As 2020 approaches, senior figures from across government reflect on their highlights and challenges of 2019, look ahead to the next 12 months and share their favourite festive memories
What was your highlight of 2019?
2019 was a pretty extraordinary year for legal and constitutional happenings, and GLD was at the heart of them all. But as an organisation, our highlight was probably the move of GLD’s head office from Holborn, where we’d been based for 15 years, to 102 Petty France, which we now share with the Ministry of Justice and the Crown Prosecution Service. The move affected over 1,300 people, roughly half the department. It went very smoothly, and we’re settled and happy in the new accommodation.
What has been the most significant change in your organisation this year?
See my answer to the first question. For many people, an office move is a much bigger change than anything going on in politics!
"For many people, an office move is a much bigger change than anything going on in politics!"
What will be the biggest challenge of 2020 – and how are you preparing to meet it?
Like the rest of the civil service, we will need to be ready to respond to the demands of a new government, including a new legislative programme and whatever happens next on Brexit. On the latter in particular, we have plenty of experience of managing all the twists and turns so far (on negotiations, legal advice, legislation and litigation). And we continue to recruit and to work on our capability, skills and leadership. So I like to think we will be ready for anything.
Tell us a favourite festive memory from your youth...
I grew up in remote rural Wales as part of large family (up to 20 of us when we all got together) so my memories are of big, raucous gatherings with open fires, an enormous Christmas tree and a certain amount of alcohol.