iN The Loop

iN The Loop series relaunched in April 2022 with monthly webcasts exploring the big challenges and topical themes in the public sector. Following the delivery of each live webcast, which will broadcast on the last Wednesday of every month, each session will be edited into a short podcast. Our podcasts enable members to easily catch up and take in the key learning and best bits at any time.

iN The Loop was originally launched in 2020 to discuss the ever changing situation as a result of the global pandemic. You can still revisit the 11 webcasts that were delivered on various COVID-19 response and recovery themes. iNetwork members can access the previous iN The Loop recordings on the iNetwork Knowledge Hub. If you would like to find out more information about iNetwork membership, please email Joe.Nuttall@tameside.gov.uk

If you would like to stay iN The Loop with iNetwork, then subscribe below to keep up-to-date with all the latest information. This mailing list is dedicated to information about our iN the Loop webcasts – this is separate from the iNetwork general mailing list. We encourage you to be signed up to both!

Our latest webcast, was hosted on 09th July on the topic of PSTN Switchover – the transition from analogue to digital, please listen below:

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2024 Series

Tuesday 10 September - Income Generation in the Public Sector

Income Generation in the Public Sector 

The public sector is no stranger to being innovative and showing initiative in response to local need. What continues to impact the sector is the scale of the challenge: budgets shrinking whilst costs and demand continue to rise, all of which impact on local services and local communities.

Funding pressures are being felt across the local public sector with organisations finding new, enterprising and innovative ways to work together. Councils are diversifying, developing trading companies, joint ventures with the private sector, and utilising entrepreneurial methods across a wide range of services, as well as through alternative delivery models. Join us as we discuss how the sector is responding to these demands and how organisations are generating income through innovative commercialisation practices that can be implemented across the sector.

The session will be hosted by iNetwork.

Find out more and register for a ticket here.

Tuesday 09 July - PSTN Switchover - the Transition from Analogue to Digital

PSTN Switchover – the Transition from Analogue to Digital 

The Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) will close by 2027. By then, every phone line in the UK will have moved to a fully digital network that uses Internet Protocol (IP) across a fibre-based service.

In conversation with invited speakers, this session explored the PSTN switchover and how it is affecting us locally, both in terms of local public services and local residents in our communities. The panel discussed the impact of the current switchover rollout, what is being done to mitigate the risks, and the lessons learned from this.

The session was hosted by iNetwork, and we were joined by panel speakers:

Phil Swan, Director for Digital, GMCA
Theo Blackwell, Chief Digital Officer, Mayor of London
Fran Lautman, Head of Customer Experience, Oldham Council
Rob Jackson, Managing Director, MioCare

 

Wednesday 24 January - The Challenges of Fuel & Food Poverty in Our Communities

The Challenges of Fuel & Food Poverty in Our Communities – Catch up below

 

In a time of soaring inflation and relentless energy costs, the financial strain on many individuals and families is increasing. The changing seasons bring forward a pressing issue of food and fuel poverty, with more households than ever having to make difficult choices regarding their basic needs.

The session addressed the urgent issues of food and fuel poverty and what actions can be taken by the sector to support its citizens.

The session was hosted by iNetwork, and we were joined by panel speakers:

Brian Hamlin, Guinness Partnership
Gabe Fell, Wigan Council
Nina Valdi, The Big Life Group

 

2023 Series

Tuesday 17 October - Inflation and Interest Rates: The Impact on the Public Sector

Inflation and Interest Rates: The Impact on the Public Sector – Catch up below

As the UK grapples with increasing inflation and interest rates, the public sector is confronted with a set of unique budgetary and operational challenges. This economic turmoil has left many public sector organisations with shrinking budgets in real terms, impeding the sector’s ability to provide essential services

This session provided valuable insights and uncover the impact of rising economic pressures on public sector spend.

The session was hosted by iNetwork, and we were  joined by panel speakers:

  • Peter Schofield, Head of Integrated Commissioning and Procurement, Manchester City Council
  • Theo French, Economic Advisor, Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities
Tuesday 19 September - The Threats & Opportunities of AI & Automation

The Threats and Opportunities of AI & Automation – Listen back via the webcast above

The local public sector is in the midst of a digital revolution, the emergence of new technologies such as augmented reality, artificial intelligence, internet of things and robotics has taken the professional world by storm. Whilst these technologies offer several opportunities for the sector to modernise and streamline services, their rapid rise has left many organisations on the back foot.

This session provided valuable insights and discussion on how the public sector can embrace emerging technologies.

