A new batch of contestants is preparing to do battle for a £10,000 scholarship and the chance to implement their own local project
The LGA’s Local Government Challenge seeks out the best and brightest council officers to compete in a series of real-life challenges around the country.
Ambitious problem-solvers who are passionate about delivering the best for the residents they serve, the latest LG Challenge contestants will come up with innovative solutions to challenges faced by local government.
Previous challenges, hosted by councils from across the country, have included developing strategies to bring visitors back to Salisbury after the 2018 Novichok poisonings; tackling the lack of affordable housing on the Isle of Wight; and creating a district identity for residents in Kirklees.
Starting in February, our 10 new contestants will tackle five tough, real-life challenges, working across areas including frontline services, financial, creative, and community engagement. They will develop and hone their leadership and political management skills, business acumen and presentation techniques while gaining invaluable media experience – all with the aim of delivering better services for the local community, as well as giving their CVs a substantial edge.
The competition will culminate in a final challenge at the LGA’s annual conference in Harrogate (30 June to 2 July 2020), and the award of the prestigious £10,000 Bruce-Lockhart scholarship to the winner.
The scholarship, funded by Kent and Essex County Councils and set up in memory of former LGA Chairman and Kent County Council Leader Lord Sandy Bruce-Lockhart, provides the LG Challenge winner with a unique opportunity to translate their own ideas into reality and make a real difference to their local area.
“I have coordinated and observed problem solving on some of the most challenging strategic issues that the local authority faces. What I hope to get out of being an LG Challenge contestant is a chance to lead on problem-solving myself, push forward my own ideas and navigate the political complexity that comes with that.”
Hannah Futter, Business Manager, Surrey County Council
“I enjoy learning and experiencing new activities and working with different people from different divisions. I know that the LG Challenge will be enjoyable – and possibly stressful at times – and I want to push myself into new situations to hone my skills.”
Stephen Bahooshy, Senior Commissioning
Manager, Croydon Council
“This will be a great opportunity to develop me as an officer and to learn from amazing people. It is a wonderful opportunity to work on challenges around the country, see what other councils do and make a real difference through the challenges.”
Emma Shepherd, Disability Strategy Lead for Employment, Croydon Council
“I applied for the LG Challenge to expand my horizons and to gain a greater exposure to the challenges faced by local authorities on a national scale. I was also drawn to the incredibly exciting opportunity to work in a team environment with like-minded people from across the country that all have different backgrounds and experiences.”
Rose Hampton, Communications Officer, Staffordshire County Council
“The LG Challenge presents a unique opportunity to work with colleagues from across the country in a structured programme that will test and develop my competencies further. I am confident that taking part will enable me to effect positive change, inspire others and deliver improved outcomes in local government.”
Lewis Sheldrake, Senior Commissioning Manager, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham
“I applied to take part in the LG Challenge because I believe it will present situations that both challenge my intelligence and problem-solving skills. I am looking forward to meeting people from various backgrounds and walks of life. The opportunity to experience different councils and authorities around the country is interesting and exciting.”
Felicity Robson, Functional Firefighter, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service
“I am keen to learn about how others approach problems and issues, particularly ones that are potentially out of the scope of the work of a borough council. As someone who is passionate about developing my skills, I hope I can bring back a new skillset that will be of benefit to the businesses and residents of Basingstoke.”
Jack Kennedy, Economic Development Manager, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council
“The LG Challenge will enable me to grasp a personal ambition to promote Cumbria, to establish valuable contacts, develop innovative proposals and solutions to strategic problems, and test my personal drive for results for people and places.”
Hani Cox, Policy and Scrutiny Officer, Cumbria County Council
“I’m excited to visit new places and work with new people. I know it won’t be easy, but I’m ready to step out of my comfort zone to build resilience in myself, my teammates and the sector. I expect to finish the challenges teeming with ideas and insights about how we can come together to deliver fantastic value for our residents.”
Zoe Galvin, Carers’ App Project Officer, Kent County Council
“The opportunity to collaborate with fellow contestants from across the country and gain understanding from their perspectives and lived experiences, is one I wanted to seize. I am proud to be representing Calderdale in the LG Challenge. Let’s see what 2020 has in store – I’m sure it’ll be an exciting journey!”
Joe Kinsella, Transformation Officer, Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council