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Newsletter: Happy International Women’s Day

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The UN’s theme for today’s International Women’s Day is ‘accelerate progress’. In preparing Socitm’s update I did a headcount of the 20 people working here (yes, just 20 of us) and 12 are women. Naturally we’re pretty keen on IWD and supporting women all year round. In supporting women we’re supporting diversity and inclusion, and that supports all of us.

The Empowering Women course is a clear demonstration of Socitm’s commitment to supporting women in local government. It was originally created by our now CEO Nadira Hussain during her presidential year (2015 to 16).

Here’s a short roll call of women in the the Socitm community who have shaped and and leapt on from it:

  • Watch our Institute Director Sam Smith talk about her experience of the course
  • Yogita Popat (also a Top Talent alumna) is now a Vice-President and Vice-Chair of the London and South East region
  • Alison Lincoln is now chair of the North West committee
  • Meleri Jones (another Top Talent alumna) shaped the current version of the course (that include project work, coaching and Belbin profiling)
  • Iftaz Hussain (another Top Talent alumna) is now Chair of the Yorkshire and Humber region
  • Bee inspired: browse through the project from the most recent cohort: Igniting growth: inspire and educate
  • How will you evolve it next?

I know that it’s not simple to travel to take part in events and training within your region – let alone to other parts of the UK. Keep an eye on the webinar schedule (which are mostly weekly) as there’s a variety of topics covered there. And in the events list below I include online events from partners and things that I spot that I hope will be relevant and useful.

I hope you can have a great weekend.

Best wishes,


Your Resource Hub

From Digital Trends 2024: Reimaging services

The implications of technology trends for 2024 are unprecedented. More than just making existing services more efficient, productive and user-friendly, these technology trends offer the possibility of a new definition of public services, built on dynamic digital and data foundations, which increase access and empower service users and workers.

This long-term trend of reimagining public services has already begun and will be an increasing focus in 2024 to reflect changing citizen needs, IT opportunities and economic constraints.

2024: An exciting, but challenging year ahead for the public sector

Entering 2024, Socitm’s Public Sector Digital Trends report has offered valuable insights, serving as a reference point for addressing the complex issues currently affecting the public sector. This report has been incredibly insightful for Cantarus, particularly in highlighting how the public sector is navigating the challenges posed by emerging technologies at a national and global scale.

You might have missed…

Watch the webinar hosted by VP Matt Lewis: Why you should “Assume breach” for ransomware threats
Think you’re protected? Find out for sure.

For ease of viewing, the recording is divided into easy to navigate chapters, with subtitles and transcript available via the video player toolbar.

Website accessibility

Log in to check your Silktide Score and to complete your Digital Accessibility Maturity Assessment.

You will need a user account on to access member-only resources. Let us know if need any support.

Local Digital evaluation study update

Understanding the needs of local government

It has been almost a year since DLUHC commissioned an independent evaluation of the Local Digital programme. You can now find an update on the evaluation process, some key findings so far, and the benefits for councils that share their insights on our website.

They and we are also asking all councils in England to complete our evaluation survey, even if you’ve done so previously, to ensure that we have a comprehensive set of responses from across local government.

To hear more about this and ask questions about the study and survey, you can attend our webinar on Thursday 21 March (11am to 12pm).


March’s virtual courses

April’s CPD-certified virtual workshops

May and June’s in-person and virtual courses

Training places are included in your organisational membership – subject to availability and membership level. If you have any questions or would like further information, please email the training team.


Member-only meetings

Meet people for catching-up, problem sharing (and solving) and great networking.

Free webinars and events from Socitm and our partners

Missed a webinar? Past recordings are available to watch in the resource hub.

Webinars are open to anyone in the public sector, membership is not necessary, so please do share them with your network.

Come and say hello

  • Wednesday 8 and Thursday 9 May: DigiGov Expo (London)
    Join Nadira Hussain, Mark Lumley and Sam Smith on Wednesday

President’s Conference

Wednesday 12 and Thursday 13 June in Birmingham

Socitm Awards 2024
Details of our new and expanded Socitm Awards for 2024 will be available soon.
Awards celebrating local and regional government success are handed out to winners at the gala dinner on the evening of the first day of President’s Conference. This year that will be on Wednesday 12 June.
Log in to your account on to see what is included in your organisation’s membership for the annual conference.

Luton Borough Council: A fresh approach to contingent recruitment

When the contract to supply temporary staff came up for renewal, LBC reviewed the existing approach against three priorities – ability to: generate additional savings, reinvest savings in council services, and to strengthen the permanent workforce.

Having assessed the risk and opportunity, they partnered with Commercial Services Group (GSG). Wholly owned by Kent County Council, CSG is one of the largest, local authority owned, trading organisations in the UK. It offers a joint venture model to move contingent workforce recruitment in-house, with a with a proven track record of success. Their in-house model can deliver up to 46 per cent savings on fees compared to an outsourced model. Critically, Luton would own those savings to reinvest in community wealth building projects.

Over a six-month period, CSG supported us to create our own contingent recruitment service, Connect2Luton. We drew on their expertise to set up business processes, policies and practice.”

You’re invited to the CyberXperience Summit 2024 in partnership with Cisco

Join the first CyberXperience Summit 2024 in London and Manchester. The Summit brings together CAE and Cisco industry leaders and cybersecurity experts, to delve into the future of threat detection and response.

Learn how to protect your organisation from the ever-evolving cyber threats in the digital age!

What to expect?

Declan Hadley will be delivering the closing keynote. Declan joined Cisco in 2021 after 25 years in the NHS. He will be sharing his key insights from his time as a CIO in the NHS, his experience and lessons learnt during the WannaCry Ransomware attack and how he is using his experience to shape technology innovation.

Are you ready to elevate your cyber defence strategy?

Thank you for reading (or scrolling) this far! Just one more thing…

Another podcast for you, but not so short as last week’s (sorry):

You Are Not So Smart #274 Cascades
How cascades of rapid change routinely sweep across families, institutions, and nations.