September 19th 2019 | Central London


Georgina Maratheftis, Head of Local Public Services, techUK

Georgina is techUK’s Head of Local Public Services. In this role Georgina works with tech suppliers active and looking to break into the local government and local public safety market, working together with local public services to create the environment that enables improved collaboration and successful transformation. A key area of focus for the techUK’s Local Public Services programme is exploring what the ‘Council of the Future’ will look like, working with industry to horizon scan and illustrate the art of the possible in re-imagining local public services to improve outcomes for citizens. If you work in local government and would like to find out more on how to engage with techUK or access the latest innovations get in touch.

Twitter: @GeorginaMarath

Ben Cheetham, Head of Technology and Design within the Local Digital Collaboration Unit, MHCLG

Ben Cheetham is the Head of Technology and Design within the Local Digital Collaboration Unit, MHCLG. Previously, Ben has worked as the Digital Service Design Lead for the Shared Digital Service for Royal Borough of Kingston and London Borough of Sutton, and in the transformation team at Guildford Borough Council. He is also the Vice-Chair of LocalGov Digital, a network for digital practitioners working in and around local government.

Twitter: @BforBen | @LDgovUK

Samantha Smith, Head of IT & Digital 3C Shared Services, Strategic IT lead for Cambridgeshire County Council & Peterborough City Council

I am able to draw on my extensive experience across multiple local authorities to lead IT shared services.  In a wide range of roles I have delivered IT projects and programmes alongside a high standard of operational support for enterprise level infrastructure and multiple line of business IT services.

I am passionate about getting the best out of IT for with a pragmatic approach to defining IT Strategy to deliver increased maximum business benefits. In my dual roles I lead the 3C ICT shared service and the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough IT & Digital Strategy to do just.

I have extensive experience of all aspects of people, project and financial management and a proven record of inspiring the teams that work for me by providing strong leadership and support with clear direction. With excellent operational and technical leadership skills I form and manage relationships at all levels of the business and IT from senior management and customers to technical engineering staff.

As Vice President of Socitm I am keen to share experiences and collaborate across the public sector and lead the 'Healthy & Well Communities' Policy theme to enable the “left shift” of intervention in people’s health and wellbeing from the expensive acute end of the system to an earlier point at the community and locality end and with engagement from citizens themselves.

Neil Williams, Chief Digital Officer, Croydon Digital Service

As Chief Digital Officer for Croydon Council, Neil is leading the digital transformation of the council’s systems and services and the digital enhancement of the borough. His career spans publishing, product development and digital communications in the private and public sectors – most recently as Head of GOV.UK, the award-winning single government domain which Neil helped to create and then led for 7 years. Neil is an advocate for public sector openness and transparency, with claims to fame including the first blog by a cabinet minister, getting government departments using Twitter, and pioneering public roadmaps for government tech products. Neil is passionate about the power of digital, data and technology to transform lives, change business models and improve outcomes – and proud to be doing that in his home borough of Croydon.

Twitter: @neillyneil

Helen Hsein, Enterprise Customer Engineer, Google

Helen Hsein is an Enterprise Customer Engineer at Google. They joined the company in 2017 as a Customer Success Manager before taking over their new role in early 2019. Before joining the Google team Helen worked as an Agile Project Manager for Softwire. Helen received a BA in Computer Science and Dance from Wesleyan University. From there they went on to gain an MBA from the University of Miami. Helen currently resides in London.

Alan Patrickson, Head of Digital and Customer Services, Durham County Council

With a background of technical, operational and contract management in the environmental services sector, Alan now heads up the Customer Services, Digital and ICT teams at Durham County Council. 

Alan led on the development and delivery of the Council’s Customer First Programme which, since its inception in 2014, has radically improved the way customers interact with the council. More recently the Council’s Digital Programme is continuing the journey, focussing on improved customer journeys, automation and harnessing the power of customer feedback to bring about improvement and innovation.

Twitter: @Alan_Patrickson

Sam Trendall, Editor, PublicTechnology

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology, the UK’s leading source of daily news and analysis for anyone interested in how the public sector is using technology and digital platforms to transform citizen services. Sam has been a technology journalist for over 10 years and worked for various IT and business publications before joining PublicTechnology in June 2017.

Twitter: @PublicTech

Ian Hirst, Head of Digital Services & Communications, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council

Ian Hirst is the Head of Digital & Communications at Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and has worked for local authorities since 2003. The council’s Smarter Digital Services team have been successfully providing a digital consultancy to partners from Kent and beyond for the past 5 years.  Ian also oversees the Programme Management Office, Digital, GIS and Communications teams at TWBC during a period of significant change in the town. Ian lives in East Sussex.

Twitter: @TWBC_Innovation

Cllr Amanda De Ryk, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, Lewisham Council

Following a career in broadcasting, via management consultancy and training, Amanda was elected as a councillor for Blackheath in Lewisham in 2010. Since then she has specialised in planning, becoming the Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee in 2014. 

After the elections last year, Amanda was asked to join the Cabinet as the member for Finance and Resources, a role which covers budget setting, HR and transformation. 

Since joining the cabinet, Amanda has sought to grapple the intractable issue of shrinking local government budgets at a time of increased and growing demand for services. She has instigated a number of policies to build up sustainability in the council’s finances as well as resilience in the local economy, focussing on income generation, social value procurement and transformation of council services.

As the political lead in this vital area Amanda combines public service with management expertise, providing leadership and strategic advice, policy development and problem solving.

Mark O'Leary, Head of Network Access, Jisc

Mark works for Jisc, the UK's education and research ICT charity, where he is responsible for network access and last mile technologies. Significant services in that portfolio include eduroam and govroam, federated roaming for education and the public sector respectively. Mark has been associated with eduroam in the UK for around 15 years, from its first trials, and has lead the creation of sister service govroam in recent years to drive some of the benefits of the model back into the wider public sphere.

Twitter: @markoleary

Charlie Boisseau, Chief Technology Officer, Commsworld

Charlie founded Fluency Communications, a start-up network operator in 2010 which was acquired by Commsworld in 2012. Since acquisition Charlie has developed the Fluency network making Commsworld Scotland’s biggest indigenous network operator. Responsibilities include the day-to-day operation and strategic expansion of the network as well as developing future Commsworld products and services. Charlie is active in the UK Network community  and Scottish Digital development communities, sitting on various committees and steering groups.

Paul Brewer, Director for Digital & Resources, Adur & Worthing Councils

Paul Brewer is Director for Digital & Resources at Adur and Worthing Councils, leading on digital, design, financial/commercial and climate change agendas.  Paul introduced government as a platform at the Councils 4 years ago, creating an in-house digital development team using low code technologies to design and build applications.  An advocate of design thinking to drive practical systemic change, Paul has introduced service design methods to the Councils who are now leading a national, cross sector project to create a service design apprenticeship.  Paul has also led the introduction of full fibre infrastructure in West Sussex, attracting £25m commercial investment into Adur and Worthing.  With consistent annual savings from the digital programme, Paul is an advocate of developing long term, sustainable approaches to digital transformation, that focus on understanding culture, resistance and other very human factors.