Re-imagining Scottish Local Government: Councils and the Future of Scotland
Minister for Local Government and Planning, Scottish Government
Mr Mackay has been the Member of the Scottish Parliament for Renfrewshire North & West since 2011.
He was appointed as Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Constitution in May 2016 having previously served as Minister for Transport and Islands and Minister for Local Government and Planning.
Mr Mackay is currently SNP Business Convener (Chairman of the Party), responsible for chairing Conference, the National Executive and the management and administration of the party.
Elected to Renfrewshire Council in 1999 at the age of 21, he was the youngest male councillor in Scotland at the time. He won three successive ward elections to become Leader of Renfrewshire Council in May 2007, taking the SNP from opposition to lead the administration for the first time. He became a national figure in local government leading the SNP group at COSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) 2009-2011.
Councillor David O’Neill has represented the people of Irvine for the past 32 years and served as Leader of North Ayrshire Council for three terms between 1999 and 2012.
During his time as a North Ayrshire Councillor, Mr O’Neill also served as a member of NHS Ayrshire & Arran Health Board and as Vice-Chair of Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire.
Prior to local government re-organisation in 1996, he was a member of Cunninghame District Council and chaired the Environmental Health Committee and the Economic Development Committee.
Councillor O’Neill was elected President of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) in June 2012.
He has no sporting interests and spends far too much time engrossed in local and national politics.
Councillor O’Neill worked in the knitwear industry for many years and was a director of a small manufacturing company for 12 years.
Chair, Society of Local Authority Chief Executives & Senior Managers Scotland and Chief Executive, North Ayrshire Council
Elma Murray is currently the Chair of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE) in Scotland.
Prior to being appointed Chief Executive of North Ayrshire Council in September 2009, Elma held a number of senior positions at Strathclyde Police, North Ayrshire Council and Glasgow City Council.
Her professional background is in Information Technology but after 30 years in local government she has a wide-ranging knowledge of local government services.
Elma has a strong interest in change and how to work effectively across public sector boundaries.
In her spare time Elma enjoys skiing, walking and travelling.
Scottish Information Commissioner
Rosemary Agnew took up the post of Scottish Public Services Ombudsman on 1 May 2017. Immediately prior to this she was the Scottish Information Commissioner (2012-2017).
Since 2001, Rosemary has held various roles in relation to public sector complaints, including with the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission and the Local Government Ombudsman in the UK.
Rosemary is committed to transparent, sustainable improvement in Scottish public services. She sees complaints and what is learned from them as an integral part of the improvement landscape. Equally, she recognises the importance of being the final stage of the complaints process in Scotland for most public services and in ensuring that, where things go wrong for individuals, action is taken to put them right as far as possible.
Chief Executive, Glasgow City Council
In 2003 George Black was appointed Chief Executive of Glasgow City Council, the largest local authority in Scotland.
Over the last few years Glasgow has taken forward a service reform and efficiency programme establishing a number of external arms length organisations dealing with building repairs and maintenance, culture and sport, community safety, and home care. Glasgow has also entered into a joint venture with Serco for the provision of ICT and Property Management Services.
As Chief Executive George is a member of the Glasgow 2014 Strategic Group and Chair of the Glasgow 2014 City Planning Group – responsible for putting in place the physical infrastructure required to deliver a successful games. George is also a member of the 2018 Youth Olympic Games Bid Committee.
George is a member of the Strategic Advisory Group for the Glasgow University Business School and a member of the Glasgow Economic Leadership. He is a Board member of the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre Ltd, and is vice chair of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives.
George was awarded a CBE for services to local government in the 2010 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Deputy Director - Digital Strategy and Programmes, Scottish Government
Colin Cook is currently Head of Digital Strategy and Programmes for Scottish Government, responsible for digital infrastructure, tackling digital exclusion and stimulating the digital economy. Colin was previously marketing director, British Army where he was responsible for developing the Army’s online recruiting service. In that role he pioneered the use of social media and online gaming within the recruiting industry, winning several major national awards for on and offline marketing.
