The Regional contact for the North East and Yorkshire & Humberside:

Name: James McLaughlin

Authority: Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Email: or



We are currently looking at meeting dates for the remainder of this year.

  • June meeting – date and venue to be confirmed
  • Friday 27 September 2019 at 10.00 a.m. – York City Council to host
  • December meeting – date and venue to be confirmed

#NotWestminster – 15 & 16 February 2019

Local democracy enthusiasts from across the country came together in Huddersfield on Friday 15 and Saturday 16 February 2019 for #NotWestminster. ADSO has been proud to sponsor this event for the last few years.

It was a free event which included workshops, quick-fire talks, practical activities and conversations with a variety of people outside of the local government bubble. Some of the activities included:

  • designing council meeting layouts with Lego
  • creating safe spaces for online debates
  • the shift from subject to consumer to citizen – the changing face of service delivery and citizenship

If you are interested you can follow up from afar through #NotWestminster on social media or watch the event here –

It is great that this event is held in our region annually, so please continue to be involved


REGIONAL NETWORK MEETING – Friday 14 December 2018

The last regional network meeting took place on Friday 14 December at York City Council’s offices – West Offices, Station Rise, York Y01 6GA


Agenda Papers for the meeting can be found here – 

ADSO NEYH Regional Network Agenda_2018-12-14

extension: pdf

Agenda items include:-

  • Life after Democratic Services as an NHS Trust Secretary – Matthew Kane (Associate Director – Corporate Affairs and Trust Secretary at Sheffield Children’s Hospital) 

    Life as an NHS Trust Secretary

    extension: pdf

  • National ADSO Developments – John Austin (ADSO Chair)
  • Regional Training and Development – what would Members wish to see provided regionally
  • Workshop Discussion – Overview and Scrutiny
  • Regional Good Practice – how can we better share and learn from the good work that we do


REGIONAL NETWORK MEETING – Friday 21 September 2018

A regional meeting was held in York on Friday 21 September 2018, where Members received a great presentation from Carl Whistlecraft, Head of Democracy at Kirklees MBC on the work of the Kirklees Democracy Commission.

A further presentation was delivered by James McLaughlin, Head of Democratic Services at Rotherham MBC on ‘The Rotherham Story’. This presentation detailed the improvement journey, the complex governance implications associated with government intervention and the role of Democratic Services.

The real highlight of the meeting came from John Lynch who shared his experiences and funny stories from his lifetime of service in Democratic Services. One of the key things that came out of John’s talk was the need to look for opportunities and exploit them for the benefit of Democratic Services. Members found John’s insights both amusing and valuable.

The next regional meeting will be held in York on Friday 14 December 2018.


Developing the ADSO Regional Network


I am keen to enable ADSO Members to get more involved in the association’s activities at a local and regional level. Given the geographical spread of the region from Sheffield to Northumberland, it won’t always be feasible for Members to make regional meetings regularly.

I would welcome thoughts on developing county networks underneath the regional network. If these arrangements are already established, then it would be really good to hear about these.





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