What’s On

November 21, 2017
  • 09.30-09.35
    Chair’s opening address
  • Devolution and transformation of local government
  • 09.35-09.55
    Keynote: Delivering the vision of the Northern Powerhouse

    The Northern Powerhouse strategy has set out a radical new way to rebalance the UK’s economy and establish the North as an engine for growth. What does the strategy now mean for the region’s future?

    • Promoting prosperity across the North of England through improved skills, innovation, transport and culture
    • What Brexit means for the North of England
    • Putting businesses and civic leaders at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse
    • Understanding the progress of devolution deals and the challenges of achieving local growth across city regions
  • 09.55-10.15
    Sponsored session
  • 10.15-10.35
    Increasing trade and investment in the Northern Powerhouse

    Generating almost 20% of the UK’s GDP and with FDI to the region growing at twice the rate of the rest of the UK, the Northern Powerhouse has immense commercial potential. For this session, find out about:

    • The opportunities to grow trade across the Northern regions
    • The strength of the Northern Powerhouse to attract overseas finance
    • How Northern Fintech, manufacturing, digital and other sectors can be supported
  • 10.35-11.15
    Devolution in practice – opportunities of the new mayoralties

    2017 saw the establishment of six new mayoralties over combined authorities, creating huge new potential for delivering more locally-focused services. For this discussion, discover how these new leaders hope to transform regional governance.

    • Six months in – A progress update from the new city region mayors
    • Understanding the impact of a shift in the scale of local government leadership
    • Discussing the priorities for city region growth, including across the areas of skills, job growth, housing and transport
  • Finance, Corporate and Procurement
  • 11.35-11.40
    Finance, Corporate and Procurement stream chair opening address
  • 11.40-12.00
    Securing the financial foundations of local government

    Shrinking sources of funding and growing demand pressures continue to create almost insurmountable strains on local government. For this session, attendees will hear about:

    • The scale and reasons for the funding gap
    • Business Rates Retention – what next?
    • ‘Fair’ Funding
    • Demand management, efficiency, income generation
  • 12.00-12.20
    Sponsored session
  • 12.20-12.40
    Delivering value for money in public service procurement

    Over £200 billion is spent by the UK public sector on procurement and despite great strides being made in recent years huge gains can still be made in the efficiency of government spend. For this session, topics include:

    • Helping local authorities make savings and free up time to spend on essential services
    • Responding to the specific needs and priorities of the wider public sector to offer a suite of procurement solutions and support
    • Approaches to effective contract management
    • Understanding procurement frameworks to ensure best practice in spending
  • 12.40-13.00
    Driving the transformation of local public services

    Continued financial pressure, increasing demand and uncertainty arising from Brexit leave the public sector in exceptionally challenging times. Here, Jo Farrar will detail how government policy is helping support the sector transform in the face of these challenges:

    • Devolution and the localism agenda – changing government to deliver place-based services
    • Driving partnership and collaboration between the public, private and third sector
    • Achieving service transformation through innovation
  • Digital and technology
  • 13.40-13.45
    Digital and technology stream chair opening address
  • 13.45-14.05
    Keynote: A digital strategy for a digital economy

    The UK’s digital strategy has already made the country a global pioneer of e-government services. For this session, find out how this is going to be taken a stage further:

    • Exploring the Government Transformation Strategy 2017-2020
    • Investing £1 billion to accelerate the development of the next generation of world-class digital infrastructure
    • Promoting cross-departmental working and efficiency across the public sector
    • Ensuring best use of data across the public sector as a world leader in our ‘open government’ approach
  • 14.05-14.25
    Sponsored session
  • 14.25-14.55
    Delivering a digital strategy for local government

    Digital innovation has huge potential to transform the citizen’s experience of local public services. For this session, join leaders in digital government to discuss some of the ways we can upend previous ways of thinking:

    • The case for a combined digital strategy to increase connectivity for local authorities involving cities and combined authorities
    • What best practice currently looks like in digital upskilling and innovation across the sector
    • How digital change can transform the relationship between citizen and state
    • Digital change in the context of GDPR compliance and cyber resilience
  • Workforce, Recruitment and Skills
  • 15.15-15.20
    Workforce, Recruitment and Skills stream chair opening address
  • 15.20-15.40
    Keynote: Cultivating excellence in the Civil Service

    The UK has one of the best civil services in the world, yet in order to maintain its high quality of government it has to take the right steps to attract, nurture and retain talented professionals. For this session, hear about:

    • The progress of the Civil Service Workforce Plan 2016-2020
    • Creating the right environment for world class talent to prosper
    • New approaches for recruiting into the sector, including dedicated programmes and new online tools
  • 15.40-16.10
    Fostering talent, expertise and leadership across the public sector workforce

    Employing over 5 million people across the UK, the public sector has to be at the forefront of developing our workforce to meet the needs of a 21st century economy and society. Join some of the leading organisations in the field to discuss central topics in the field including:

    • The role of the leader in equipping colleagues with the skills and ambition to develop
    • Creating an engaged workforce that is more motivated and productive
    • Exploring the challenges in retaining talent in the public sector
    • Changes to recruitment and public sector contracting such as IR35
November 21, 2017
November 21, 2017
  • Improving public sector collaboration and user access thought better information sharing

    Effective information sharing lays the foundations for better multi-agency collaboration and superior ease of access for citizens. For this session, discover how the Cheshire Care Record overcame the challenges involved to create shared information for more than 80 organisations:

    • The challenges of defining, implementing and managing data and information sharing strategies
    • How to build capacity for IT infrastructure innovation
    • Creating cloud based information sharing platforms to facilitate inter-agency cooperation and consolidation
  • Adopting a comprehensive 21st century cyber security strategy


    Only half of the UK’s local authorities are prepared for a cyber-attack, and the need for local government to develop robust cyber security measures is now a necessity more than ever. In this session we explore how digital vulnerabilities can be addressed:

    • Identifying and remedying the weak links in your IT network
    • Building resilient digital infrastructure to withstand cyber attacks
    • Remaining vigilant and developing a cyber security mind set
  • Harnessing pioneering digital to deliver citizen-focused public services

    With a vast universe of private sector products and services only a click away, people are increasingly expecting similar levels of intuitive design and automation in their public services.  In this session we discuss the opportunities and challenges of leveraging these technologies for citizen-centric services.

    • Understanding the needs of the public when designing digital applications, interfaces and e-services
    • Utilising the power of AI and cloud based platforms
    • How to take advantage of the internet of things to breakdown data silos
    • Meeting the risks associated with data protection and cyber security
November 21, 2017
November 21, 2017
  • Harnessing digital to support a diverse workforce

    Although gains have been made, many workplaces remain woefully deficient in providing reasonable adjustments for employees with disabilities, and in effectively engaging with disabled jobseekers. For this session, find out about AbilityNet and Clear Talent’s award-winning digital solution for this challenge:

    • Understanding the barriers that remain for disabled jobseekers
    • Issues preventing employees with changing circumstances not receiving reasonable adjustments
    • AbilityNet and Clear Talent’s pioneering online diversity profile solution
  • Public Sector People Manager’s Association Panel Discussion

    For this session, the PPMA will head an interactive discussion featuring best practice case studies from across the sector, examining some of the ways senior public sector professionals are redefining the ways their workforces can be led.

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