We were appointed for a 12 month period to work as Expert Advisors to Nesta’s Creative Council programme, a project supported by the Local Government Association to provide financial and intellectual support to five local authorities who were seeking to re-image the role of local government and transform their ways of working.  Derbyshire, Monmouthshire, Rotherham, Stoke and Wigan had each devised innovative solutions to complex local needs: a radical new approach to looked after children, achieving energy self-sufficiency, devolving adult social care budgets to local people, establishing innovative thinking as part of the Council’s culture and embedding enterprise education to ensure young people are prepared for the future world of work.

Meadows Communications were selected to provided bespoke communications expertise to each Council according to their project needs. Our work included the preparation of communications strategies for staff and public engagement, branding advice, the development of print and online marketing materials and writing leadership think pieces for media publication. We also devised and facilitated a series of workshops for participants that included Chief Executive, Directors of Adult Social Services and councillors. The Creative Councils project culminated in October 2013 with the publication of Call to Action, 10 key lessons for local authorities on how to do more with less by taking a bolder and more innovative look at how to work differently. 

“In 2012 Nesta ran an open tendering process to secure the best expert advice for the Creative Councils programme. We were seeking expert advisors in a range of areas including community engagement, business modelling, service design and communications and marking. Nesta were delighted with the numbers of providers interested in being part of the programme. After a rigorous selection process we appointed providers for each area, including Meadows Communications. Nesta had not worked with Meadows Communications previously but were really impressed by their understanding of the challenges local authorities faced in communicating their ideas to a wide range of audiences, their high levels of energy and passion for the work as well as the costs.  All five of the creative councils have engaged with Meadows Communications and have talked positively about the experience and how it has enabled them to build stronger alliances around their ideas.  In addition, Nesta have used Meadows Communications expertise to help develop a range of articles to promote innovation across local government. The programme of work has now been completed and Nesta is delighted with the support and expertise they have bought to the programme. We would highly commend Meadows Communications to any organisation seeking expert help in this area.”

Melani Oliver, Director Innovation Lab, Nesta