partners, or are looking at reforming their governance structures.

Workshop 8    
Member Development – The Essex Journey

Joanna Boaler, Head of Democracy and Transparency, Essex County Council

 This session will take you on the journey of member development at Essex County Council; on the way you will stop at Member Failure, Steering Group, Buy-in and Charter with your final destination at Charter Plus Reaccreditation. The session will navigate you through the developments and changes that member development went through at Essex, how we navigated the potholes and diverted to a successful path. The presentation will also cover the future plans for member development at Essex County Council.

updated conference programme 2018

extension: pdf

Privacy Preference Center


This website uses tracking software to monitor its visitors to better understand how they use it.

_ga, _gid


This website uses a cookie control system allowing the user on their first visit to the website to allow or disallow the use of cookies on their computer/device.

gdpr[privacy bar]

Close your account?

Your account will be closed and all data will be permanently deleted and cannot be recovered. Are you sure?