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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Laird

Radical Reformers ep.69: Place Leadership with Sam Plum

Updated: Apr 4






This episode is with Sam Plum, the inaugural Chief Executive of the new Westmorland and Furness Council. This council was created when Cumbria County Council split into two – so Westmorland and Furness has half the old County Council and the three districts, which used to sit in that geographical footprint.


This #RadicalReformers episode is part of the February "Place Leadership" theme of our #PrioritisingPublicServices campaign.


Sam gives her perspective on the different stages of implementing the change, starting with a period where the focus is on settling and stabilising. However, Sam has never lost sight of the forward vision and ensuring that the benefits of reorganisation are achieved for the people of Westmorland and Furness. Sam has some very clear ideas of what she wants to achieve in the long term, focusing on the three E's of equity, economy, and environment.


One of the really striking things for me in this conversation is how Sam sees herself as a “place” leader, not just the leader of an organisation. She is ready to focus on wider benefits rather than just those which directly impact the council. I think there are huge lessons to be drawn from this conversation for place leaders and council leaders everywhere.


Enjoy it!



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