Sold-out third Deal Conference hailed as a success

Sold-out third Deal Conference hailed as a success


Wigan Council’s Economy and Skills director Becca Heron, chief executive Alison McKenzie-Folan, leader Cllr David Molyneux and LGC editor Nick Golding

A third instalment of a showpiece event dedicated to Wigan Council’s innovative approach to public service reform has attracted record numbers.

Around 200 delegates from across the country attended The Deal Conference 2019 held at the Edge centre on Monday.

Titled ‘Wigan’s journey to becoming Council of the Year’, the sold-out proceedings were hosted in partnership with the Local Government Chronicle (LGC).

Keynote speakers included chief executive of the Local Government Association, Mark Lloyd, LGC editor Nick Golding and Dan Wellings from The King’s Fund.

Alison McKenzie-Folan, Wigan Council chief executive, said: “There continues to be great interest in The Deal from organisations across the country and the feedback we have had has been amazing.

“The conference gave us an opportunity to not only reflect on our journey to becoming the LGC’s Council of the Year but to also look ahead to the next decade through the Deal 2030.”

Leader of Wigan Council, Councillor David Molyneux, said: “When it comes to implementing positive changes to benefit our residents we remain open to learning from others but we also hope our experiences with The Deal can serve as inspiration.

“It was fantastic to see a packed conference room with guests from across the country learning more about how we do things here in Wigan borough.”

In addition to hearing about how The Deal has revolutionised the way Wigan Council works by reinventing its relationship with citizens, guests this year had the opportunity to learn about the local authority’s new cultural manifesto The Fire Within.

Different aspects of The Deal – such as The Deal for your Street, Deal for Communities and the BeWigan Behaviours – were presented through panel discussions and workshops throughout the day.

And the conference was treated to an energetic opening from performance poet Louise Fazackerley, who wowed the record crowd with a piece written especially for the day.

Later a presentation from Mr Wellings explained how a report from the King’s Fund - a leading health service think tank – found that the principles of The Deal could be replicated across the NHS.

The Deal is Wigan Council’s strategy to reform services and invest in communities in the wake of being the third worst affected authority through austerity, having had to strip £140m from its budget since 2011.

Wigan Council was named the LGC’s Council of the Year for 2019 earlier this year.

Posted on Wednesday 9th October 2019

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