Winning the Peace

The inaugral Bruce-Lockhart lecture

Author: Greg Clark   |  

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Winning the Peace

The inaugural Bruce-Lockhart Lecture

In the inaugural Bruce-Lockhart lecture, Minister for Decentralisation Greg Clark considers the message the Government will take to the country in 2015.

Recognising the immediate and overriding need to restore economic stability, Greg Clark draws on the inspiration of Lord Sandy Bruce-Lockhart to look beyond the current financial crisis to offer a compelling vision of the future.

In his speech, Greg Clark states:

“Overcoming the deficit and returning Britain to prosperity will not (alone) guarantee success at the next general election. If even Winston Churchill could win the war, but lose the peace, then so could we.”

Greg Clark continues:

“As a nation, we need to ask – and answer – the question: how are we going to earn a living? This requires us to commit ourselves to modernising the productive side of our economy.

“The foundation of that must be education.”

Recognising that what happens locally will be vital to winning the peace, Greg Clark outlines a vision of empowered local councils:

“If we are serious in believing that Westminster and Whitehall do not have the monopoly on good ideas – as I am – then central government must act on that logic. The General Power of Competence in the Localism Bill overturns the historic position that local government exists, literally, to do those things that central government requires it to do.

“I believe that councils – acting in cooperation with other agencies – should be given the right to make proposals to the Government as to how things could be done differently?Councils should be able to propose a deal.”

Greg Clark concludes:

“With so many lessons learnt, and so great a need for new direction, it is those who present the most convincing account of how we got here, and where we need to get to, who will win the peace.”

Also included in the publication of the Bruce-Lockhart Lecture is feedback from Rachel Allen, winner of the first Bruce-Lockhart Scholarship, on the development of her Customer Services Improvement Guide. Rachel’s scholarship was funded by the Bruce-Lockhart Leadership Programme, an initiative launched to support the next generation of local government leaders and chief executives and which includes the Bruce-Lockhart Lecture.

The Bruce-Lockhart scholarship is the first prize of the Local Government Association’s Local Government Challenge and is supported by Kent and Essex County Councils.

Following the Lecture, Leader of Kent County Council Paul Carter commented:

“It is fitting that Greg Clark, Kent MP and Minster for Decentralisation should give the first Bruce-Lockhart lecture.

“In tackling the budget deficit today, it is absolutely right that we look to the sunlit uplands of tomorrow. And in the continuing war against centralism, local government must be recognised as vital to winning the peace.”

Chief Executive of the Local Government Group John Ransford added:

“The Bruce-Lockhart Lecture is a centrepiece of the Bruce-Lockhart Leadership Programme and we are delighted to support it. As past Chairman of the Local Government Association, Sandy was always keen to support and nurture the political leaders and executive managers of tomorrow. The Local Government Group is very proud to be involved in the Bruce-Lockhart Leadership Programme through both the Bruce-Lockhart Lecture and the Local Government Challenge.”

Localis Chief Executive Alex Thomson concluded:

“I am delighted that Localis is playing a part in supporting the first Bruce-Lockhart Lecture.

“Localis has a strong track record as a leading player in the debate around local government and localism. And Greg Clark’s speech which we publish today, is a stimulating and powerful contribution to that debate.”


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Winning the Peace

The inaugural Bruce-Lockhart Lecture