Forget What You Think You Know...
about councils and local elections
In this episode, Esther Barrott, a graduate on the National Graduate Development Programme (NGDP), takes us on a journey to find out more about councils and the workings behind them. Esther looks at the general perceptions that surround councils, what councils actually do for communities, the role they have played throughout the pandemic, and why it is so important to vote in the upcoming local elections on 6 May.
Esther is joined by Cllr Peter Fleming, who shares his story around how he got involved in local government and what the role of a councillor involves; Jackie Weaver who gives us an insight into the story behind the famous parish council meeting that made her an internet star and why voting in local elections is so important; and Lord Simon Woolley who explains why it is important diverse audiences engage with councils and local democracy and what councils should be doing more of to encourage them to get involved.
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10. about culture35:36In this episode, Esther Barrott explores the role of culture in supporting people and places, and what is needed to ensure the sector can survive the multiple challenges thrown its way. Esther speaks with Baroness Lola Young, a Crossbench Peer and Chair of the LGA's Commission on Culture and Local Government, Bobby Seagull, Presenter, Journalist, Maths Teacher, and Chenine Bhathena, Creative Director of UK City of Culture in Coventry 2021.
9. about councillors36:12As we approach the local elections in May, this episode aims to explore the role of a councillor, challenge stereotypes and bring to life stories of local democracy in action. In this episode, Sophie Page is joined by four councillors from different backgrounds to discuss what it really means to be a councillor − whilst juggling university work, full time jobs and motherhood − and to understand why it’s a role for anyone who is passionate about their local community to consider. Don't forget if you are interested in becoming a councillor you can visit www.local.gov.uk/be-councillor
8. about climate action - part 237:42In this second part of our look at climate action, Katie Goodger finds out what is taking place on the ground to address the climate emergency and how communities can be involved in this vital issue. Katie hears from Cllr Martyn Alvey of Cornwall Council, who have won an award for their leadership in responding to the climate emergency; Peter Bryant of Shared Future, who explores the importance of citizen engagement; and Nick Gardner of the National Lottery Community Fund, who talks about the work they do supporting environmental projects across the country.
7. about climate action31:06In this episode, Katharine Goodger explores what was agreed at COP26 in Glasgow, what is needed to fulfil the Glasgow Pact and what else could have been added so communities could go further and faster on climate action.The podcast also explores the important need for diverse leadership when it comes to tackling climate change, and why it is vital every level of government plays a role in tackling climate change.Speakers include: Corinne Le Quere, a Royal Society Research Professor of Climate Change Science; Cllr Pippa Heylings, Deputy Chair of the LGA’s Environment, Housing and Transport Board; and Olivia Sweeney, from Black and Green Ambassadors.
6. about adult social care41:11In this episode Esther Barrott talks to Sarah Pickup, Deputy Chief Executive for the Local Government Association (LGA), to get an insight into what the social care reforms announced from government mean for councils; Sarah Rennie, a wheelchair user who requires 24-hour care to hear what she would like to see for the future of adult social care; Don Brereton, an unpaid carer for his son Sam to understand the experience of unpaid carers and Stephen Chandler, President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) and Director of Adult Services at Oxfordshire County Council, to hear why councils are best placed to lead on this important area.
5. about levelling up32:53Levelling up has been mentioned on a number of occasions by Government as a nod to their plans to ensure no area is left behind as we look to recover from the pandemic. But what should communities expect to see from levelling up and how will this be delivered? In this episode Nathan Brewster talks to Esther Webber, senior UK correspondent for Politico Europe, to get an insight into the Levelling Up White Paper, expected later this year. Nathan also visits Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council to hear what his residents must see from levelling up and how the council can play a role; and Daniel Bellis, Senior Policy Adviser from Federation of Small Businesses to hear what businesses need to see in order to recover and thrive in the future. As always please remember to subscribe to our channel and feel free to listen and download our other episodes in the series.
3. about the vaccine rollout43:14This is the third in the series of our Forget What You Think You Know series.In this episode, Birmingham City Councillor, Paulette Hamilton is joined by Jim McManus, Director of Public Health at Hertfordshire County Council; Julie Yates, Lead Consultant for Screening and Immunisation at Public Health England; and Eleanor Kelly, Chief Executive at Southwark Council and National Adviser on Vaccinations, to discuss the roll out of the vaccination programme and how it can be maintained at a local level, the role the NHS, councils and local partners have played so far and what they can do in the future and how we can tackle the issues of vaccine hesitancy as a key challenge throughout 2021.
2. about homelessness38:29The COVID-19 pandemic has had profound effects on our communities. In the UK alone, tens of thousands have tragically passed away as a result of the virus. Restrictions on our daily lives have been immediate, and, for peacetime, unprecedented in scale. The impact on local people, and on the services which support them, has been huge. Homelessness is one area which has been impacted heavily by COVID-19.In the episode we talk to Alek, a 27- year old from Estonia, who was homeless and living on the streets as the outbreak of COVID-19 happened. He gives an account of how Haringey Council helped him find safe accommodation to shelter him from the dangers COVID-19 poses and how Haringey Council have continued to support him as he looks to progress with his life. The episode also explores how approaches to tackling homelessness changed as the outbreak of the pandemic happened and what needs to happen next to keep homeless people from returning to the streets.For information, some of the stats on homelessness in Britain have changed slightly since the interviews were conducted in December 2020.