A MEMBER of the Isle of Wight Council has helped to launch a new global institute to improve local government and civic leadership.
The prestigious event, attended by 200 senior politicians, academics, church leaders, business owners and charity campaigners, was held in the State Apartments of Lambeth Palace, the London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury. 
Councillor Chris Whitehouse (Conservative, Newport West Ward), who serves as Secretary to the Cabinet of the Isle of Wight Council, helped launch a new Centre for Social Innovation and Global Public Service which will work to develop the highest standards in local government and leadership around the world, from Mayors of cities in the main developed countries to leaders of communities in the Third World. 
Councillor Whitehouse said: “What we’ve learned already as the Conservative Administration leading the Isle of Wight Council is that we face real challenges, but we can meet them head on with innovative new ways to provide local services and to partner with residents’ organisations, businesses, charities, community groups and parish councils to champion the interests of Island residents.
“We are being optimistic for the Island, its regeneration and the quality of life of local residents despite the budget constraints that all local authorities face. 
“The new Centre for Social Innovation and Global Public Service will support and encourage the development of leaders of cities and local authorities all around the world; and I was absolutely thrilled to be asked to help launch the project which is an initiative of St Mary’s University in Twickenham.” 
The launch event was addressed by Professor Jorrit De Jonge, Director of the City Leadership Initiative of one of the USA’s top universities, Harvard, who explained how his own project had already developed programmes for the Mayors of 40 American cities, supported financially by Michael Bloomberg, philanthropist, businessman and three-times-Mayor of New York City.