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APSE Annual Seminar 2017

Beyond austerity? Ensuring a future for the local government frontline

Oxford, England

Wednesday 6 September - Thursday 7 September


View programme

The APSE Annual Seminar 2017 and the APSE Service Awards will take place in the historical and cultural city of Oxford. Exploring excellence in frontline services, our programme of events will commence with a welcome reception for exhibitors and delegates on Tuesday 5 September at 7.30pm, with an opportunity for delegates and suppliers to network and share ideas in an informal setting.

The seminar itself starts on Wednesday 6 September, and continues into Thursday 7 September at the Oxford Town Hall, where an exciting trade show will showcase the latest in local government developments. Delegates will get the opportunity to hear industry-leading speakers from across UK local government covering topics like:

Frontline services 

  • Refuse, recycling, and street scene
  • Highways, winter maintenance and street lighting
  • Housing and Building Maintenance
  • Leisure, health and wellbeing
  • Catering, cleaning and FM

Policy developments

  • Income generation and commercialisation
  • Assets for investment
  • International perspectives on local government
  • Green energy, flooding and climate change
  • Digitisation and demand management

APSE will also host a vibrant night of excellent food, live music, and entertainment. On this night, we will also announce and celebrate the winners of the APSE Service Awards 2017. This is a night not to be missed, so make sure you confirm your place today.


Find out who will be speaking at the APSE Annual Seminar 2017 here. Keep up-to-date with the latest speaker announcements by checking regularly.


  • Lord Porter of Spalding CBE

    Chairman, Local Government Association

    Gary was first elected to South Holland District Council in a by-election in June 2001. He was re-elected in 2003 and elected Leader of South Holland at the Council's Annual Meeting that year.

    A former Chairman of the District Councils' Network, Gary chaired the LGA Environment and Housing Board for two years before becoming Conservative Group Leader and Vice-Chairman of the LGA in June 2011.

    He was elected LGA Chairman at the General Assembly in June 2015 and was made a life peer in the 2015 dissolution peerages list.


  • Aileen Murphie

    Director, DCLG and Local Government Value for Money

    Aileen has been Director of DCLG & Local Government VFM at the NAO since July 2013 and leads the NAO’s value for money work on local government. She has published reports to Parliament on financial sustainability of local authorities, most recently on capital expenditure by local authorities, the local economic growth landscape and on Adult Social Care. One of her most recent outputs Local Enterprise Partnerships builds on previous work in Devolving responsibilities to cities in England: Wave 1 City Deals looking at the government’s first steps in devolving power and responsibility as the Government’s programme of devolution gets underway. At present, she has work underway on the setting up of combined authorities and has just published Housing in England: an overview and Implementing 100% business rate retention.

  • Sean Hanson

    Chief Executive, Local Partnerships

    Sean has spent over 27 years working for, and with, UK public sector organisations. The first half of his career was spent in local government including LB Camden and Fareham BC. More recently, Sean has worked in the private sector focusing on strategic partnerships and business development. In 2016 Sean joined Local Partnerships from Serco where he spent five years in roles with increasing complexity and scope. Alongside his experience of central and local government, Sean brings a wealth of knowledge across the health sector, the Devolved Administrations and also non-departmental public sector organisations. He holds IRRV (Hons) and CIPFA qualifications.

    Originally from Northern Ireland, Sean has lived in and around London since 1983. He lives in rural North Bedfordshire with his wife and youngest daughter. 

  • Jacqui McKinley

    Chief Executive, Centre for Public Scrutiny

    Jacqui is chief executive of the Centre for Public Scrutiny (CfPS), a leading national charity supporting organisations and people to improve their governance and scrutiny. She oversees CfPS’ policy and consultancy work with a wide range of sectors including local government, national government, health and social care, education, the private sector and housing. Jacqui is also a proud trustee of the Advocacy Project. She is a regular speaker on issues relating to the value of scrutiny and governance in improving lives and places. Prior to joining CfPS in 2015, Jacqui was Director of Strategy and Customer Services at Staffordshire County Council and previously she worked for UK Sport and the Health Education Authority. She started her public service career as a civil servant graduate trainee.

  • Kate Henderson

    Chief Executive, TCPA

    Kate Henderson is Chief Executive of the TCPA where she leads the Association's efforts to shape and advocate planning policies that put social justice and the environment at the heart of the debate.

    Kate has raised the TCPA's profile through a range of high profile campaigns, research projects and policy initiatives, most notably around garden cities, affordable housing, poverty and climate change. She has been involved in a number of government panels and independent commissions including the Raynsford Review of Planning and the Lyons Housing Review.

    Kate is a visiting professor at the Bartlett School of Planning at University College London and a member of the Board of the International Federation of Housing and Planning. She regularly appears in the national and trade press and is co-author of three books, the most recent is which is ‘The Art of Building a Garden City’ published by RIBA Publishing in July 2017.


