Keynote speech on future of local government identifies lasting legacy of COVID-19


The Institute of Government & Public Policy’s (IGPP’s) the Future of Local Government 2021 took place online last week. The focus of the three-day event was the impact of COVID-19 on resources and functionality. C.Co, the change management consultants for CIPFA, was represented by interim managing director Natalie Abraham, who gave a keynote speech.

In the speech, Natalie took some time to reflect on what she referred to as the impact of the ‘sombre side of the pandemic’, before turning to the opportunities that may be presented by the biggest upheaval faced by local government in a generation. She said,

“In the early stages of the pandemic, C.Co volunteered support for a local authority’s excess deaths/ bereavement services cell. This cell was mobilised to ensure that facilities such as the local crematoria and mortuaries had sufficient capacity and were robustly managed and organised to cope with the anticipated significant increases in local deaths.

“This experience provided our team with first-hand knowledge of how effective multi-agency collaboration can be. Red tape and over-bureaucracy were banished and replaced with agile and action-focused decision-making. This experience highlighted for us some seismic shifts that we believe have occurred throughout local government, as a result of coronavirus, that have the power to revolutionise future operations for the better.”

The three significant cultural changes in local government operations identified by C.Co include responsive and evidence driven decision-making, the widespread use of technology-enabled remote working and the enhanced relationships formed due to the shared experience of the pandemic. Natalie and the C.Co team believe that the powerful combination of these factors will be a lasting legacy and the foundation for the public sector to build upon going forward.

To find out more about C.Co’s vision for local government in a post-pandemic world, visit or email on