Convener of Regeneration and Infrastructure, North Lanrakshire Council
David is married with two children. He has been a councillor inNorth Lanarkshiresince first being elected in 2003. Since then he has held various positions, including Convenor of the Airdrie Local Area Partnership and Vice Chair of Strathclyde Partnership for Transport. Earlier this year David becameNorth Lanarkshire’s Convenor of Regeneration and Infrastructure, which oversees the Council’s £15 Million Youth Investment Fund.
He is a graduate of Glasgow School of Art and has a post graduate qualification in community education. He has recently established an artists’ collective, The Scottish Arts Council.
Robin specialises in advising on public law and procurement and charity law.
He advises a wide range of public sector clients and those engaging with the public sector on all aspects of procurement law (both contentious and non-contentious), corporate structuring and collaborations, contracting and grant matters, public administrative law, governance and state aid.
Robin's background also includes significant experience in advising clients on European law, competition law and regulatory law. [Current areas of interest include procurement aspects of development agreements, public sector collaborations and restructuring and the legal implications of changes to public sector services].
He also advises a large number of charities and third sector clients and those engaging with the third sector in relation to: charity law and regulation (including advising on regulatory investigations), governance, formation and structuring, contracting and community renewables.
Head of Resource Planning and Community Srevices, Dumfries and Galloway Council
Richard commenced his career in professional sport but recognising the limited ‘shelf life’ of his career choice, committed to a programme of academic study simultaneously and soon moved into a career within the Leisure and Sport Industry.
Richard has extensive public sector management experience initially working with both Sheffield City Council and Harrogate Borough Council where he had the opportunity to be involved in the development and delivery of international events such as the World Student Games, whilst also experiencing the changing landscape of local government Leisure and Sport Services within a Compulsive Competitive Tendering environment. He has also been fortunate to have had the opportunity to lead on a number of significant Leisure and Sport capital development projects.
In 2000, he moved to Scotland and joined Dumfries and Galloway Council where he now has a wider portfolio responsibility for a range of Community Services. More recently he has been responsible for developing a new Dumfries and Galloway joint Health and Wellbeing Unit in partnership with the NHS and he is also the Council’s lead Officer in relation to the Community Safety agenda.
Richard is committed to continuing professional development and has recently completed a post graduate qualification in Organisational Development and Leadership.
On a personal level, Richard is married and has two children, his daughter is undertaking a degree in Dance at the Performing Arts Studio Scotland and his son attends Northwood School, Lake Placid, USA on a Sports Scholarship programme.
Chief Executive, Stirling Council
Bob Jack was appointed Chief Executive of Stirling Council in May 2009. Prior to that date he held the posts Director of Corporate Services from 2003 and Director of Civic Services from 1996 when Stirling Council was established.
Bob qualified as a solicitor in 1981, having graduated in Public Law from Edinburgh University in 1978, and worked in legal posts in both Central Regional Council and Falkirk District Council. He was the last Director of Administration and Legal Services of Central Regional Council which was abolished in 1996.
As Chief Executive and head of paid service in the council he is responsible for carrying out the agreed policies of the council and the overall management of council services. He is the principal policy and management adviser to the council, chairs the Corporate Management team and is the first point of contact with the Scottish Government, regulatory bodies and partner public bodies, such as NHS Forth Valley, Police Scotland, University of Stirling, Forth Valley College and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.
He is the Returning Officer for elections to the Council and the Stirling Parliamentary Constituency for the Scottish, Westminster and European Parliaments and for the elections to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. He has also been a Member of the Electoral Management Board for Scotland since 2009.
Queen Margaret University and SRK Consultancy
Richard is currently Professor of Management at Queen Margaret University College, where he has been since January 2003. He was previously at the University of Edinburgh and the Scottish Local Authorities Management Centre, University of Strathclyde. He has also been a visiting scholar at Yale University and is a visiting professor at ITM Mumbai and EASB Singapore.
