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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Laird

Radical Reformers ep.55: Council Transformation with Stephen Young

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

Stephen Young, Chief Executive, Halton Borough Council

This episode is with Stephen Young who has been chief Executive of Halton Council for just 14 months – but you wouldn’t think it!

What follows is an in-depth, thoughtful conversation about how you get things done in a council, how you engage with the wider system and how you drive change… without driving everyone around you mad in the process.

Stephen and I discuss Halton's radical transformation programme which seeks to move the councils attention away from constantly dealing with crisis and onto early help and prevention. We talk about the approaches and tactics you need to deploy to make a success of it, including knowing how much credit as a new leader you have in the bank (and using it carefully) as well as my usual favourite topic of levelling up (Halton style this time!) and the benefits of being a council within a Mayoral Combined Authority.

We also talk about what a “place” needs to attract inward investment including investing in developing the right skills within the local population and ensuring public services and the broader public realm are up to scratch.

Finally, and I wasn’t expecting this, we have a great conversation about AI and the impact it could have on council services. This is a big area of interest for me and I expect to be talking about this a lot more.


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