The session was hosted by iNetwork, and we were joined by panel speakers:

  • Mark Brett, Programme Director, NLAWARP
  • Jenny McEneaney, Senior Improvement Policy Adviser – Cyber, Digital and Technology at LGA
  • Declan McDowell-Naylor, Senior Policy Officer – Anonymisation and Encryption Technology, ICO

 

Tuesday 22 August - Striving for Data Maturity in the Public Sector

Striving for Data Maturity in the Public Sector – Listen back via the podcast above

Data plays a pivotal role in the decision-making processes of local public sector organisations. These organisations handle and analyse large amounts of often sensitive data to inform decisions and enhance the delivery of public services. However, despite the abundance of diverse datasets that public sector colleagues use on a daily basis, they are not always utilised and managed to their full potential.

This session shared strategies for better data management and utilisation, the development of data skills and the path toward achieving data maturity.

The session was hosted by iNetwork, and we were joined by panel speakers:

  • Kathleen Caper, Head of Data Maturity & Governance, Central Digital & Data Office at Cabinet Office
  • Alistair Herbert, Data Manager, Data to Insight
  • Mark Peterson, Head of Data & Intelligence, North Yorkshire Council

 

Tuesday 18 July - Social Value Beyond the Contract

Social Value Beyond the Contract: Listen to the webcast via the link above

Social value goes beyond contractual obligations and holds the potential to create a lasting impact on society. While it is often discussed in the context of procuring services and contract management, the true essence of social value goes over and above written agreements. The Public Services Act (2013) mandates public sector organisations and their suppliers to consider how their services can contribute to the socio-economic and environmental prosperity of the communities they serve.

This session will delve deeper into the complex concept of social value within the local public sector and speakers will highlight the tools and methodologies used to effectively monitor, measure and hold organisations to account on set social value targets.

The session was hosted by iNetwork, and we were joined by panel speakers:

  • Lorraine Cox, Director of Procurement at STAR Procurement
    Olivia Sutcliffe, Responsible Procurement Manager at Greater London Authority and Founder of Young Professional in Social Value
    Karen Middlebrook, Head of Procurement, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

 

2022 Series

Monday 5th December - The Public Sector Skills Gap

The Public Sector Skills Gap, Listen to the webcast via the audio link above

This session was a special edition that kicked off our recruitment and retention week 6th – 9th December. The discussion focussed on a range of challenges around recruitment and retention. There was a focus on what the public can do to attract the right candidates, specific challenges in recruitment in the social care sector and the need to future recruitment process as well as existing staff members within public sector organisations.

The session was hosted by iNetwork, and we were joined by panel speakers: 

Lauren Collins, Director at Social 1st Recruitment
Sarah Eckersley, HR, Organisational Development and Skills officer at Trafford Council
Sharon Senior, Executive Director at North West Employers

Wednesday 16th November - The Pressures this Winter

Please see the edited podcast above for you to listen back to


The Pressures this Winter, Listen to the webcast via the audio link above

Winter pressures are not a new phenomenon in the public sector, however,  this winter we are facing the cost of living crisis further squeezing public service delivery. The onset of cold weather invariably increases viruses such as flu and the common cold which is expected to stretch public sector capacity to the limit.

In recent years Covid-19 has significantly increased this pressure not only on the health service but also the public sector as a whole. We are starting to see signs of these pressures manifesting in a variety of ways: industrial strike action, recruitment crisis and staff health and wellbeing.

This session explored the key pressures on public service delivery this winter and provided delegates with the opportunity to hear ways in which they can manage all the challenges.

The session was hosted by iNetwork, and we were joined by panel speakers: 

  • Emma Sneyd, Head of Engagement and Partnerships at Plus Dane Housing
  • Matt Garrod, PCN Lead for Specialist Services at Nottinghamshire Health Care FT
Wednesday 12th October - Reorganisation, Reform and Devolution


Reorganisation, Reform and Devolution, Listen to the webcast via the audio link above

Public sector devolution, reorganisation and reform is complex and has been a central debate at the national and local level. It can be challenging and time consuming to change governance and management structures within the public sector.

The podcast explores three key areas; the recent formation of Integrated Care Boards (ICB), undertaking Local Government Reorganisation (LGR) and understanding what is possible with greater local power through devolution. Invited speakers will share their experiences of the processes and challenges of large scale change and reform.

