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Local Government Association Peer Challenge

Published Thursday 10 May 2018

Update on Peer Challenge

At the request of our Directors, Beverley Jolly and Norman Proudfoot and the Leader of the Council, Councillor Neil Bannister, during March 2018 Harborough District Council welcomed a team of local government professionals led by the Patricia Hughes, Joint Chief Executive, Hart District Council and Cllr Duncan McGinty, Leader of Sedgemoor District Council to undertake the Local Government Association’s (LGA) Corporate Peer Challenge (CPC).  

CPC is a proven tool for improvement and provides an in-depth evaluation, shares learning and helps to identify areas to improve.

During the three day review the team spoke to more than 80 people, including a range of Council staff together with Councillors, external partners and stakeholders, gathered information and views from more than 24 meetings and undertook additional research and reading.  The Peer Challenge feedback report has been published and recognises the really good achievements being made in many areas across the council. 

The team found that by understanding the community, through a combination of good business intelligence and partnership working, the council has been able to better tailor its services for its customers.  Alongside this, due to well managed finances and through efficiencies and partnership working has enabled the Council to continue to deliver high quality services.

The report also found Councillors are good at responding to residents’ concerns and focus on local ward interests; highly motivated and knowledgeable staff who are dedicated to deliver the corporate objectives.

Leader of the Council Neil Bannister said: “I am grateful to the Peer Challenge team for taking the time to look at how we work. I am very pleased that their report has highlighted some of the excellent work we’re doing, in particular the dedication, knowledge and professionalism of our Council staff, as well as our good financial management which allows us to provide high quality, efficient local services for our residents. It has also been a useful exercise in identifying areas we can improve upon and work better in the future and we are already exploring how some of the recommendations from the Peer Challenge can be implemented.”

The report also highlights a number of recommendations and opportunities for the Council which include more efficient operational processes such as business & project planning; expanding the approach to commercial activity to sustain long-term finances; and to challenge key partners around efficiency and the Council’s expectations on returns of investments. 

Work is now underway to identify how these recommendations and opportunities can be best implemented.

View the Peer Challenge report in full here