Before entering academic life Richard worked in advertising, hospitality and in prison education. Richard was a councillor in Edinburgh for 8 years where he chaired two committees. He also chaired the Scottish Executive's Working Party on Renewing Local Democracy, the report of which was published in July 2000 and which was legislated for in June 2004 as the Local Governance Act.
Richard is the author of various books, research papers, academic journals and numerous articles in the quality print media. His most recent publications include a book chapter on performance in public services and journal articles on the management of urban car parking as an example of effective practice in public management and Single Outcome Agreements in local government. He also writes regularly for the quality and trade press and contributes to TV, radio and online news/current affairs.
Director of Performance Audit and Best Value, Audit Scotland
Fraser McKinlay has been Audit Scotland’s Director of Performance Audit and Best Value since April 2010. As Controller of Audit, he also has statutory responsibility for reporting to the Accounts Commission on matters of public interest in all local authorities in Scotland. Prior to joining Audit Scotland, Fraser’s career was in the private sector as a consultant specialising in change management.
Fraser is passionate about accountability, leadership and improving public services. His responsibilities include overseeing national performance audits across public services in Scotland, reporting on best value audits in councils, working with scrutiny partners to ensure that audit and inspection activity in local government is joined up, proportionate and risk based and responding to issues of concern about public bodies that are raised by members of the public and their elected representatives.
Director, Craighall Energy
Michael O’Neill is the owner and Director of Craighall Energy Limited, based in Glasgow. With over 17 year’s industry experience, he also holds an Honours Degree in Quantity Surveying and a Master of Laws Degree (LLM) in Construction (specialising in the Law of Contract and EU Procurement Law).
Michael has a wealth of experience in both onshore and off-shore engineering, main contracting in the construction sector and for the past 6 years has been focussed on the utility and energy sector, holding senior management roles in the commercial, project delivery, network design and strategy departments within both ScottishPower Energy Networks and the wider ScottishPower Corporate Body.
Most recently, Michael established his own consultancy business to focus on the design and development of low carbon and/or renewable energy solutions; particularly looking to design and develop projects that are strategically aligned with a Smart City or Future Energy Networks vision. At present Craighall Energy have Clients that include Scottish Government, Scottish Canals, Glasgow City Council, University of Strathclyde and Luddon Construction. Craighall Energy is leading on the design, cost planning and delivery plan for an integrated, multi-million pound, combined heat and power (CHP) and district heating (DH) solution in both the City Centre North and wider North Glasgow areas. This project has ambitious plans to integrate a range of technological solutions (both renewable and low carbon) with potential for a city-wide district heating network, linking up social housing, new build and urban regeneration projects, university, hospital and municipal buildings and aims to tackle a number of socio-economic and environmental issues that exist between the stakeholders in the wider community.
Michael draws upon significant experience in the development and implementation of new business models, procurement strategy and advice, management of multi-skilled design teams and strategic engagement in the development and delivery of partnerships within the private and public sector. He is currently responsible for development of commercial and economic models for a range multi-million pound, low carbon and renewable energy investments; helping to identify and support funding and grant applications, forecasting CAPEX, OPEX, NPV, IRR and Simple Payback. He is also focussed on both the environmental benefits of integrated energy solutions and has a personal and keen interest in developing solutions that offer wider community and social benefits as well as supporting necessary returns on any capital investment.
Duncan is a Partner with MacRoberts LLP and a government and procurement law specialist with many years of experience. He is accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a specialist in Public Procurement Law and advises public sector and bidder clients on social value in procurement, intelligent commissioning and community benefits.
Duncan is a member of the management committee of the (UK-based) Procurement Lawyers Association, Chair of Social Enterprise Scotland (which promotes greater understanding of the potential of social enterprise) and is also a member of the SCDI Executive.
"Procurement law specialist Duncan Osler leads the team, and is esteemed for being 'a good procurement lawyer with insight, sound advice and a practical approach'."
