Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Association Of Local Councils Respect Conference 2021 – in-person – ticket reservation now open

Our annual conference takes place on September 22nd and our theme this year is Respect. We are confident it will be our best yet with a number of exciting keynote speakers already confirmed to address this important topic.  This year’s conference is also the first opportunity outside of lockdown to bring representatives from each of our 168 member councils together in person to share ideas and issues. The conference will begin at 3pm and finishes at 6.30pm followed by our AGM.

We are delighted to announce our keynote speakers starting with Jackie Weaver

… Zooming in of course!

Jackie is Chief Officer of Cheshire Association of Local Councils and Ambassador for Compassion in Politics and has been interviewed on everything from Sky News to BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and Good Morning Britain and has won a crop of celebrity admirers along the way after shooting to unlikely fame following her calm handling of the infamous Handforth Council Zoom meeting that descended into chaos.

Jackie describes herself as being passionate about town and parish councils and the people who make them what they are, she wants to drive positive messages across and shine a spotlight on the great work that parish councils do in their communities and encourage more people to get involved.

Keynote Speakers Update!  

We are very pleased to introduce Paul Hoey an acknowledged national expert on local government standards in public life.

Paul is co-director at Hoey Ainscough Associates Ltd, which supports councils on standards. issues.  Since being set up in 2012 they have worked with 400 councils on training, investigation work and more detailed governance reviews. Paul previously worked extensively for central government nationally and internationally for over 20 years in a range of policy roles including over ten years as the director in charge of strategy and stakeholder relations at Standards for England. He has been the acknowledged national expert on the local government standards framework for the last decade and has given expert evidence to both the Parliamentary Select Committee and Committee on Standards in Public Life enquiries into local government standards.

Speaking ahead of the conference Paul said  ‘I feel passionate about the outstanding work parish councils achieve up and down the country for their communities as the most local form of democracy. That is why I get so frustrated at seeing how individuals can at times have such a damaging effect on that work through their disruptive actions. The principles of respect and tolerance must be at the heart of any organisation if it is to be successful. Once those standards start to erode, it has led to too many councils losing that focus on serving the community and that is why we work to help those councils get back to doing what they can do best’

We are excited to introduce Matt Ellison Transgender Awareness Speaker & Diversity Specialist.

Matt is an inspiring and thought provoking transgender speaker powerfully exploring topics around Diversity & Inclusion, LGBTQ+, Resilience, Courage and Change. His life experience as a trans man himself means those who hear Matt speak are inspired and encouraged. The principles of facing something so profoundly difficult and making such a huge and fundamental change apply to everyone in all areas of their professional and personal life.

Matt is an expert on all things diversity and inclusion, striving as a transgender male to encourage businesses to be more dynamic and inclusive for all. Matt is able to cover how diversity helps companies and organisations thrive, boost productivity and increase retention of staff. Also knowledgeable in the UK Gender Recognition Act, Matt’s authority as an inclusion speaker is heightened even more.

There is a process we go through where our minds overthink worst-case scenarios. In Matt’s case, he worried and stressed he would lose his business, his family and his friends if he went ahead. At the age of 39, after decades of fear, Matt chose to make one of the most fundamental and disruptive changes a person can make. A rewarding journey, Matt had moments of humour alongside complications and difficulties facing the hurdles as they came one by one. Matt often had to make tough, on the spot, decisions, including overcoming the fear that had paralysed him and prevented initiating the changes he needed to make.

Matt’s journey is incredibly inspiring and deeply knowledgeable, maintaining his business alongside his network of friends and family, and is now able to share his insights into the many strategies he developed to achieve this. This includes how your language and tone will carry others with you, and why building a strong and willing team is imperative for success, whether that’s within business or undergoing gender transition.

Guest Speaker Update

We welcome Mark Tomkins Founder of Aubergine – accessible website experts

Website accessibility – talking to ALL of your community

Since its introduction in 2018, website accessibility has been met by a fair amount of negative reaction. This is usually due to a lack of understanding, the prospect of lots of work as well as being quite a tricky and technical subject. However, the principle of accessibility is about it being the right thing to do and not just a legal requirement. As many as 1 in 5 people in any community has a disability or illness that makes it difficult for them to get information from a website. Respecting this requires a shift in mindset and the understanding that a council website needs to be accessible so that everyone in a community can access the online services, so there’s no exclusion but full inclusion.

Your speaker:

Mark has worked in the web sector for over 30 years and is one of the UK’s leading experts on website accessibility and provides advice and guidance to councils of all sizes around UK on every aspect of web accessibility. Aubergine are partnered with SLCC as the official accessible website provider and Aubergine are proud to have well over 100 parish & town councils using their website system in the last 2 years, with more joining every week. He’s a parish councillor in his private life of many years and is able to bring that experience to continually improve the service Aubergine provide councils.

We welcome guest speaker Mark Davies of CCLA who have been leading engagement initiatives on mental wellbeing since 2019.

‘Our aim is to encourage best practice in protecting employee mental health and to bridge the gap between companies and investors.

The Covid-19 pandemic has provided a new sense of urgency to our mental health programme, having had such a significant impact on everyday life, corporate profitability, and the economy. The Office of National Statistics found that in Britain alone, by June 2020 almost 1 in 5 adults were likely to be experiencing some form of depression, doubling from around 1 in 10 in March.’

Ticket registration is now open please email balc@bucksalc.gov.uk to secure your FREE members place.

Tickets are currently capped at two places per member council and demand is high, please reserve your places now to avoid disappointment.

Location: Buckinghamshire Council Mezzanine, Walton Street, Aylesbury HP20 1UA.

Please see the below remote access invitation to our Respect Conference 2021 and AGM.

The conference will be live streamed from 3pm until 6.30pm followed by our AGM from 7pm to 8.30pm.

Voting at the AGM: Please note if you have not registered to vote remotely in advance you cannot do so on the day, there is only one vote per member council from a delegated councillor representative.


Microsoft Teams

Join on your computer or mobile app

Click here to join the meeting

Note: You do not need to have teams to join, simply open the meeting in a web browser


Broadcast solutions provided by our conference partners Cloudy IT

Solutions for Broadcasting Council Meetings – Cloudy IT



Sep 22 2021


3:00 pm - 6:30 pm
QR Code