The NLGN Five
Simon Parker, 11 April, 2011

I’m off to the BT tower tonight for the launch of the LGC 50, the annual barometer of who’s up and who’s down in local government. The 50 is generally a list of the great and good – ministers and LGA leaders dominate the top spots. But this year it’s supposed to be a bit different, focusing more on innovation and the cutting edge. That got me thinking… I’ve been doing this job for over six months now, so who would I put on a list of people who’ve inspired and shaped my thinking?

This, then, is the NLGN five. A handful of people who are just below the radar, but deserve to be on the list tonight. If they’re not, expect to see them in the next year or two.

Presented in no particular order…

1. Sheena Ramsey, Chief Executive, Knowsley: our job as a think tank is to try and be a step ahead of the pack, but Sheena is usually a step ahead of us. A properly cutting edge chief in a highly innovative local authority.

2. Andrew Lewis, Deputy Chief Executive, Newcastle City Council: One of the brightest policy thinkers in local government, with a background in the Treasury and running the Northern Way thinktank.

3. David Barrie, independent consultant: I met David at a conference in Rotterdam and was fascinated to learn about his work on Camden’s people’s supermarket. A social entrepreneur who uses innovative approaches to property development to drive innovation. In this blog post, he sums up my thinking on the big society better than I ever could.

4. Jon Ainger, Impower: another consultant doing practical work on how to shift people’s behaviours, in the process improving satisfaction and saving money. Watch out for a forthcoming NLGN publication featuring his work in Coventry.

5. Matthew Booth, Director of Policy at Ealing: Everyday NLGN meets lots of truly innovative people through its work. What’s rarer is to meet people who are in lock step with our vision for a more creative local government. A genuine believer in the power of creativity.

Honourable mentions go to Daniel Ratchford at Sutton, Susie Kemp at Surrey, Richard Puleston at Essex and Esmee Wilcox at Suffolk.

There are bound to be plenty of others who are doing fantastic work but won’t make either the LGC 50 or this list. If you know any of them, please let us know.