The session was hosted by iNetwork, and we were joined by panel speakers: 

Phil Swan, Director of Digital at GMCA
Robert Ling, Assistant Director of Technology, Change, and Customer Services at North Yorkshire County Council
Linda Vernon, Acting Digital Culture and Transformation Clinical Lead at Lancashire & South Cumbria Integrated Care Board

Wednesday 7th September - The Cost of Living Crisis

The session is hosted by iNetwork, and we were joined by panel speakers: 


The Cost of Living Crisis, Listen to the webcast via the audio link above

Multiple factors have contributed to a significant rise in the cost of living including rises in the cost of food, essentials, heating and fuel. These factors coupled with salaries not keeping up with the rate of inflation have left many struggling to live sustainably within their means. The situation is complex, with price rises linked to global factors out of the government’s immediate control. Everyone across the country is feeling the pinch, however, those who are most vulnerable in our communities are being hit the hardest, forcing individuals to seek additional support such as food banks.

This hour-long discussion explored what organisations in the public sector are doing to support communities and help alleviate the crisis.

The session was hosted by iNetwork, and we were joined by panel speakers: 

Martine Boschat – Motiv8 Team Manager at Wythenshawe Community Housing Group
Karen Smith – Director of Adult Services at Blackpool Council
Chris Duncan – Policy and Public Affairs Officer at Bristol City Council

Wednesday 27th July - Sustainability and Net Zero

 

Sustainability and Net Zero, Listen to the webcast via the audio link above

 

Climate change is more present than ever before with rising sea levels and temperatures as well as risks to biodiversity being common. It is therefore important that public and private sector organisations take responsible to reduce their carbon footprint in order to combat climate change. The Net Zero agenda is a government strategy that sets out plans and targets to reduce emissions and de-carbonise all sectors.

This event explored what organisations are putting in place to become more sustainable and become net zero in the near future.

The session was hosted by iNetwork, and we were joined by panel speakers: 

  • Heidi Barnard, Northern Care Alliance NHS FT
  • Andrew Smith, Crown Commercial Services
  • Sarah Henshall, Manchester City Council

Wednesday 29th June - The Levelling Up agenda for the Local Public Sector

The Levelling Up agenda for the Local Public SectorListen to the webcast via the audio link above

Levelling up has been a hot topic for the last couple of years. The long awaited white paper outlining the levelling up strategy was released in early 2022. The wide ranging paper covers many different aspects, with a strong focus on devolution of power to counties throughout the country. The paper holds the government to account with a number of ambitious targets to be achieved by 2030. 

This session explored; how will these targets be achieved? What levelling up looks like at a local level? and how will it affect public service delivery?

We were joined by the following panel speakers: 

  • Alison McKenzie-Folan, Wigan Council
  • Pooja Agrawal, Public Practice
  • Rebecca Cox, LGA

 

Wednesday 25th May - CCG to ICS: The hurdles and challenges of major reform

 

CCG to ICS: The Hurdles and Challenges of Major ReformListen to the webcast via the audio link above

From April 2022 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) will begin the transition to Integrated Care Systems (ICS). The changes are set to bring about a number of challenges for those in the health sector and beyond as professionals integrate into a new way of working and link up with other organisations. Progress and approaches to this major reform vary from place to place.

In this session we will be aiming to bring together a range of perspectives to discuss the main challenges and share best practice.

The session is hosted by iNetwork, and we were joined by panel speakers: 

 

  • Stephen Curtis, East Riding of Yorkshire Council
  • Ellie Moulton, Sefton Council
Wednesday 27th April - How is the conflict in Ukraine affecting UK public service delivery?

How is the Conflict in Ukraine Affecting UK Public Service DeliveryListen to the webcast via the audio link above

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is one of the largest conflicts since the Second World War. Although the war is over 1,000 miles away, it is already impacting our economy both nationally and locally. The impact is multiple, with increased cyber risk, a potential influx of refugees, rises in energy prices, disruption to supply chains and change in budget focus. 

This session will explore how the conflict is affecting local service delivery, touching on a range of issues covered in the main iNetwork programmes.

The session is hosted by iNetwork, and we were joined by panel speakers: 

 

  • Daniel Coyne, Cheshire East Council
  • Ian Reed, YPO
  • Yunus Mayat, City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council

2020 Series

Tuesday 6th October - Investing in our Future: Supporting Young People through COVID-19

Living with COVID-19: Investing in our Future: Supporting Young People through COVID-19

One of the most pressing concerns of Covid-19, the lockdown, and the resulting economic downturn, is the impact it has had young people so far, and could continue to have into the future. Although young people are generally less at risk from the acute health implications of contracting Covid-19, it is arguable that they will be the most severely affected group by the socio-economic disruption that the pandemic has caused.

