Tomorrow’s top talent take on Leeds challenge

Leeds saw some of the best and brightest young local government officers tackle the Local Government Challenge this week in a competition which seeks out talented staff with the drive and determination to reach the top.

The 2014 challenge is taking place in a series of locations around the country and with Leeds being home to previous winner, Lana Fisher, all eyes were on the entrants this year to see who would come out on top. The challenge, which tests both individual and team-working skills, is a great career development opportunity and for the winners there is a prize of up to £10,000 from the Bruce-Lockhart scholarship.

With the Tour de France Grand Départ coming to Leeds in 2014, the contestants were faced with providing proposals on ten detailed ideas for how the council can get more women and girls cycling across the city including encouraging girls to cycle to school.

The two teams delivered a range of options and opportunities, and a team led by Coventry City Council corporate performance officer Si-Chun Lam, won with a plan for annual challenges involving mass cycling sessions throughout the city, where record-breaking numbers of people would pedal for victory.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council executive member for leisure and skills, was a competition judge. She said:

“It was great to see how the teams worked had to deliver innovative ways to build on the legacy of the Tour de France and help the population have a healthier lifestyle, as well as seeing the other benefits of cycling such as reduced congestion and pollution.”

Michael Coughlin, executive director at the Local Government Association, said:

“It is great to see the tremendous commitment, creativity, enthusiasm and energy the teams brought to the challenge. The ideas they came up were really imaginative, yet practical and could have cost thousands of pounds to develop any other way. The fact that they came up with them in such a short space of time is evidence of local government's great breadth of talent.”

Leader of the winning team, Si-Chun Lam, said:

“It was really good to have such good support from the people in Leeds. Not just staff but children and other members of the public demonstrated what a friendly and ambitious city Leeds is.

“The Tour de France is going to be a tremendous opportunity for Leeds to show these characteristics on a global stage.”


Notes for editors

The following 10 contestants have been chosen to participate in the Local Government Challenge 2014:

• Charlotte Breen- London Borough of Sutton

• Jade Taylor- Central Bedfordshire Council

• Michelle Scott- Leeds City Council

• Mahbub Anam- London Borough of Tower Hamlets

• Matthew Carney- Worcester City Council

• Victoria Jeffrey- Surrey County Council

• Graeme Kane- Mole Valley District Council

• Daniel Parry- Doncaster City Council

• Si-Chun Lam- Coventry City Council

• Fiona Price- Northampton City Council

The LGA is the national voice of local government. They work with councils to support, promote and improve local government.

Details of the 2013 challenge are available here: http://www.local.gov.uk/web/guest/lgchallenge/-/journal_content/56/10180/3856650/ARTICLE

Issued by:

Phil Morcom

Communications and Marketing team

Leeds City Council

4th Floor West, Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR

Mobile: 0772 227 5370

Tel: 0113 395 0393

Fax: 0113 247 4736