The East of England LGA Recovery Programme
The East of England Local Government Association has provided support to member councils throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to do so as we transition towards recovery.
EELGA are moving forward with our recovery plan for the East of England. The plan is split in to three themes: Economic Recovery and Renewal, Enhancing Outcomes for People and Communities, and Adapting to New Ways of Working. The programme will look to develop our collective asks of government as a region, feeding those in to the All Party Parliamentary Group for the East of England, co-Chaired by Peter Aldous MP and Daniel Zeichner MP, as well as supporting the renewal of EELGA’s business plan in support of our region’s 50 local authorities.
The work is being led through EELGA’s Policy Team, and is supported by a number of EELGA’s Talent Bank associates to deliver the key actions and activities identified across the range of themes and supporting discussions. These actions will also feed into the East of England LGA’s business plan and will allow the region’s authorities to develop collective models of best practice in a fast-paced and changing world. As well as to ensure that the shape of the Association reflects the needs of the East of England in the recovery space. The following article is based on an interview with one such Talent Bank associate, Ian Reekie, exploring his role in supporting this recovery work
Ian has over 25 years’ experience spanning both commercial and local government sectors. Ian was part of the team that delivered an integrated staffing structure for Babergh and Mid Suffolk Councils, and he was the Senior Manager for the Systems Transformation Programme for Suffolk County Council which delivered new digital working practise and a new case management system for Adult and Children Social Care services. Having built up knowledge and an understanding of a wide variety of organisation Ian started his own business which specialises in planning, transformation, and project delivery management. To find out more about Ian’s specialisms and experience visit his page on the Marketplace website
Ian is helping the East of England LGA coordinate the economic recovery programme and is helping to plan the next steps forward. As an initial task, Ian developed templates for councils to complete, in order to scope the essential work that is needed. Ian highlighted that throughout local government there are a multitude of plans and activities set up already, and the East of England LGA need to be able to map what is already happening, understand who is doing what and to seek any gaps. In doing so the East of England LGA will be able to establish their role and how to best place themselves to fill the gaps through collaborative working. Key to this is planning how to stop reacting and start recovering, with focus on restarting and growing the economy, and capturing the unexpected benefits seen throughout the crisis. With Ian’s guidance the East of England LGA aim to keep the region moving forward.
When asked what challenges the sector faces, Ian stated that due to the nature of the pandemic, everything is consistently changing and evolving, sometimes more than once a day. Which creates challenges in the ability to plan sort term, let along long term. Therefore, any plans need to be flexible and reactive; establishing adaptable plans will allow the sector to reach any strategic long-term goals. Another challenge is swift decision making, this can often be a long process, especially when multiple organisations are involved.
However, the region is not without its strengths, Ian noted how the East of England has a diverse economy, ranging from tourism to manufacturing and technology to agriculture, so already has a strong position and solid base from which to build upon. However, in order to drive the region during recovery and build further, we must protect what we already have ensuring these strong foundations can continue to thrive or work towards flourishing again. In addition, the region’s links to London, the rest of the UK and Europe are strengths to utilise.
As the first of the virtual working groups has taken place, we were keen to know if there were any early indications of things the region would like to see as a whole. The focus on the importance of people and communities was highlighted by Ian, having been involved in conversations about economic recovery he explained that they were often drawn back to these topics – how people have coped during the crisis, and the support needed to continue to survive and thrive post pandemic. There is also an eagerness to capture the benefits that have emerged, such as the positive impact on climate and benefits of working differently. There is enormous potential to re-build with the added opportunity for positive change.
On a final note Ian said he is excited to the working with the East of England LGA on the programme as it is a massive opportunity for the region, although it will come with its challenges, the work will be towards harnessing opportunities to positively impact the region and the communities within it.
If you would like to learn more about the recovery programme, please contact Roy Elmer, Senior Manager, East of England LGA; firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Ian is one of 70 Associates on EELGA’s Talent Bank; you can view their profiles and purchase the services of these Associates using our new on-line marketplace without the need to carry out a competitive procurement process.
Our Talent Bank Associates are highly experienced specialist professionals offering their knowledge and expertise to assist our members becoming the best that they can be for their communities. Covering everything from Asset Management to Transformation, the breadth of services and support available to purchase through the Talent Bank is remarkable.
To find out more about how our Talent Bank can help your service or organisation, please email Sebastian Reeves email@example.com or call us on 07971398200.