  • David Bentley

    Head of Asset Management, CIPFA

    David is a Surveyor with over 35 years’ experience in the Public and Private Sectors. He has been with CIPFA for 19 years and in this time become known as one of the leading UK experts on property and asset management within the public sector. David is Head of Asset Management within the CIPFA group with an overall responsibility for construction, asset management and highways related networks. Back in 2000 David founded CIPFA’s popular ‘Asset Management Network’, which now has approximately 260 member organisations across the UK Public Sector.

    David is often involved UK wide in the development of asset management practices, taking part in national working groups, advising central government and authoring asset management guidance for local authorities. He also develops and delivers training and consultancy on construction and property, procurement and wider strategic issues to a range of bodies within the public and private sectors.

  •   Iain Waddell  

    Managing Director, Tayside Contracts

    Iain graduated from the University of Dundee in 1976 with a BSc (Honours) degree in civil engineering and has been a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers since 1980.

    He has 40 years local government experience and for 31 years has been involved with direct labour and service organisations.

    Since local government re-organisation in 1996, Iain has been Managing Director of Tayside Contracts.  Tayside Contracts was one of the first shared service models and has grown over the years now providing roads, fleet management and maintenance, catering, cleaning and facilities management services to its constituent Councils, employing over 2500 people.  

  • Paul O'Brien

    Chief Executive, APSE

    Paul O’Brien is the Chief Executive of the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE). Based in Manchester APSE has 250 local authorities in membership.

    Paul is currently on the DCLG working party writing the National Litter Strategy for England. He was the independent facilitator of the Northern Ireland Local Government Reform Joint Forum. He has represented APSE on the Scottish Executive Health and Physical Activity Council, the Office of the Deputy Prime Ministers, Strategic Partnership Taskforce, Trading and Charging working party and the Local Government Procurement Forum.

    Paul was named in the LGC magazine's 100 most influential in local government. He is a columnist with the MJ magazine and regular contributor to numerous local government publications. He was a member of the Guardian’s Local Government Network Advisory Board. He was also a board member on the partnership which delivered the ODPM’s National Councillor Mentoring Programme.

    Paul was previously APSE’s Principal Advisor (Scotland), and has over 30 year’s experience in local government. He is a Fellow with the Royal Society of the Arts. He is currently studying for a PhD at De Montfort University having previously completed an MBA at Glasgow Caledonian University po'brien@apse.org.uk

  • Dr William Bird MBE

    Chief Executive, Intelligent Health

    Dr William Bird has more than three decades’ experience in promoting physical activity. He has been instrumental in setting up nationally recognisable schemes such as Green Gyms, Healthy Walks and Beat the Street that have helped get more than 2 million children and adults active across the UK and worldwide.

    Dr Bird's knowledge on tackling inactivity has seen him work with the World Health Organisation to develop a physical activity strategy for the Middle East and with The Met Office to develop Health Forecasting.  As CEO and Founder of Intelligent Health, Dr Bird has helped build active communities across the world and made a lasting difference to people's health and wellbeing.

    In 2010, he was awarded an MBE for his services towards physical activity and health.

  • Derek McCallan

    Chief Executive, NILGA

    Derek McCallan has been Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Local Government Association since April 2011.  Derek is responsible for advising / supporting the NILGA political leaders, Executive and 90 elected members, taking forward policy and legislation as the representative body of the 11 councils, this includes negotiations with central government departments and agencies. Derek represents NILGA within the Local Government Group as part of the UK/devolved assembly national body for councils and is contracted by various Departments fulfilling Strategic Migration, EU, Waste Management and other key services for the sector.

    Derek is a graduate in Politics and English from Trinity College, Dublin, and enjoys walking, running, cycling, wine, cheese and Private Eye.

  • Heather Wakefield

    National Secretary for the Local Government, Police and Justice Service Groups, UNISON

    Heather is Trade Union Side Secretary of the National Joint Council for Local Government Services covering 1.5 million employees and responsible for the Local Government Service Group’s policy and campaigning activities. She was also a member of the Low Pay Commission for nine years.

    Heather is Vice Chair of the Local and Regional Government and Social Services Committees of the European Public Services Union. She is also a regular commentator on local government and women's issues and is a regular guest blogger on the Public Finance blog site. 

  • Karen Knight

    Managing Director, NorseCare Ltd

    Karen took on the Managing Director role when NorseCare was established in April 2011 and has led the company to achieve a national reputation for quality services, facilitating the creation of stunning new care homes, along with developing a business model that delivers substantial rebates to a local authority.

    Since qualifying as a social worker in 1985, she has undertaken a range of leadership roles that have focused on improving people’s lives through the provision of care services. As Managing Director of NorseCare, Karen is dedicated to meeting the needs and expectations of Norfolk’s older people and championing innovation in dementia care facilities and services.

