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Ep 55. Why we mustn’t neglect councillor training, Cllr Liz Green

Ensuring that councillors are equipped with the proper skills is essential to making sure that council services run smoothly, and communities benefit from the best value for money. Whilst this may seem like a simple concept, some councils don’t train their councillors take councillor training as serious as they perhaps should.

To explore more about the kinds of skills that councillors should be developing, why some councils don’t offer the right training, and how this impacts councils themselves, Cllr Liz Green joined host Dan Benn on the latest episode of the Public Sector Executive Podcast.

Speaking about the kind of training that councillors require, Liz said:

“Being a councillor is very different to anything anybody’s ever done before in their life. So, even if you’ve been highly successful in business, you’re still going to need to learn some new skills; things like negotiating and conflict resolution…

“Councils can’t do anything by themselves because they need to work with the public sector, the private sector, and with the voluntary sector and you need to be able to influence those in a different way because you are not the direct boss – you can’t tell them what to do.”

Liz also touched on the issue of productivity within the public sector, and how this relates to skills and funding. She said:

“I was a councillor before we started austerity in 2010 – it never felt like we had a lot of money to start with so I think we did some improvements in councils. We looked more at our budgets and we scrutinised them more…

“We also did more transformation, which is a buzzword at the moment, but improving services, looking at how we used it, how we used our resources of people and assets and builds etc. So I think there was some really good work that went on.

“It’s gone way too far now. We just simply cannot afford as councils to keep operating.”

To learn more about the type of training that is available for councillors, why it is so important, and the role that central government can play, listen to the newest episode of the Public Sector Executive Podcast.


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