"MacRoberts LLP's competition law practice...also has notable expertise in public procurement through Duncan Osler." [EU & Competition]
"...Duncan Osler's strengths lie in social enterprise, structuring and procurement matters." [Charities]
"MacRoberts 'tailored, first-class team'...headed by Duncan Osler, is commended for its 'excellent service and transparent billing'." [Health]
Head of Economic Development and Strategic Transportation at Argyll and Bute Council and Board Member of EDAS
Robert has worked in economic development for over twenty years both nationally and internationally. Prior to being the Head of Economic Development and Strategic Transportation at Argyll and Bute Council, he worked with Scottish Enterprise, international consultancy and Dundee City Council. Robert has advised a range of international bodies and governments on economic development including the EC, OECD and UN agencies. He is currently on the Board of the Economic Development Association of Scotland and the Executive of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry.
Director, Oracle Scotland
Caroline Stuart is a Board Member of Skills Development Scotland
After graduating in Technology and Business Studies from Strathclyde University in 1986, Caroline left Scotland to work in the City of London. She trained as an Investment Analyst and worked for Crown Agents and Charterhouse Bank. She returned to Scotland and ran three companies before moving into business consultancy. More recently she was Director for Oracle Scotland Oracle, the largest enterprise software company in the world.
She has been a volunteer business advisor to the Princes Scottish Youth Business Trust for 10 years. She is a Fellow of the RSA and sits on various Boards and Committees including E Skills, Scotland IS, Scottish Government ICT Advisory Board, a Trustee of Common Purpose and a member of the 2% club. Caroline lives in Glasgow and has one young son.
Lead for Health and Innovation, Scottish Government Health And Social Care Directorates
Peter Williamson is on secondment from NHS Tayside working for the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates as Lead on Health and Innovation. He led the development of the Health And Wealth In Scotland – A Statement Of Intent On Innovation In Health which was launched by the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well Being and the Cities Strategy in June 2012. He is currently developing proposals to set out the agenda for innovation to support the Government’s Route Map to the 2020 Vision for Health and Social Care.
Prior to his secondment Peter was Director of Health Strategy in NHS Tayside where he had responsibility for both long term planning and performance management. He joined the NHS in 1991 in Grampian and held a variety of Director roles there. This included lead director responsibility for Research & Development for five years. Before he joined the NHS he had as successful academic career in the fields of politics, public policy and public management, latterly working in the Medical School at Aberdeen University in the area of Health Policy and Management. He has published on a variety of subjects, covering areas as diverse the role of trade associations, industrial relations, health policy and industrial policy.
Head of Marketing, Storm ID
Over 11 years of experience across PR, Marketing and Communications. Leanne has been the Head of Strategy at Storm ID since June 2013. Leanne served as a Group Director at LBi from October 2011 to May 2013. She was responsible for running integrated digital marketing campaigns for key media accounts across a range of verticals including Travel, Hospitality, Retail, Finance, Energy and Health. Leanne joined LBi from bigmouthmedia from where she was Head of online PR from May 2008 to October 2011, and responsible for creating the new division of online PR and Social Media Management.
Leanne works closely across all departments at Storm managing strategic communications to connect people internally and profile Storm products, services and performance externally. As Head of Strategy Leanne has an aerial view of the company. Having worked both agency and 'account' side enables her to truly listen to a brief and understand the client's needs and then make sure the right team and right efforts are assigned. Having run both global and UK PR and Digital Marketing campaigns for large and small companies for more than a decade means that she understands both business and communications challenges and can offer realistic advice.
Director, Scotland Excel
Dorothy Cowie has been the Director of Scotland Excel since it was launched in April 2008, having previously led the project team which established the organisation as the Centre of Procurement Expertise for the local government sector in Scotland.
As Director, Dorothy is responsible for leading the organisation and managing its performance on behalf of the 32 local authorities which provide its funding. She works closely with stakeholders across the public sector to maximise the benefits of collaborative procurement and to champion the role of strategic procurement as a driver of economic, social and environmental benefits at a local and national level.
Dorothy has extensive experience of driving procurement strategy in senior roles. Prior to her work with Scotland Excel, she was the Group Procurement Director for Scottish Power where her procurement career spanned more than 20 years.
