Council officer wins 10k in national local government challenge

A Leeds City Council officer has won a national competition for being the ‘best of the best’ in local government.

Miss Lana Fisher, who works across children’s and adult’s social care at Leeds City Council won the Local Government Association Challenge 2013 to claim the £10,000 Bruce-Lockhart Scholarship.

Lana took on nine other local government workers from across the UK as they battled it out to complete challenges included examining how to deliver high quality services during a period of significant change in Bournemouth, creating a joint management structure for a fictional county with four districts and four different council leaders and identifying ways in which London Fire Brigade and partners could further reduce accidental dwelling fires.

The final of the competition required the last three participants to hold a stall at the Local Government Conference in Manchester on the 2-4 of July to try and win delegates over to their cause. Along with this, the contestants also had to create a 10-minute presentation detailing how the local government sector would benefit as well as them personally and their council if they were awarded the £10,000 prize provided by the Bruce-Lockhart Scholarship.

She won over voting delegates and judges with her vision for local authorities to link corporate social responsibility (CSR) to the specific needs of local communities through building local networks and engaging with businesses, sharing a business case focusing on CSR as an investment rather than a gift or philanthropic gesture and developing a bank of business cases of localised CSR in the UK, USA and Europe.

Lana will use her prize money to attend a CSR course at Harvard Business School and the CSR Communication Conference in Denmark this September and to pilot the toolkit in Leeds next year.

Lana said: “The LG Challenge certainly lived up to its name and was really personally challenging, but I enjoyed every minute. I’ve learnt so much and had the chance to work with some fantastic people. I’m really grateful to Leeds City Council for being incredibly supportive of me every step of the way. Winning this scholarship will mean I can really push myself and my idea even further and I can’t wait to see where I can take it.”

Tom Riordan, chief executive of Leeds City Council said:

“We are very proud of Lana’s achievements. We have supported her through her various tasks and are thrilled that she has won this prestigious award.

“We look forward to seeing her prize winning ideas in action over the future months.”

Miss Fisher was awarded her prize at the LGA Conference by the Secretary of Health, the Rt. Hon. Jeremy Hunt MP.

Notes to editors:

The LG Challenge is a nationwide competition which attempts to search for the best Local Government workers in the UK.

The Next Local Government Challenge will start in January 2014, with competitors already sizing up for the challenge. Entries are free for any Council Member whose employer is a part of the Local Government Association.

For further information on the LG Challenge visit http://www.local.gov.uk/lgchallenge

The competition was open to local government staff across England and Wales and a panel of judges selected the 10 most promising hopefuls from a number of different applications. It featured two rounds:

• Round One comprised the five monthly challenges, hosted by Bournemouth Council, Rushcliffe Borough Council, Breckland Council, London Fire Brigade and Northampton Borough Council.

• Round Two saw the three finalists going head-to-head at the LGA annual conference. Each contestant had a stand in the conference exhibition, where they had the opportunity to promote their ideas before facing a final judging panel.

The final judging panel comprised of Carolyn Downs, Chief Executive of the LGA; Dermott Joyce, Chief Executive of challenge sponsors Liberata CapacityGrid; Mike Burton, Editor of 'the MJ'; Cllr Keith Glazier, Leader of East Sussex County Council; and Cllr Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader of Essex County Council

The Bruce-Lockhart Scholarship is part of the Bruce-Lockhart Leadership Programme which was established in memory of former Kent County Council Leader and LGA Chairman Lord Bruce-Lockhart. The programme aims to develop the next generation of council leaders and chief executives by finding international best practice which can be applied locally.

For media enquiries contact Tom Clement

Leeds City Council Press Office

0113 3950244