Alix Macfarlane is Joint Chair LGcomms
I find myself looking backwards and forwards as we reach another summer of living with Covid 19, the third summer since the pandemic changed our lives back in 2020.
Emerging from the pandemic and rebuilding so we’re fit for the future in all areas of LGcomms is a huge task. There is clearly an appetite from members to be part of the positive change ahead. At our most recent AGM in April, we reviewed quality applications from colleagues across the sector and the country. These newly elected members of the team bring fresh ideas and enthusiasm to the established executive committee.
As a new executive team for the year ahead, we continue to deliver on the previous existing commitments including the important focus on diversity, inclusion and equalities. The fact that inequality still exists in our workplaces in terms of representation was made more poignant by the terrible health inequalities highlighted in the Covid 19 statistics.
Building on our existing mission statement, commitment and actions, the latest step is to take stock of the current state of our sector. You may have already seen and completed our diversity survey to find out what is really happening across our teams. We aim to use the survey results to create an inclusive future for public sector communications. If you haven’t already, please take part today.
As many of you will be aware, this year’s AGM also saw the first contested election for the post of chair in the recent history of LGcomms. It’s fair to say that the election process, the first which took place using an online voting platform, was shown to be not sufficiently robust when put to test. This was an issue for us as an organisation linked so closely to high standards of democracy. Action has been taken and improvements are being made for future elections.
In the true spirit of collaboration and positivity on which LGcomms is formed, a solution for this year is that both candidates who put themselves forward for the role of chair will hold the post jointly for 2022/23. Rather than waste time and energy looking backwards, effort will be put into making the organisational leadership stronger through a forward thinking arrangement that adds constructively to the senior management team. As a result, Andy Allsopp and I will work together to continue to expand projects put underway during the pandemic and to explore with the executive committee new ways of delivering value for our members as the world opens up again.
Plans for this year’s Academy reflect the journey we are all on as the event returns with an in person offer, now also supported by virtual elements. Taking place at the LGA London offices, Academy will be held on Wednesday 30 November with a sole focus on local public services, including valued contributions from across the NHS, Emergency Services, and our commercial partners. Limited in person tickets will be available from the Autumn with tickets also available to see key sessions live streamed. More details soon!