Bruce-Lockhart Member Scholarship – we hear from last year’s winner

The Bruce-Lockhart Member Scholarship, which includes a £10,000 bursary for the winner, was created in recognition of the outstanding contribution to Local Government of Lord Sandy Bruce-Lockhart, the former Chairman of the Local Government Association and Leader of Kent County Council. The Award is support by Kent, Essex and East Sussex councils.

The Bruce-Lockhart Member Scholarship recognises and rewards leadership potential in local government and is awarded to elected members who demonstrate the potential to develop into leadership positions in the future. This is the only C’llr Award where councillors must self-nominate.

We hear from the 2013 Award Winner, Cllr Joe Caluori, LB Islington, about his experiences of winning and his tips for those interested in applying for the 2014 C’llr Awards.

After winning the Bruce Lockhart Scholarship earlier this year I faced a formidable task in translating my project plan into action!

My objective was to study ‘Localism and Austerity’ by focussing on a sample of six councils who have responded to the current challenges facing local government by taking a clear leadership role around an agreed local vision, rather than just salami slicing budgets and managing decline.

LGiU and the sponsors of the award have given me fantastic support. From the moment I won the award they have been in my corner, helping me refine my project timeline and acting as advocates for me, opening doors that might otherwise have been closed. But crucially they have also been generous with their time, allowing me to bounce ideas off them and discuss the emerging themes from my project.

I am now half way through my project, and I’m looking forward to publishing my report next year, which will contain a ‘play book’ for local councils who want to take a radically new approach, so they can learn from the experiences of some of the pioneers.

I have personally gained a huge amount from winning this scholarship. It has given me the time, space and license to investigate some of the most complex challenges we face in local government, travelling the country and talking to a wide range of fascinating people. I’ve gained a huge amount of experience and knowledge, and perhaps most important of all, I’ve harvested loads of great ideas which I have brought back to Islington.

I’d encourage any Councillor who is serious about being a champion for local government to ask their leader to support their application for this award, and take this unique opportunity to think big with the support of the LGIU.

To find out more about the 2014 Bruce-Lockhart Member Scholarship, please see here. The deadline for applications is 31 December 2013.