This session will explore what the local public sector can do to support young people now, as well as in the coming months and years to prevent a downturn in their prospects, life chances, and long-term health & wellbeing.

The session is hosted by Louis Stockwell, iNetwork, and she will be joined by panel speakers:

  • Dave Nuttall, Thrive Manchester
  • Diane Higgins, Rochdale BC
  • Stuart Dunne, Youth Focus NW

iNetwork members can access the iN The Loop recordings on the iNetwork Knowledge Hub.

Tuesday 22nd September - Managing Effective Messaging: Learning from our COVID-19 comms

Living with COVID-19: Managing Effective Messaging: Learning from our COVID-19 Comms

Communications has always been important, and ever more so during this unprecedented time. In this session we will be exploring effective crisis messaging, how we can communicate more effectively and understand what we might need to do to reach our audiences in the wake of second and third waves of the pandemic.

The session is hosted by Shelley Heckman, iNetwork, and she will be joined by panel speakers:

  • Jamie Whyte, Propolis Open Data Factory
  • Maddie Moralee, Local Digital Collaboration Unit, MHCLG

iNetwork members can access the iN The Loop recordings on the iNetwork Knowledge Hub.

Tuesday 08th September - Living with COVID-19: the Demand for Public Services

Living with COVID-19: the Demand for Public Services 

COVID-19 has brought unprecedented changes and challenges. In response, we have already witnessed a shift in the demand for local public services. With the ongoing health and economic crises facing society, it is vitally important to consider how local public services can adapt to continue to support local communities through the pandemic and beyond.

In this session, we will explore how those working in the local public, and voluntary & community sectors, have responded so far to these pressures, and how they are planning to address longer term changes in the demand for local public services.

The session is hosted by Louis Stockwell, iNetwork, and he will be joined by panel speakers:

  • Simon Kweeday, Big Life Group
  • Su Long, Bolton CCG

iNetwork members can access the iN The Loop recordings on the iNetwork Knowledge Hub.

 

Tuesday 25th August - COVID-19 Climate Emergency Opportunities for a Green Recovery (CANCELLED)

COVID-19 Climate Emergency Opportunities for a Green Recovery

Responding to feedback from the iNetwork partnership that this topic would be better served as a more participatory ‘learn & share’ event, we will be hosting a round table on local public sector climate emergency and green recovery on 16 September.

 

Tuesday 11th August - Motivation and Morale: The Value of Us in the Workplace

Motivation and Morale: The Value of Us in the Workplace

COVID-19 has brought unprecedented changes and pressures in our lives, radically changing the structure of working life for many of us in the local public sector. In this session, we will explore how this may have impacted our individual and collective morale and motivation at work, and to discuss tips, tools and techniques to address this

The session is hosted by Shelley Heckman, iNetwork, and she will be joined by panel speakers:

  • Alex Grundy, Plus Dane Housing
  • Chris Woodhouse, Bury Council
  • Sharon Senior, NW Employers

iNetwork members can access the iN The Loop recordings on the iNetwork Knowledge Hub.

 

Tuesday 28th July - Managing Effective Messaging: Learning from our COVID-19 Comms (Postponed)

Managing Effective Messaging: Learning from our Covid-19 Comms

This webcast has unfortunately been postponed. Please keep up to date with all iN The Loop webcasts by signing up to the mailing list and do check the iNetwork website for any further news and updates about iNetwork services.

iNetwork members can access the iN The Loop recordings on the iNetwork Knowledge Hub.

Tuesday 21st July - Including the Digitally Excluded during Lock-down

Including the Digitally Excluded during Lock-down

This session will explore the consequences of COVID-19 as many of us have started to utilise services online and what it means to be digitally excluded. Panel speakers will discuss how they are adapting to these changes and what the future of digital looks like post COVID-19.

The session is hosted by Shelley Heckman, iNetwork, and she will be joined by panel speakers:

  • Lee Emery, Stockport Council
  • Emma Ward, Good Things Foundation
  • Norman Hunter, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

iNetwork members can access the iN The Loop recordings on the iNetwork Knowledge Hub.

Tuesday 14th July - Enabling Data Sharing in a New World

Enabling Data Sharing in a New World

This session will explore how we have been data sharing during the COVID-19 response phase, the issues and challenges we’ve faced, and what we could learn from this as we move into recovery and reset. The below invited speakers have expertise on data standards, business intelligence and information governance respectively; with local authority experience from Sedgemoor (Somerset), Manchester (Greater Manchester) and Warrington (Cheshire).

