Open doors - Lisa Quinn

Alternative future careers in public service and glimpsing possibilities - from little things big things grow! 


Open Doors - Lisa Quinn

Aislin descended the cellar steps for the third time that week, her first in local government, looking for archived invoices. It was summer 1984 and her boss had just been telling her about the Local Government Act 1972 and some funny anecdotes related to the reorganisations of 1974. From the little she could glean, not much had changed in the last ten years.

She was prone to spooky experiences and, as cool air brushed her cheek, she hoped this was not one of those occasions. Instead of boxes, at the bottom of the steps there were three doors, each with a sign.

The first, on a polished brass plate, said “Local Government 1984”; the second, on a brushed metal sign, said “Local Government 2014”; and the third, handmade, read “Local Choice 2024”. Curiosity took over. After all, doors are meant to be opened.

She opened the first door. Through a misty haze, she saw herself a few months later, bounding up the steps of her local college. She was somewhat surprised at her enthusiasm.

Behind the second, she saw herself presenting at an important meeting. While she was lost in thought about how she looked, the image moved on to the presentation and she noticed her title, ‘Chief Executive’, and the heading, ‘Options for Future Models of Local Government’.
Still shocked, she shakily opened the third door. She saw herself, age 59, and felt dizzy. As she regained composure, she could see the delight on her future face as she made an announcement to a virtual audience.

“I am honoured to accept the role of Prime Resident of Eireton. Heading up this new Publicly Controlled Enterprise is an exciting challenge, ten years in the making. I would like to thank the local votership. A turnout of 90% via our local choice portal is remarkable. I look forward to working closely with the City Partnership and its newly elected executive.”

Aislin wondered why her future had been revealed by such an unusual experience. Still shaking, she thought, “Am I really destined to make a difference...? Now, where’s that invoice.”


Lisa Quinn has 27 years experience in local government and was Director of Finance and Business Services at Cheshire East Council before joining Capita Asset Services in June 2013. Prior to this role, Lisa was Corporate Manager, Finance and Assets at Macclesfield Borough Council, where she worked for 22years.

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