  • Dr Peter Kenway

    Director, New Policy Institute

    Dr. Peter Kenway is NPI’s director and co-founder. Besides NPI’s work on poverty and exclusion which he led for many years, Peter has worked in most NPI research areas at one time or another. His main areas of interest are local government finance and taxes, the water industry and the deep-seated economic imbalances afflicting the UK and others.

    Before co-founding the institute in 1996, Peter worked as an economist at the University of Reading as well as a manager, consultant and planner in public transport. 

  • Tim Peppin

    Director of Regeneration and Sustainable Development, WLGA

    Tim Peppin has been Director of Regeneration and Sustainable Development at the WLGA since December 2007. The portfolio, and the staff in Tim’s team, cover a wide range of environmental and regeneration issues including waste (policy, awareness and improvement), transport, planning, regeneration initiatives, economic/business and community development, flood and water, countryside and biodiversity, National Parks, rural regeneration and as well as corporate roles in relation to European issues (and the WLGA’s Brussels Office) and sustainable development. 

  •   Zena Cooke  

    Corporate Director of Resources, London Borough of Tower Hamlets

    Zena has worked in local government for over 28 years and is Corporate Director of Resources and Section 151 Officer at Tower Hamlets Council. 

    She has worked in all 3 tiers of local government, starting out at Rochester Council in Medway before moving to work in a number of London Boroughs as well as Kent County Council and Maidstone Borough Council before joining Tower Hamlets Council in 2015. 

    Zena has been in senior finance roles for over 12 years, with responsibility for a range of corporate and direct services.  

  • Justin Thompson

    Assistant Executive Director of Neighbourhoods, Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

    As a CIPFA accountant, Justin spent time in the finance teams of both Sefton and Knowsley Councils in the Liverpool City Region.

    Following a spell supporting regeneration programmes he has spent the last ten years of his career managing a range of neighbourhood services. The areas within his current responsibility are diverse and include Troubled Families, Environmental Services & Waste, Community Safety and Developing a Sustainable Social Sector.

    Away from work, Justin is a passionate Liverpool supporter and enjoys golf and holidays in Spain.

  • Mark Bradbury

    Head of Capital Assets, Southampton City Council

    Mark has over 25 years of property and development, economic development, urban development and regeneration experience at a senior level in both the public private and public sectors.

    Former employers include Vertical Thinking Limited, The Greater London Authority, London Thames Gateway Development Corporation, Medway Renaissance, Ashford's Future, BAA McArthurGlen, Safeway Stores and Gazeley Properties.

    A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS), a member of the Institute of Enterprise & Entrepreneurs (MIEE) and an Academician at the Academy of Urbanism (AoU).

  • Brian Cape

    Business and Service Development Manager, Birmingham City Council 

    Brian joined the authority in 2014 with a background in finance, operational, commercial and business management gained in the private, mutual, co-operative and public sectors.  Immediately prior to joining BCC, he led the national direct investment programmes as Head of Funding at Big Lottery Fund.

    A member of the Cityserve’s Strategic Leadership Team, Brian has established and led on significant opportunities including the development kitchen project and its innovation and engagement chefs; commercial rebranding; tendering, marketing, and awards strategy. His current focus is business retention and growth; development of new trading models; marketing and communications; service improvement and the implementation of IT solutions; and the launch of a commercial learning and development service.

  • David Kilduff

    Partner, Walker Morris

    David is recognised nationally for his work in the field of public sector commercial law, having experience in all aspects of funding, powers, procurement and joint ventures in local government, health, education and defence. He advises on a wide range of public and private funded infrastructure projects with particular emphasis in waste management, energy/renewables and regeneration. With over 30 years' experience, David advises corporate and public sector clients on energy schemes involving wind, solar and biomass; waste disposal and waste to energy projects including Anaerobic Digestion, the provision of RdF/SRF offtake facilities and cross-border transfer of waste resources.  Downstream his experience includes heat networks and associated heat/power off-take contracts, fuel-use agreements and fly-ash processing.

  •   Ray Noble  

    APSE Energy

    Ray is a Chartered Engineer and was a Building Engineering Group Director at Arup’s designing various types of Buildings. in 1999 Ray moved to BP Solar, at the time the largest Solar manufacturer in the World, and continued to be involved in the design of projects across Europe. Ray set up a Consultancy, Solar BIPV, and has advised many companies across the World.

    In 2013 Ray was involved in the setting up of the National Solar Centre, where he is a Technical Associate, and also remains close to Government and was the Co-Chair of the DECC Solar Strategy. Since then he has advised the Government and various companies on Storage, EV’s and Low Carbon Modular Housing.

Promoting excellence in public services

APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence) is a not for profit unincorporated association working with over 300 councils throughout the UK. Promoting excellence in public services, APSE is the foremost specialist in local authority frontline services, hosting a network for frontline service providers in areas such as waste and refuse collection, parks and environmental services, cemeteries and crematorium, environmental health, leisure, school meals, cleaning, housing and building maintenance.




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