The session is hosted by Shelley Heckman, iNetwork, and she will be joined by panel speakers:

  • Paul Davidson, iStandUK & Sedgemoor District Council
  • Paul Holme, Manchester City Council
  • Sarah Gallear, Warrington Borough Council

iNetwork members can access the iN The Loop recordings on the iNetwork Knowledge Hub.

Tuesday 07th July - Beyond Lock-down: Recovering Local Communities & Economies

Beyond Lock-down: Recovering Local Communities & Economies

This session will examine the grave impact of the COVID-19 lock-down on local economies, and what implications this could have for progressive policy outcomes such as environmental sustainability, inequality, modern slavery, and inclusive growth. The discussion will focus on how the local public sector can champion the ‘build back better’ agenda and explore what this might look like in practice for both the medium to long term.

With our expert panellists, we will discuss these challenges whilst also exploring the opportunities for a positive transformation of our local economies to make them fairer, greener, and more resilient. To do this we will explore topics like local wealth building, progressive procurement practices, commercialisation and much more.

The session is hosted by Louis Stockwell, iNetwork, and he will be joined by panel speakers:

  • Michael Crook, STAR
  • Tom Lloyd-Goodwin, CLES
  • Jonathan Hindle, Rochdale Development Agency

iNetwork members can access the iN The Loop recordings on the iNetwork Knowledge Hub.

Tuesday 30th June - Understanding the New Threat Landscape

Understanding the New Threat Landscape

COVID-19 has catalysed transformation of the public sector’s working practices and policies. From the dramatic rise in agile working necessitated by social distancing rules, to the increased pressure on public authorities to support local economies and suppliers, many of us have had to adapt to a new way of working.

Unfortunately, those who wish to exploit and defraud the public sector have also been adapting. This iN The Loop session will explore the changing nature of the threat landscape for the local public sector. We will begin by discussing the new trends and tactics being deployed by threat actors, fraudsters, and (cyber) criminals. We will then consider what steps we might take collectively, and as individuals, to ensure that we protect the public sector, and the communities we serve, throughout COVID-19 and into ‘the new normal’.

The session is hosted by Louis Stockwell, iNetwork, and he will be joined by panel speakers:

  • Lavinia Ferguson, NAFN
  • Ben Cheetham, MHCLG,
  • Yunus Mayat, Bradford Council

iNetwork members can access the iN The Loop recordings on the iNetwork Knowledge Hub.

Tuesday 23rd June - The Workforce in the Age of Social Distancing

The Workforce in the Age of Social Distancing

The session will explore the impact that the dramatic increase in agile and socially distant working is having on the mental and physical well-being of our staff and colleagues, and what strategies we can use to support each other throughout lock-down and beyond.

Many of us in the local public sector have had no choice but to change our working arrangements and practices over the past few months. In this session we will also be discussing some of the longer term implications of this on our organisational and personal conceptions of work and working culture.

The session is hosted by Shelley Heckman, iNetwork, and she will be joined by panel speakers:

  • Alex Grundy, Plus Dane Housing
  • Cath McCarty, North Yorkshire County Council
  • Vikki Morris, Wigan Council

iNetwork members can access the iN The Loop recordings on the iNetwork Knowledge Hub.

Tuesday 16th June - The Workplace and the New Normal

The Workplace and the New Normal

This session will explore themes including office and workplace modifications to accommodate social distancing, expansion of remote and agile working methods, and what the enablers of these changes are. We will also be discussing what the medium and long term implications of these changes will be on the working culture of the local public sector and beyond.

The session is hosted by Shelley Heckman, iNetwork, and she will be joined by panel speakers:

  • Charlotte Byrne, Resolution Interiors
  • Sarah Barron, North Yorkshire County Council

iNetwork members can access the iN The Loop recordings on the iNetwork Knowledge Hub.

Tuesday 9th June - Harnessing the Power of Community Volunteers: Beyond Lock-down

Harnessing the Power of Community Volunteers: Beyond Lock-down. 

The first session is hosted by Shelley Heckman, iNetwork, and she will be joined by panel speakers:

  • Sarah Bullock, St Helens Council
  • Alison Moglione, Liverpool City Council
  • Kieran Smith, Greater Manchester Combined Authority
  • Marie-Anne Jackson, North Yorkshire County Council

iNetwork members can access the iN The Loop recordings on the iNetwork Knowledge Hub.