England & Wales

LGiU REGIONAL SEMINAR: Community Engagement in the current climate: Leeds



This seminar is kindly hosted by Leeds City Council in partnership with LGiU and is part of our series of regional seminars.


Effective engagement with communities is essential for local authorities. However, reductions in budgets for services often means frontline members face challenges to their role and the authority needs to rely on communities more to solve their own problems. Traditional models of consultation and engagement do not address the current dilemmas enough, yet in this changing and challenging environment, the ability of elected members and officers to involve and empower communities is now more important than ever. The seminar will help participants to strengthen their understanding of current approaches to engagement. The seminar includes:

  • Examples of different approaches to community engagement
  • Comparing different engagement methods and considering their advantages and disadvantages
  • Examples on use of social media in engagement
  • Looking at the roles councillors can adopt to develop new relationships with communities
  • A practical model on building stronger communities
  • A local example of building stronger communities

This is a down to earth seminar that will prompt frank debate and identify key issues facing frontline councillors.  It will give participants plenty of opportunity to explore different approaches, which they can apply in their work as officers or local councillors.

The seminar is delivered by Steve Skinner, LGIU Associate, formerly a Policy Manager in City of Bradford MDC and author of several practical publications on community engagement.

The seminar is run ‘workshop’ style with a participative approach.



9.30 Registration and Coffee

10.00 Introduction from Cllr Lewis, Deputy Leader, Leeds CC

10.10  Levels and methods of engagement

11.00 Cllr Yeadon, Deputy Leader, Leeds CC – use of social media in community engagement

11.30 Coffee break

11.45 Roles in engagement – Elected Members as ‘community leaders’  

12.30 Lunch

13.15  Local arrangements for engagement

14.00 Building Stronger Communities

14.15 Building skills and confidence in communities

14.45 Building groups and enterprise

15.00 Tea Break

15.15 Building groups continued

15.45 Example of building stronger communities – the Leeds approach – Cllr Coupar, Executive Member for Communities,  Leeds CC.

16.20 Summary and evaluation.

16.30 Finish



The trainer Steve Skinner was formerly a policy manager in the Bradford Council. He has published extensively in the field of community engagement and has recently carried out research on engagement and community leadership.  He works as a trainer and consultant with local authorities, voluntary organisations and partnerships across England and is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development.
Who should attend?
Councillors and Officers involved in supporting members or with responsibility for engaging with the community.