Headlines: September 5th, 2005

A new initiative is offering customised training and development for local councillors. The Local Leadership Academy has been developed by the IDeA for non-executive members of local authorities and is based on the recognition that each council is unique.The Academy, known as LoLa, will offer customised development activities designed to build the capacity of non-executive councillors. Key features will include fitness checks of overview and scrutiny and community leadership. It will have development modules focused on a wide range of topical themes and issues.

Judi Billing, Head of Programmes, Leadership, at the IDeA, said, “Our style is to customise the general principles of good practice concerning current topics to suit individual authorities – recognising that the most effective form of development for councillors is through learning by doing.”.

LoLa’s training and development will be delivered locally, normally in council offices, to those councillors from an individual authority who choose to take part. It is available to all councillors and will often be supported by specially accredited councillor peers. The Local Academy has evolved from the agency’s Modern Members programme.

LoLa will place strong emphasis on its work with councillors to transfer skills and build capacity because it is felt this approach is more likely to produce sustained change. The peer councillors, associates, experts and consultants working with LoLa all have extensive` experience of local government, councillor and manager development, strategic and organisational change and democratic renewal. The cost of participation for councillors will vary according to the needs of individual councils.