Council welcomes peer challenge report
Gloucestershire County Council has welcomed the positive feedback and advice of senior leaders from councils across the country.
In June (12-15) the county council invited a team from the Local Government Association (LGA) to undertake a ‘health check’ of the council and how it works.
Following the review the LGA gave immediate feedback to the council and has now provided a report. This offers a fresh perspective on what the council is doing well, as well as the things it can improve on.
The report highlights that:
- The county council has a strong team of political and officer leaders which has helped guide them through recent progress towards improvements in children’s services and is now being used to work with partners establishing ambitious plans for the future
- The council understands the needs and priorities of its communities
- The council has a good track record of managing its finances
- The council is clearly a community leader
Ahead of the visit, the county council identified the key areas that they wanted to improve.
The LGA supported the direction the council is taking on:
- The way the council operates
- How to promote a more open and transparent culture
- Strengthening scrutiny arrangements
Jane Burns, Director: Strategy and Challenge, said:
“We welcome the chance to learn from others in the sector. It is important from time to time to have an external perspective. Having been part of peer reviews myself, visiting other councils across the country, I recognise the value fresh eyes can bring. We will now go through the report in detail and develop actions we can take forward.”
Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Leader at Gloucestershire County Council, said:
“The peer challenge was supported by all county councillors. The peer challenge team included experienced politicians from the main political parties. I value the insight they brought and their positive feedback. As expected there are areas where we want to improve and this gives us fresh impetus to do so.”
The LGA offer all councils the opportunity of a peer challenge every four to five years. The review gives councils the chance to learn from others in the sector.
During their time at the council the peer team spoke to more than 140 people including a range of council staff together with councillors and partners and stakeholders who work with the council.
The findings from the peer review are key to both challenge and inform the council’s future strategy - helping the council set its future direction over the next few years.