Solihull’s Social Council

What is the Social Council?

The Social Council is a project set up to explore a new model for the way in which Solihull operates.  Local Government is undergoing huge changes at the moment – the Social Council will be a way to shape the Solihull’s response to these changes.  Rather than simply cutting services Solihull intends to redesign processes and create new ways of working which are ‘fit for purpose’ for the future.  The ‘new model’ refers to the fact that this is a whole system approach rather than one which looks at individual services in isolation.

The Social Council will bring together social values, representing the best of public service, with the social behaviours that represent successful organisations in the 21st Century.

We expect these values or qualities to be developed over time but to start with these:

  • A stronger voice for citizens – working with the public not just for them
  • Looking after the people who need help at the same time as making it easier for people to help themselves
  • Transparent and open communication – thinking and information in public
  • Use of networks in preference to hierarchies
  • Lean and agile delivery models
  • Effective use of digital

This is also a practical project, which needs to develop the learning and measurement tools, needed in order to support this kind of organisational transformation.  The diagram below shows how these might be developed:

The calibration refers to the kind of relationship that any service design might create with the public which might range from communicative but service orientated, along the continuum to a fully co-productive relationship.  These are terms that will be explored and defined within the Solihull context as part of this project.  At these points these are very generic words with a research-based justification for why they are here.  The next stage of this work needs to turn these into tangible goals and projects for Solihull.

The Social Canteen will be the project steering group who would ‘hold’ the values or qualities for the organisation and develop their use into teachable points of view for the rest of the organisation.

The Social Council is a project that combines culture change with service redesign.  In order to keep the work manageable the Social Canteen is going to work through specific projects and initiatives learning and communicating throughout.  The aim of the first Social Canteen meeting will be to confirm the initial set of values, the agree on how we want to manage governance, communication and learning and finally to agree on the first set of projects that the Social Council will address


Social Media, Solihull Café, Solihull Canteen & co-production themes to be developed here


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