Governance and the Localism Bill - what will it mean for you?

Social Sciences
Friday 11th November 2011 (09:30-16:00)
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Communities and Local GovernmentTime: 09.30 - 16.00
Venue: Nettlefold Room, Winterbourne House, University of Birmingham


Chaired by Sir Michael Lyons, this timely conference will explore the key changes in the way in which local government will operate and engage, under the Localism Bill. The opportunities provided by the General Power of Competence, changes to planning regulations and an increase in trading activities will be explored as will some of the key challenges – balancing greater community empowerment with effective local democracy, leading economic development in difficult times. 

Organisers: Catherine Staite and John Cade

Chair: Honorary Professor Sir Michael Lyons

lyons-michaelSir Michael Lyons was Chairman of the BBC Trust from May 2007 to end of April 2011.  He is Chairman of the English Cities Fund and completed the Lyons Inquiry into the functions and funding of local government (published March 2007).

Michael Lyons is a former Deputy Chairman and Acting Chairman of the Audit Commission (2003 to 2006) and was Professor of Public Policy at Birmingham University (2001 to 2006). He was knighted in 2000 for services to local government after serving for 17 years as the Chief Executive of three major local authorities: Birmingham City Council (1994-2001); Nottinghamshire County Council (1990-1994) and Wolverhampton Borough Council (1985-1990).  He has also chaired or been a member of a number of public sector bodies and working groups.

Sir Michael is Chairman of Participle Ltd and a non-executive director of Mouchel plc, Wragge & Co and SQW Ltd.  He is a strategic adviser to CBRE.

He is Chairman of Tindal Street Press and has just retired as a Governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company.  He is a former Chairman of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

Michael Lyons was educated at Stratford Grammar School (London), Middlesex University, and at Queen Mary College University of London. He is 62, married, with three grown-up children.  He lives in Birmingham.


09.30 Tea / coffee available
10.00 Welcome and context setting 
Honorary Professor Sir Michael Lyons
10.20 The key tenets and thinking behind the main governance provisions of the Localism Bill
Paul Rowsell, Deputy Director, DCLG
11.05 Some reflections on the Bill
Catherine Staite, Director of INLOGOV
11.40 Break
12.00 A Chief Executive’s Perspective
Gavin Jones, Chief Executive, Swindon Borough Council
12.30 Accountability matters 
Ed Hammond, Research and Information Manager, Centre for Public Scrutiny
13.00 First Panel Session to consider issues raised in the course of  the morning.
Panel to comprise all morning speakers and to encourage broader discussion of issues raised.
13.40 Lunch
14.30 Workshops

 a) Elected Mayors
 b) Community referenda
 c) Scrutiny
 d) The place of Big Society
15.15 Second Panel Session to receive headline feedback from each of the four workshops and to promote discussion on key issues which need to be taken forward.
16.00 Close of Seminar with tea/coffee available

Fees and booking

  • Fee: £100

Bookings are subject to availability and can be made on line at

Maps and Directions

For more Information contact Ann Bolstridge, Tel: +44 (0)121 414 4967, Email: