Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell will be the keynote speaker at The Future is Local, a half day event to be held at LSE on Wednesday 14 September.
The event is the third in a series of annual debates jointly organised by the Local Government Association and LSE. It aims to bring together councillors, chief executives, academics and policy makers to discuss issues facing local government.
LSE Director Howard Davies will welcome participants and chair the first speech by Sir Gus O'Donnell, who was announced as the new Cabinet Secretary in June this year. His speech will be followed by an address from LGA chairman Sir Sandy Bruce-Lockhart.
A series of three parallel discussions will then follow at 5.15pm:
Neighbourhood governance - empowering local communities or local councillors? The government proposes to give people more say in decisions affecting the neighbourhoods they live in. How can we ensure that everyone gets an equal chance to have a say? What are the implications for the role of local councillors? Panellists will be Geoff Mulgan of the Young Foundation and Liz Richardson, CASE at LSE.
The Lyons Inquiry: the last chance for local government finance? Panellists are Sarah Wood, director of policy, LGA, and Tony Travers of LSE's Greater London Group.
Customer-focused services - choice or voice? What do customers themselves tell us they value in public services? Panellists will be Deborah Mattinson, joint chief executive of Opinion Leader Research and Professor Keith Dowding of LSE's Government Department.
The event will close with a lecture at 6.45pm by Professor Richard Layard on Is more happiness possible locally and nationally?
We now have sophisticated ways of measuring how happy people are, and all the evidence shows that on average, people have grown no happier in the last 50 years. Professor Lord Layard, author of the book Happiness: lessons from a new science (Penguin, 2005) asks what can be done locally as well as nationally to improve our sense of contentment.
The event is open to LGA members and invited guests. To reserve a place, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Saffron Cordery, LGA Strategy and Communications, 020 7664 3252
Judith Higgin, LSE Press Office, 020 7955 7582
BBC News Online
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8 August 2005