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Newsletter: Top 6 for your to do and think about list

Someone writing on a list on a paper notebook to the right of a MacBook on a wooden desk.

Get everything you can from your membership

Your events, training and resources

A few key things for you today:

1. Webinars

Accessibility Week ends today at 1pm with a look at supporting diversity and inclusion through Microsoft and the web. Next week’s webinar looks at social value in action at Norfolk and Oxfordshire County Councils. Listen to guest speakers Kurt Frary, Hema Patel and Tim Spiers ahead of Wednesday 22 May in a short podcast about what they’re planning to cover.

2. President’s Conference is in 3 and a half weeks

Please register as early as you can.
This will help us and you plan the final logistics and last-minute details (so, for instance, you can be sure your dietary and accessibility needs are taken care of).

3. Impera and Socitm: Bringing you impactful data and insight solutions

Since August 2023 we’ve been working together to further advance data and research services across the sector tackling some of our key policy challenges. The Impera team has prepared a summary of all the work so far.

4. Silktide’s Accessibility Checker extension for Chrome

Their free accessibility checker tests any web page for over 200 WCAG issues, and gives you straightforward, step-by-step guidance on how to improve.
Download it to your Google Chrome browser and start testing.

5. Free training with Microsoft is back in June

Change Agent Manager offers an overview of the key skills needed to be an effective change agent – with a strong emphasis on the ability to lead change. Register now so you can take part on Thursday 20 and Friday 21 June.

6. Don’t forget mentoring – you’ve got till November

Join the group of people volunteering in 2024’s free mentoring programme. Both people in a mentoring relationship can impact the other in such a direct way. Exactly how, will only become clear once you’re doing it. Register your interest.

And finally, some great news about our Chief Executive Nadira Hussain. She is a finalist in the CEO of the Year category in the British Asian Women Awards 2024.

The awards ceremony takes place in Birmingham on Saturday 1 June. Good luck!

Take care. I hope you’re able to have a great weekend.

Best wishes,


Your Resource Hub

From Digital Trends 2024: Infrastructure and cloud

IT infrastructure will have a higher focus for CIOs in 2024, as it comes under increasing pressure to cope with new volumes and demands for flexibility and resilience. In many public service organisations, and in the wider communities, where they work, there will be a need to reassess infrastructure, needs and capability this year.

NEW Collaboration, innovation, and connectivity: a policy focus

With the pace of change is only accelerating, the coming together of collaboration, innovation, and connectivity has never been more critical.

These three pillars are the foundation of driving progress. 

Get support in creating positive changes with research and practical examples and start to create better places.

You might have missed…

Recordings of all the accessibility webinars this week (plus any useful content that cropped up) will be collated and posted online (and in your regional Teams channel) next week. That will go into next week’s newsletter as well.

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


Emma Macquarrie has recently completed the Empowering Women course:

I was afraid that I would be surrounded by many inspiring women who were going places, and I would feel out of my depth!

Read all about it her new Q&A. How was your course? Tell us about it 🙂

Virtual workshops

In-person programmes

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.

President’s Conference. People Make Places

Wednesday 12 and Thursday 13 June in Birmingham

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to feel inspired, connected, and equipped to deal with whatever the future holds. There’s a terrific range of presenters but the people you sit next to during the day and at the evening gala dinner will be just as helpful.


Member-only meetings

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

Free webinars and meetings hosted by Socitm

Free webinars and events hosted by partners and others

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

  • Tuesday 21 May:
    • GeoPlace [Manchester]
    • LGPN North [Manchester]
      Join President Mark Lumley for the roundtable discussion Empowering communities: technology for public good
    • PublicTechnology Live 2024 [London]
      Incoming President Carol Williams is a panellist for Are times too tough for local government transformation?
  • Tuesday 24 September: DigiGov Expo [London]
    Join Nadira Hussain, President Mark Lumley and Sam Smith
    • Nadira is chairing the Citizen Experience stream. In which, at 15:25, Mark (Director of ICT and Digital at London Borough of Hounslow) is a panellist on Data-Driven Collaboration: Transforming governance through strategic partnerships and enhanced data sharing
    • Sam is a panellist in the GovICT stream at 15:10 for Driving Transformation through an Effective Strategy: The pillars needed to achieve success

Microsoft MOU negotiations

CCS is negotiating the next Microsoft MOU – which dictates pricing across the public sector apart from the NHS. Despite months of negotiations, the savings that Microsoft is offering are still not equal to the value of those contained within the current MOU. The current MOU, due to expire on 30 April, has been extended by six months until 31 October 2024.

CCS has data on the current Microsoft spend and scope of the spend in local government, however, needs more information on council plans for Microsoft and competitor spend in key products and services over the next 3 years to support its negotiating position.

The LGA, Socitm and Solace would greatly appreciate your contribution to this call for evidence to ensure that local government needs and priorities are being factored into CCS’s considerations. This information will be aggregated and only shared with CCS to support their negotiating position. The LGA and CCS will also be developing a sector specific brief on the findings.

Please also note that in order to maximise the chance of reaching a successful conclusion and delivering savings for councils, CCS requests that councils defer procuring new products with Microsoft until negotiations are concluded, including Microsoft 365 Copilot.

If you are a Local Government Officer and haven’t yet received the CCS update briefings, please contact

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

Not a podcast this week 🙂 But it is back to Bruce Daisley, whose stuff has been shared here at the bottom before. This slide desk is a “trends in 2024” one, but like a lot of those – including Socitm’s own Digital Trends 2024 report 😉 – this one is for life not just the New Year.

Scroll through, you’ll find something relevant in Work in 2024: Building Better Workplace culture.