Headlines: November 1st, 2006



A special radio programme is to be produced exclusively for local councillors to help and explain their role. Front line councillors will be asked to reveal their own stories in their own words. The programme is being launched by the Improvement and Development Agency.

The one-hour weekly programme, to be called “Frontline”, will be presented by Pascoe Sawyers, the director of the IDeA’s Leadership Academy. The first programme will be on air at 8 o’clock in the evening on November 13th, with 11 more shows scheduled to follow in the initial run. It will be broadcast on Sky Channel 94 and online at Colourful Radio.

Pascoe Sawyers said the programme was part of the Leadership Academy’s policy of always looking for innovative ways of helping councillors to connect with the people they represented. He said “Frontline” would be an ideal opportunity for local government to do that. Each programme will begin with a review of topical issues by a journalist who specialises in local government. There will also be interviews with frontline councillors about their approach to the job. The final part of each programme will look at hot topics, with a senior figure discussing the challenges facing local government.

The first programme will feature Marhoof Hussain, a member of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and Ted Cantle, a leading thinker on community cohesion issues. Other experts due to take part include Paul Wheeler from the Political Skills Forum, Ben Page from MORI on leadership and Professor Jo Silvester on the Political Skills Framework. The programmes will be recorded to be used as an information sharing and learning tool for councillors and community leaders from outside the local government sector. The IDeA also hopes the recordings will help to promote democratic engagement and a better understanding of the role of frontline councils in schools and colleges.

Colourful Radio is a new national digital talk radio station, focusing on listeners in the 18-45 age group. It is available via www.colourfulradio.com