Corporate Peer Challenge
The Local Government Association (LGA) offers a free Corporate Peer Challenge to all of its members across England and Wales. The Challenge provides a robust external health check that can provide councils with confidence by validating their existing approaches as well as providing feedback and ideas for further improvement.
South Cambridgeshire District Council invited a LGA Corporate Peer Challenge team to visit us from the 15th to the 18th of November 2016. Given the significant changes to the organisation and the way that it works in recent years, we considered that this was a good time for us to take stock, to review progress and to look forward to the future.
A team of four local government officers and councillors led by a serving chief executive and supported by a LGA peer challenge manager spent four days at the Council, speaking to officers and members and representatives of key stakeholders. At the end of the visit, the team provided initial feedback (available below), which they'll follow with a full report, anticipated early in the New Year.
All Corporate Peer reviews consider the Council’s understanding of local place and priority setting, leadership of place, financial planning and viability, organisational leadership and governance, and capacity to deliver. We also asked the Challenge team to focus on:
- The Council’s collaborative work with other district councils, the county council and other key partners, including the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), along with the focus on place and partnership working in the context of devolution across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
- The Council's priority of balancing sustainable growth with quality of life.
- Our focus on commercialisation and shared services in the context of delivering financial sustainability.
Before the review we provided the Challenge Team with a Position Statement for the Council, providing a self-assessment of our strengths and the challenges facing the District and the Council over the coming years. The Position Statement is available to view using the link below.
The Team's initial feedback is available here:
The team's final report provides strong independent validation of our strengths and achievements:
Our decison-making Cabinet agreed all the recommendations, and next steps to respond to them, at its meeting on 19 January 2017:
Cabinet report 19 January 2017 (Item 9)
See also accompanying Press Release.