Dorothy has been a member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply since 1982. She holds a BA (Hons) in Business Administration and Marketing from Strathclyde University and an MBA from Heriot Watt University.
Planning, Strategy & Relationship Manager, ICT Solutions, The City of Edinburgh Council
Ritchie Somerville has worked for the City of Edinburgh Council since its inception in 1996. Having begun his career as a Town Planner, Ritchie has developed a wider portfolio with new ways of working being the common thread.
Part of the Team who established the Programme Management Office within the Council, he was also joint Programme Manager for the Connected Capital Programme, securing £10.9million capital funding for the city to support Ultrafast Broadband.
In June 2013 he became the Planning, Strategy and Relationship Manager within the Council’s ICT Solutions Team, where as part of the team he was responsible for developing the emerging ICT and Digital Strategy for Edinburgh and fostering innovation in the Council and wider city.
Ritchie is now Innovation and Futures Manager in the Chief Executive's Office.
Ritchie is a Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), and an Associate of the Association of Project Managers (APM).
Head of Digital Sales, 02 Telefonica UK
Responsible for helping deliver Telefonica’s full Digital Portfolio to clients across the UK , Martyn is also tasked in advising and educating how the world of Digital Services can help benefit business, consumer and citizens lives to clients and government entities. A highly respected and active member of the Scottish Digital Participation Action Group he has worked on several key projects including a programme with Nesta to help 400 Scottish school children learn new digital making skills in 2013.Martyn also works closely with O2’s Think Big Project which helps upskill youth with Digital and business skills.
Chief Executive, Capital City Partnership
Jim has been CEO of the Partnership since 2000 and has overseen the transition from the original, pre community planning, role of the company as a co-ordinator of the city’s social inclusion programmes and area based partnerships to the current focus on jobs and growth.
His main function on a day to day basis is to provide support, guidance and direction to the CCP staff team. The other key role is in external relations, representing the company in the Jobs Strategy Group, building partner relationships within and beyond the Jobs Strategy partnership, with other services and with employment partnerships in other areas as well as, of course, the council here in Edinburgh.
Jim also provides support and guidance to the company’s board of directors and, as company secretary, is responsible for ensuring good governance, and financial management, of the company’s affairs.
Entitlements & Rewards Director, Young Scot
David joined Young Scot in summer 2010 taking on the lead role in developing services associated with the Young Scot National Entitlement Card (NEC), currently carried by over 525,000 young people across Scotland. The Young Scot NEC enables young people to access discounts on products, services and activities across Scotland as well as being accredited proof-of-age card. Additional services, including concessionary travel, cashless catering and leisure membership, are also provided on the card by local authorities and their partners.
David’s role also includes leading the development of Young Scot Rewards, an innovative online platform which encourages young people to participate in positive activities which benefit themselves, their communities and the environment by offering points which can then be used to unlock exclusive rewards and experiences.
David is also a Board member the European Youth Card Association and Chair of the Board of Recharge, a youth work charity based in East Lothian.
Director - Public Sector Advisory, Ernst & Young
Fiona lives and works in Scotland, and leads EY's Scotland Local Public Services Advisory practice. She has worked across the public sector for 16 years, and specifically within the Scottish Public Sector for the last 8 years. She has provided support to local authorities, central government departments, agencies and health bodies to address the key financial and demand pressures currently facing public sector organisations. She has successfully delivered a number of high profile public sector programmes focused on cost reduction, improved service delivery, alternative delivery models, commercial excellence and strategic sourcing. Recently Fiona has been involved in the development of new models for service delivery such as options for the integration of Health and Social Care, she has contributed to the expert working group focused on Welfare Reform, and has facilitated strategic conversations with a number of councils to consider the future role of the council as service provider, facilitator, or commissioner and to consider the contribution of partners in the delivery of services.
Head of Partnership Relations, VisitScotland
Ken joined VisitScotland in 2008 as Regional Director for Aberdeen City and Shire working closely with the Local Authorities, destination and sector groups in the locale along with a range of key stakeholders.
