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© South East Employers 2018

Working with Elected Members - Managing in a Political Environment for Public Health Teams


This workshop is designed for Public Health teams to explore the interface between officers and councillor’s; and provide officers with the opportunity to develop their understanding of how to make the most of this unique but naturally complex relationship.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the workshop, officers will be able to:

  • Understand the role of councillors, the decision making process in a strong leader and committee model of governance
  • Describe the key issues and potential areas of conflict surrounding councillor / officer relationships;
  • Understand constructive approaches to developing a positive and productive way of working in a political environment;
  • Understand the importance of how to exert influence and work with members
  • Develop an action plan for taking the learning forward


The course will consist of input from the facilitator and a number of group discussions and practical exercises.  Participants will be encouraged to draw up an action plan to apply some of the skills and knowledge learnt.

About SEE

SEE is a Regional Employers' Organisation. We offer advice to local authorities across the south east, in addition to a range of training, development and consultancy opportunities tailored to your needs.


This workshop will cover:

  • Understanding the role and responsibilities of officers and councillors;
  • The interface between officers and councillors – challenges and opportunities;
  • Exploring perceptions, motivations and expectations for councillors and officers;
  • The ideal partnership arrangement - what it should be
  • How to exert influence and understand your own influencing style
  • Putting it into practice – strategies for effective working.
  • Drawing up action plan to support effective working between councillors and officers.
  • 10.00 - Welcome and Introductions
    • Content and Objectives - Key issues for delegates
    • Group Discussion: Local Government v NHS similarities and difference
    • Political management and decision- making process (Strong Leader Model and the Committee Model of Governance)
  • 11.15 - Refreshments
  • 11.30 - Facilitated Group Exercise:  Political, Joint and Managerial decision Making.
  • 11.45 - Exerting Influence and identifying influencing styles (Influencing styles Questionnaire)
  • 12.15 - Lunch
  • 1.00 - Roles and responsibilities of officers and councillors
    • Group discussion: The ideal officer and the ideal councillor
    • Ideal partnership arrangement between councillors and officers
    • Group discussion: What are the likely tensions and causes of tension between councillors and officers
    • Strategies for effective working
    • The Do’s and Don’ts for effective joint working and collaboration
    • Managing in a political environment questionnaire
  • 2.45 - Action Planning
  • 3.00 - Close

To arrange a Managing in a Political Environment course for your authority or for further information, please email or call 01962 840664.

How else can SEE help?