Public Sector Governance Training by Bethan Evans

Beth is a nationally recognised governance lawyer with 35 years’ practical experience.

Public Sector Governance Training by Bethan Evans

Beth is a nationally recognised governance lawyer with 35 years’ practical experience.

High quality, cost effective governance training for officers and elected members, designed and delivered by a nationally recognised governance lawyer with 35 years’ experience.

Governance Training

For Elected Members

The role of an elected councillor in local government is increasingly complex.

The Local Government Association in its “Member Development Charter” for English local authorities recognises that the environment in which members work is ever changing. Roles are being redefined and, to keep pace with this, Lord Porter the LGA Chairman says that

“We need to make sure we have the skills and expertise to continue delivering for our communities”.

The LGA strongly encourages authorities to adopt the Member Development Charter and Charter Plus as a guide and benchmark as part of their improvement journey.

“Every profession has continuing professional development at the heart of their improvement and so should we”.

In Wales, there are now legislative requirement for member support and development in local authorities. The WLGA’s Member Support and Development Charter enhances and enables this.

The report of the Committee on Standards in Public Life on Local Government Ethical Standards (January 2019), stressed the importance of development for members, particularly induction training. They said

“Induction for councillors at the earliest stage is crucial to ensuring high standards of conduct. Councils who perceived they had an effective ethical culture attributed this to early and effective induction of councillors with clear messages from senior leadership about attendance”

As a lawyer with 35 years’ experience advising councils on governance issues, I absolutely endorse these approaches. I have seen the value of continued development in my own practice area, and have also seen the huge benefit offered by development opportunities for councillors.

On retirement from Bevan Brittan LLP in January 2018 I decided to focus fully on working with elected councillors; supporting them in their challenging and vital roles by providing training on a range of governance topics.

Governance (the effective operation of organisations including decision-making, probity and accountability) is at the heart of effective local democracy. I passionately believe that helping to equip councillors with the skills they need to deliver for their communities will strengthen good governance.

Beth is very impressive, knowledgeable and engaging

Independent Member, County Council

Political Awareness Training

For Officers

I run two types of courses for officers in local authorities.

One specifically for local government lawyers (offered on a regional basis) and one for all officers of appropriate seniority in a particular council.

For local authority officers moving up into senior roles, or for colleagues joining local government from other sectors, there will be much to take in and adapt to – greater budget accountability, wider staffing responsibilities and more significant performance expectations amongst other pressures. Whilst all these challenges would be faced in any senior role in a large organisation, there are features of local government which are unique, and which you need to be fully on top of to be successful in your role.

From my experience working closely with elected members in a number of different local authorities, I think there are three key aspects of surviving and thriving at senior level in a local authority:-

  • The political dynamics of local government – why is the relationship between officers and members so crucial?
  • The governance framework of local government – why does it matter that this organisation is a public body?
  • The personal skills needed for success.

Beth was a fountain of knowledge and experience but able to share practical experience and examples

Deputy Director, Legal and Governance, Metropolitan Borough Council

I offer two modules to address these issues

  • Sessions for cohorts of local government officers of any professional discipline/background in one council
  • Masterclasses specifically for local government lawyers which I provide through LLG Training (Lawyers in Local Government) and are run on a regional basis.

All the sessions are practical and participative, ensuring all delegates return to their authorities better equipped to thrive at the political interface.

Discuss your training options today