UK councils join search for leaders

By Staff Writer

Desperate to raise the profile of the UK local government in the middle of a recession, the sector’s peak body is about to embark on a nationwide search for leaders through a series of locally-organised competitions.
In presenting its initiative, the Local Government Association (LGA) told members at its annual conference last week that they will be offering councillors the opportunity to display their drive and ambition, through individual and team-working skills as part of a national talent search.

The LGA will begin its search in September for ten contestants from councils in England and Wales to take part in a series of challenges in a range of council services.

“There is enormous ambition and potential in local government and this competition is a great way of identifying those individuals with the drive to make it into the top positions,” Margaret Eaton, Chairman of the LGA, said.

The tough challenges will be based around local, national and global issues of political and public relevance, and will test each candidate’s creative, communication and leadership skills.

Contestants will be observed by a panel of leading local government figures and partner organisations. Challenges will be filmed and made available to both national and regional news outlets for broadcast.

Contestants will be split into two teams each participating in five challenges across the country between January and May 2010 with a final to be staged at the LGA annual conference in 2010.

“The Local Government Challenge will highlight the ambition and quality of individuals across the country, and uncover hidden talent in our workforce,” Cr Eaton said.

”It will provide us with a great opportunity to highlight local government as an exciting and rewarding career choice.” 

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