State of the Public Sector Theatre
Digital and Technology
Corporate Solutions
Local Infrastructure
Workforce and Leadership

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State of the Public Sector Theatre

Keynote: Update from Greater Manchester City Council

Panel: Getting ‘bid ready’ and the Impact of fostering pre-engagement with your local market

As services are stretched public money needs to be spent wisely, and the procurement process holds the key to delivering true value for money. However, the process requires early engagement from both the purchasing authority and the supplier to maximise the value of any long-term contract. For this session, we will discuss:

  • How to educate and prepare local businesses for the public-sector tendering process
  • Fostering pre-engagement between suppliers and buyers so that requirements and capacity to deliver can feed into the procurement process
  • Factoring wider social value benefits into procurement decision making
  • Impact of Brexit on procurement legislation

Panel: Vision for the North – Long term strategy to deliver infrastructure networks fit for the Northern Powerhouse

Plans to improve and build Northern infrastructure is a key component to economic development for the North. This session will consider:

  • Expected growth areas by sector and location
  • What is the potential for scale in the North and forward planning to support this
  • Progress report, goals, vision and expectation for the next 5 years
  • Investment in UK infrastructure and the role of the IPA
  • The building blocks for smart cities of the North – What do we need and in what order?

Panel: Reaping the rewards of Robotic Process Automation across the public sector

As work volumes rise and workforces shrink across the public sector, robotic process automation (RPA) is increasingly being introduced to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) as an innovative solution to increasing budgetary and resource pressures. An effective automation strategy can help with:

  • Automating work flow and introducing self-service systems to drive operational efficiencies
  • Improving public services by responding faster and more accurately to enquiries
  • Delivering a viable solution to hiring freezes and headcount reduction Navigating the cultural and legacy barriers to RPA implementation

Panel: Collaborative approaches to leadership

Local government leaders are under pressure to deliver affordable housing, adult social care, improved infrastructure, and ongoing economic growth; all while trying to identify new revenue streams, remain an attractive employer and find savings across their organisations. As these issues become more complex, it is increasingly important for leaders to ensure that the skills of their workforce adequately reflect the demands of their constituency.

Panel : What is possible at the forefront of Northern Devolution?

The Northern Powerhouse has backed Northern economy by encouraging investment in skills, innovation, transport and culture, as well as devolving significant powers and budgets to directly elected mayors to ensure decisions in the North are made by the North. This session showcases the new North in motion and highlights expected areas of growth.

Digital and Technology

Panel: Building resilience and robust cyber hygiene

Roughly one in four public sector organisations in the UK are unprepared for a cyber-attack. Which in the constantly evolving digital landscape means data security measures must be hardwired into your workforce and systems. Therefore, this session will discuss:

  • How Effective cyber ‘hygiene’ can instilled into your organisations’ daily practices
  • How maintenance of hardware and digital infrastructure can ward off the natural deterioration that may invite exploitation
  • How security and secure design can be embedded within the development life cycle, from software development to application design

Case Study: Salford City Council’s Digital First Approach

Salford City Council was recently voted the Digital Council of the Year and is championing a unique digital first approach to engaging with residents. A key component of the strategy is breaking down the barriers that the exclude particularly vulnerable and deprived citizens from participating in the digital world. For this session we will discuss:

  • How Salford plans to get 8000 of the most digitally excluded residents online by 2020
  • Recognising the link between digital exclusion and social exclusion
  • Creating a new Digital Skills Partnership focussed on developing local skills and education

Case Study: The Social benefits of bringing people and tech together

Rochdale Borough Council has been spearheading a unique approach to easing demand on its services, while simultaneously tackling social inequality. Technology has played a central role, and the council now has a boroughwide digital offering that seeks to make tech more accessible to citizens, particularly those citizens straining crisis services. For this session we will consider:

  • The links between digital inclusion and social exclusion
  • The direct impact of a targeted digital inclusion offer on reducing vulnerability and crisis
  • The fiscal savings that can be realised as a result of demand reduction
  • Integrating technology skills and education into a citizen’s curriculum

Panel: Procuring a partner to manage your data to the cloud

Corporate Solutions

Panel: Embracing a commercial approach to service delivery

The traditional sources of income available to local government are no longer able to sustain public services indefinitely. Developing a commercial strategy for revenue generation can be a viable means of safeguarding service delivery. For this session we will discuss:

  • How to identify and leverage potential commercial assets of your organisation
  • Embedding the necessary cultural change to develop commercial skills of your workforce, to embrace a business-like approach to service protection
  • Investing in capital projects for long term gains

Panel: Developing your procurement strategy: The route to fast, effective and efficient procurement


  • Sustainable procurement and delivering social value
  • How to engage the market to better position your procurement
  • How to take the best advantage of feedback in the commissioning stage
  • Alternative routes to procurement including:
    • Dynamic Purchasing Systems
    • Contract and digital marketplace
    • EAuction
    • Innovative uses of technology

Case Study: Securing the financial sustainability of local authorities through business rates retention and investment

Many local councils are in danger of exhausting their financial reserves to meet growing demand for front line services, causing a shift in thinking towards income generation. Business rates retention has been touted as a potential solution to financial pressures, particularly if coupled with an effective re-investment strategy. This session will explore:

  • Evaluating the progress on implementing business rates retention and assessing how the move to 75% retention will impact financial planning
  • How local authorities can borrow more effectively for commercial investment purposes

Local Infrastructure

Panel: Major projects driving transport connectivity

  • Strategic vision to grow rail networks to support growing urban economies
  • Long term expectation and the expected positive impact on housing crisis
  • Models for Collaboration and finding efficiencies in the procurement process
  • Smart Motorways Programme
  • Future Influences on the Strategic Road Network
  • Autonomous Vehicles
  • ULEV and EVs – what is the potential for increased traffic and impact on our networks

Panel: EV Infrastructure – Frontier planning and a flexible approach to the evolving transport and mobility sector

Uncover the challenges and triumphs in procuring charge point networks across the public and private domain and learn of the latest innovations in EV technology and integration demonstrably capable of driving deployment of EVs to the masses.