In 2011, Ken took on a national role as Head of Partnership Relations, managing a multi-disciplined team responsible for the direct delivery of key VisitScotland services including quality grading schemes, advice provision, face-to-face selling, and for building and managing partnerships at national, regional and local level.
Neighbourhood Services Leader, Wheatley Group
Jacqueline is in charge of Neighbourhood Services for Wheatley Group – Scotland’s leading housing, community regeneration and care organisation.
Her role at Wheatley Group included designing and implementing an environmental strategy to ensure 45,000 Glasgow Housing Association tenants live in clean, tidy and safe communities.
She has more than 30 years’ experience in housing, including neighbourhood management, community development, stock transfers and social regeneration.
Jacqueline also leads the joint partnership between GHA and the police and fire services which is helping cut crime and reduce anti-social behaviour in GHA neighbourhoods.
Head of Strategic IT, NCC Group
Alastair leads NCC Group’s strategic IT advisory team. He has worked in the public sector for the last 12 years – providing strategic support and guidance to local authorities, government agencies, health organisations, charities and all tiers of education. He has delivered a number of major strategic projects that have enabled organisations to use information and technology in a more efficient and effective way – supporting organisations in the shift to being more open, accessible and secure organisations.
Managing Director and Planning Director, EnviroPlan Consulting
Wide experience in the full range of land-use planning matters including residential, commercial, industrial,( including marine and harbour developments ) institutional, infrastructure, waste, renewable energy and tourism/recreation etc. Specialisation in sustainability, environmental issues, waste and renewable energy and policy matters, together with monitoring and inputs at Structure Plan and Local Plan levels, and knowledge of planning and environmental legislation and processes throughout the UK, with particular knowledge of Scotland. Duties include planning analysis and appraisals, negotiations and appeals including expert witness and advocacy role at Public Inquiries, CPO Inquiries, and Planning Hearings. Recent significant experience in Community Engagement ranging from policy appraisal, professional advice in relation to appropriate approaches for CE, to detailed involvement in major applications and chairing various community events.
Mike McCormick joined Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary in 1984 and worked in a variety of policing roles from uniformed operations to CID and Community Policing to Training and Recruitment.
After a period leading the policing operation in the Netherlands at the trial of the men accused of the Lockerbie Bombing, he was promoted to Superintendent with Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary before returning to Dumfries and Galloway in 2004.
In 2008, he was appointed Assistant Chief Constable, leading Local Policing in Lothian and Borders Police and In June 2011, he returned to Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary as the Deputy Chief Constable.
In January 2013, he was appointed to Police Scotland as Assistant Chief Constable, with responsibility for local policing in the east of Scotland.
Sustainable Development Officer, Keep Scotland Beautiful - Sustainable Scotland Network
Martha is a Sustainable Development officer leading on Research for the Sustainable Scotland Network. The Sustainable Scotland Network supports public sector action on climate change and sustainable procurement and Martha provides research support for these programmes within the Keep Scotland Beautiful team. SSN now works with sustainability practitioners in a diverse array of organisations from across the Scottish public sector. Prior to her current role, Martha worked on the Sustainable Development Team at Dumfries and Galloway Council.
Assistant Business Manager (Development Plans), Planning & Regeneration, North Lanarkshire Council
Gordon is now in his 24th year in Local Government having joined Motherwell District Council as a Graduate Trainee Planning Assistant in 1990 and transferred to North Lanarkshire Council on Local Government Reorganisation in 1996.
Having worked in Development Control and then Development Projects in his time with the Council, Gordon is currently the Assistant Business Manager (Development Plans) with responsibility for Local Development Planning, the Council’s contribution to the Strategic Development Plan, land use monitoring and analysis, corporate roll out of SEA, annual SCCD reporting and is currently working on using Charrette methodology in Development Planning. Gordon is the Chair of the Council’s Sustainability and Climate Change Group and also on the board of the Glasgow and Clyde Valley Green Network Partnership.
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Thu 27th Aug 2020
Tue 1st Sep 2020
All topics were related and all relevant. This was a really informative event for us to attend and as a student I am thankful that this event was free.