East of England Local Authorities Rise to the Challenge

6th November 2019

East of England Local Authorities Rise to the Challenge.

On 30th October 2019 at the Granta Centre in Cambridge, 24 teams from across the East of England came together to take on the Local Authority Challenge East 2019, all bidding to succeed 2018’s “Best Team” from Braintree District Council. Sponsored once again by the East of England LGA and delivered by the excellent team from Breckland Training Services, this event is becoming an essential “right of passage” for anyone with aspirations of becoming a senior manager in local government.

Braintree DC were there to defend their title with the rest of the region very well represented, including two teams from the unitary authority of Thurrock, a “Suffolk partnership” team which pulled together four different public sector organisations and the winners of the 2018 “Sponsor’s Award”, St Albans City and District Council.

At the Challenge, teams are thrown into a scenario as the newly-appointed management team of a fictional council and given a mere 6 hours to demonstrate how they can turn this council around, both financially and reputationally. Bombarded with information and beset by competing pressures, including a demanding council leader, complaints from the public and a host of partner organisations knocking on their virtual door, teams must prioritise and act decisively to meet their tight deadlines.

Monitored and evaluated throughout the day by a team of independent assessors, the teams can score points for, amongst other things, how they deal with the Leader, the media, partner organisations and how they interact with the East of England LGA. It’s a fast-paced and intensive development experience where participants really do “learn on the job” in a safe environment where it really is the taking part that counts. Whether they win or lose, every single team will receive a feedback report on their performance during the Challenge, indicating areas of further development which help individuals to improve when they are back on the day job.

2019 overall winners, Breckland District Council, received consistently high scores across the board and were worthy winners of this year’s overall title with the Sponsor’s Award, presented by EELGA, going to the newly-formed West Suffolk Council who only came into existence in April 2019.

Congratulations to both of those teams and to the other prize-winners on the day for rising to the Challenge and proving themselves to be the potential local government senior managers of the future. Preparations for the LA Challenge East in Autumn 2020 will begin very soon – it’s never too early to be thinking about entering a team from your authority.

The East of England LGA is proud to be the sponsor of the LA Challenge and the new “spin-off” event, the Apprenticeship Challenge, the regional heats for which will take place early in 2020 in:

Breckland Training Services are also a Partner on the new East of England Local Government Marketplace, a site which enables councils to buy services from EELGA and each other’s trading companies or services very easily.

For more information about the Marketplace or the LA Challenge, please contact our Senior Manager, Eddie Gibson on 01284 758310 or eddie.gibson@eelga.gov.uk

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