  • Delivering Infrastructure that fulfils low Emission Strategy and future proofing the EV boom.
  • What funding is available and how do you access it?
  • Who pays for installation and how is the money spent?
  • EV and hybrid future market trends
  • Vehicle and charging type trajectories
  • Future planning: Social housing/housing authorities
  • Cities vs urban vs highway
  • How to get other local stakeholders involved and gain buy-in
  • How does your EV plan fit in with your wider transport planning?
  • Future Energy Scenarios 2018: Where will the power come from?
  • Public opinion of EVs and how to optimise your charging network to suit customer requirements
  • Public/Private Partnerships

Panel: Building the Smart City

Finding ways to finance urban transformation, and the role of public private partnerships for local economic development. The future of Urban mobility in the age of self-driving vehicles, and new business models disrupting mobility. Other themes include:

  • Clean Tech – Sustainable applications
  • What is the day to day impact of AI?
  • Safer future cities: We consider the challenges and vulnerabilities more connected cities are exposed to and what steps can be taken to combat this?
  • Challenges and benefits of working with multiple-stakeholders: Discover new and Innovative ways of collaboration
  • Data analysis and Urban Planning

Panel: Digital Connectivity the key to service transformation:–How IoT and 5G will shape the next generation of public Services

The Future Communications Challenge Group (FCCG)’s report suggests that UK leadership in 5G could result in the opportunity to create £173 billion of incremental UK GDP growth over a ten-year period from 2020 to 2030. The road to full fibre is paved with many challenges however the socio- economic rewards of a better-connected UK is within our reach and promises to deliver:

  • A better place for and to do business/ Identify new markets and opportunities
  • Measuring improvements in children’s attainment at school
  • Increased access for elderly shows reduction of social isolation
  • Digital skills improvements
  • Reductions in unemployment and greater take-up of training opportunities

This session will consider:

  • What is the new capability and what does it enable? Mutual hosting what does this mean?
  • What is the scope for central and local Govt, regulator and industry collaboration?
  • The public Sector as a major driver of 5G services
  • 5G as an innovation enabler for public services in the city
  • What regulation do we need to see change to facilitate change?
  • Business rates for comms infrastructure
  • Potential of harnessing existing infrastructure, e.g. Network Rail telecoms
  • Next steps: How can we accelerate investment in high-capacity networks across the UK?
  • The Public Service Pilots

Opening Address from IPA

Transforming Infrastructure Performance Report

Workforce and Leadership

Panel: Defining and Delivering Social value in Public Sector Services

  • Public Service Transformation: new approaches to improve your wider strategic impact
  • Commissioning and delivering public services to achieve better results with better economics
  • Identifying the gap: discovering opportunity in your existing projects
  • How to quantify social value and the mechanisms required to deliver it

Panel: Developing strategy around the science of wellbeing and performance

  • Maximising productivity and efficiencies for a high performing, productive workforce
  • Shared learning around wellbeing initiatives, their implementation and success
  • Financial Wellbeing: Integrating flexible wellbeing benefits
  • Importance of emotional vs transactional engagement
  • Management, development and effective leadership
  • Crisis management and resilience training
  • Case studies from Grenfell, Westminster City Council and Kensington and Chelsea Boroughs

Panel: Frontier planning for workforce labour shortages and the training required for operational excellence

Targeted training and education has the capacity to build both your organisation and region’s long-term prospects. This session will instruct you on how to raise employability levels in capable markets.

  • Driving ambition: Attracting, fostering and retaining talent
  • Vocational training: Where are the opportunities?
  • Future proofing your organisation against labour shortages
  • Apprenticeship Levy: Transforming the skills landscape

Case Study: Transforming the local authority workplace – the 2020 Modern Council Programme

The local government workplace is changing. Driven by commitments to cutting costs and embracing new technologies, the public-sector estate is shrinking, transforming the way employees can work and interact with their workplace environment. For this session we will consider how North Yorkshire County Council has:

  • Delivered an award-winning programme of modernization, using a three-pronged approach to smarter working: Property, Technology and Organisational Development (OD)
  • Moved away from presenteeism to outcome-based performance
  • Navigated cultural resistance to new technologies and new work practices
  • Kept new programmes in line with overarching cost-cutting strategies

Implementing smarter working across government – an update from the Government Property Agency

The Government Propety Agency was launched earlier this year and promises to improve both workforce productivity, and the efficiency of the government estate. Central to this promise is a commitment to generating benefits of of between £1.4bn and £2.4bn over the next ten years, and implementing smarter working practices across multiple departments. For this session, we will discuss how this visiosn is being realised, and the progress made so far.