President outlines creative agenda

Socpo will be an agenda-setting organisation for HR professionals in local
government and help shape Government policy, claimed its new president at the
annual conference last week.

Francesca Okosi, who is also HR director of Brent Council, said she would
improve the links with the Government to create an influential voice for local
government HR.

"Under my leadership Socpo is going to wade in and take action in this
arena. This will mean more than just influencing and lobbying, it means being
grown up enough to come up with new ideas and approaches and then be able to
get them accepted and implemented.

"Carping is out. Creating is in," said Okosi at the Socpo
conference in Scarborough.

Okosi claimed that Socpo became much better networked over the last year –
especially with the Employers’ Organisation and the Society of Local Authority
Chief Executives – and she promised to build on this.

"There has been a downgrading of HR in local government over recent
years and this is a real opportunity to move ourselves back up," she said.

"Now more than any time in the history of modern local government, good
people management will make the difference. Change is happening all around us –
some painful – and as experts in people management we should be in the thick of

She said, for example, that Socpo would put a lot of effort into influencing
the regulations that will come out of the recently released White Paper, Strong
Local Leadership – Quality Public Services.

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