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Overseas Speakers For City Conference

Two high-profile overseas local government experts will be speaking at a Christchurch conference next week.

They will be in the City to address the annual conference of the Society of Local Government Managers to be held from 3-5 September. They are Dr Barry Quirk, chief executive of one of London's largest councils, and Dr Marga Prohl, head of a division in the German Bertelsmann Foundation.

Dr Quirk, aged 46, leads the Lewisham Council, which employs 10,000 staff and has 67 elected members. He is a visiting fellow in social policy and politics at Goldsmiths College, University of London, and is the chairman of the London branch of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives. Dr Prohl is head of the state and public administration division of the Bertelsmann Foundation, which strives for reform of public services in administrative and education fields. She is also the project manager of Cities of Tomorrow, a group dedicated to the improvement of cities.

Two New Zealand speakers will be Dr Ian Brooks, author, and a leading business consultant, and Dr Gareth Morgan, economics commentator, writer, and founder of Infometrics Ltd.

The conference will attract nearly 375 delegates and will focus on local government's involvement in developing dynamic communities and enhancing community wellbeing.

"This focus is clearly consistent with central government's philosophy and will help encourage governance partnerships," the deputy conference convenor, Stephen Phillips, said today.

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The conference will be held at the Hotel Grand Chancellor with delegates being welcomed at 5pm on 3 September and attending the opening of a trade exhibition at 6pm.


The business sessions will be held on 4 September, with Dr Quirk speaking at 9.30am, and the next day when Dr Prohl will speak at 8.30am. Workshops on E-business, environment, governance, and the future shape of engineering will be held in conjunction with the conference.

Further information: Julie Battersby, Conference promotion and publications: 025 220 7244.

NB for interview purposes: Drs Barry Quirk and Marga Prohl will be staying at the Hotel Grand Chancellor.

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