Improvement and innovation bulletin: January 2022

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Improvement and Innovation bulletin

January 2022

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Calls for action

LGA Annual Conference 2022 – applications for our Innovation Zone are now open!

The LGA Annual Conference and Exhibition 2022 is set to take place in Harrogate from Tuesday 28 to Thursday 30 June. As part of the conference, our Innovation Zone offers a vibrant and creative space where councils, partners and others have the opportunity to present a session to showcase their innovative ideas and approaches. The theme for the conference is ‘Resilience and Renewal’, so in the Innovation Zone we are particularly interested in showcasing projects and solutions on topics such as place leadership; environmental sustainability; equality, diversity and inclusion; empowering communities; and boosting living standards – although applications on all topics are very welcome. We strongly encourage all councils with bold and innovative ideas to apply to present a session. The deadline to apply is 4 March. Apply to present in the Innovation Zone

Economic growth good practice case studies

We are looking for examples of economic growth good practice from councils so that we can share learning across the sector. The case studies can cover a wide range of areas including regeneration, employment and skills, and more. If you have examples of projects you would like to feature, please complete our case study form or email for more information.

National Graduate Development (NGDP) programme

Applications are still open for organisations to apply to our National Graduate Development (NGDP) programme. Organisations have until 31 March to sign up for this year’s intake. The programme is ranked number 50 on 'The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers' for 2021/22. Find out more about the National Graduate Development Programme or email with any enquiries.

Leadership events

To book any of the these events please email

The following in-person events for councillors will be held at Warwick Conferences, Gibbet Hill Road, Coventry CV4 7SH:

LGBTQ+ Councillors Weekender (Focus on Leadership series)

Saturday 12–Sunday 13 February

This cross-party two-day weekend event will provide an opportunity for LGBTQ+ councillors to network and share experiences with each other.

Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Councillors Weekender (Focus on Leadership series)

Saturday 19–Sunday 20 February

This cross-party two-day weekend event will provide an opportunity for black, Asian and minority ethnic councillors to network and share experiences with each other.

Building Safety (Leadership Essentials series)

Thursday 24–Friday 25 February

This two-day course will equip leaders and portfolio-holders with greater confidence to face the challenges of ensuring that buildings and their residents are safe.

Women Councillors Weekender (Focus on Leadership series) – re-scheduled event

Saturday 26–Sunday 27 February

This cross-party two-day event for women councillors will focus on building a range of skills including communication, personal resilience, and building effective networks.

The following two courses will be held online:

Climate Emergency (Leadership Essentials series)

Monday 28 February and Tuesday 1 March OR Tuesday 8 and Wednesday 9 March, 9.30am–4.30pm / 4pm | Online

With renewed focus after COP26, this course enables senior councillors (who have responsibility for climate change) to explore the crucial role of local leadership in responding to the climate emergency. Attendees will commit to two carbon-reducing actions which will be evaluated by the Carbon Literacy Project – giving you the opportunity to be certified as 'carbon literate' and enabling you to train others in your area of work. The first day will conclude at 4.30pm and the second at 4pm. There will plenty of breaks throughout the two days. This course is part of our Leadership Essentials series.

Other events

Economic growth roundtable: How can councils contribute to upskilling young people?

Tuesday 8 February, 10am–12pm | Online

This roundtable is being organised as part of the LGA’s Economic Growth support offer. It will provide high level thinking from councils around the opportunities and challenges in developing young people strategies that will help them in contributing to their local economies. Places are limited.

Net Zero Innovation Programme 2020/21 Showcase

Thursday 10 February, 10.30am–12.15pm | Online

In 2020/21, the LGA and UCL provided training and project funding to equip councils and universities to work in partnership to help achieve the local carbon mitigation and adaptation goals of councils. In this webinar, funded by the Government, we will hear how some of the partnerships approached this and what they created through the programme. We hope other councils will benefit from the products created and can take away ideas on how they can apply them to their own challenges.

Senior officer leadership training: Responding to the Climate Emergency

Friday 2 and Thursday 3 OR Tuesday 22 and Wednesday 23 March | Online

This course will help senior council officers across all services to explore their crucial local leadership role in responding to the climate emergency. During the course, you’ll commit to two carbon-reducing actions. Course materials and tuition are fully subsidised.

LGA Annual Conference and Exhibition 2022

Tuesday 28–Thursday 30 June | Harrogate Convention Centre, King's Road, Harrogate HG1 5LA

Join us in Harrogate for the biggest event in the local government calendar, where we’ll be discussing the latest issues affecting local government. LGA members can take advantage of the earlybird delegate fee. Book now

Latest publications and reports

Secure connected places (smart cities) guidance collection

To support the secure deployment of connected places (also known as smart cities), the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has published a secure connected places (smart cities) guidance collection on GOV.UK. It brings together central Government guidance relating to the security of connected places into a single, accessible platform. Covering a range of issues associated with keeping a connected place secure, the collection enables you to gain a greater understanding of the recommended Government guidance and signposts you to sources of further information.

Additionally, you might be interested in...

LGA Housing Advisers Programme 2021/22

The LGA funded 30 successful projects and supported 90 councils as part of its Housing Advisers Programme (HAP) 2021/22. This innovative programme drives forward locally led solutions to housing challenges in order to address the housing crisis and meet the housing needs of local communities. The programme has awarded up to £25,000 to each project for the provision of independent expertise helping councils to build homes, reduce homelessness and rough sleeping, plan for ageing populations, explore the potential of zero carbon housing, understand the private rented market, increase supply of modular housing, and more. The knowledge and expertise learned and developed throughout the programme will be shared with other councils and become part of the LGA's wider sector support programme.

Subscribe to our behavioural insights podcast – Nudges for Social Good

In the latest episode of our Nudges for Social Good podcast, Tim Pearse of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham shares how behavioural insights are enabling the council to be proactive in reaching out to residents who are at risk of debt – and helping them to avoid going to court. Listen, subscribe or read our podcast transcripts to learn more about how councils are using behavioural insights to address some of their biggest service challenges.

LG Inform and LG Inform Plus

LG Inform is the LGA's free data benchmarking tool, and LG Inform Plus is a subscription service offering additional features. To request further information about LG Inform or LG Inform Plus, please email either or

LG Inform and LG Inform Plus Review of 2021

2021 was a busy year for both LG Inform and LG Inform Plus. To highlight what’s been going on, our December LG Inform newsletter is packed with useful information on the latest LG Inform reports, new and updated data items, case studies and LG Inform Plus innovations. If you would like to know more about what both platforms can offer your organisation we would love you to join one of our free webinars where one of our team will walk you through the platforms and their topic items, and answer all of your questions. Subscribe to the LG Inform newsletter

first magazine

first magazine logo

The LGA's membership magazine, 'first', is received as a hard copy by over 18,000 councillors and 400 council chief executives. Read 'first' online to browse all articles, interviews and opinion pieces, including those from past issues.

first e-bulletins

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have increased the frequency of 'first' magazine e-bulletins to help elected members keep up-to-date with a round-up of the latest COVID-19 news, guidance and council good practice. All councillors who receive the magazine should also be receiving the e-bulletin unless they have previously opted out of it. Councillors can sign up for the 'first' e-bulletin using their council email addresses.