Peer report highlights council’s strengths

Peer report highlights council’s strengths

Council leader Philip Jackson has welcomed a report highlighting many strengths within the organisation.

Coun Jackson spoke about the recently published LGA Corporate Peer Challenge at this month’s Cabinet meeting. The challenge involves a team of council officers and members spending time at another council as peers, providing challenges and sharing learning. 

The team who visited NELC praised the area’s ‘huge assets and opportunities’, recognised that the borough’s industries are at the forefront of the greener economy, and praised the council’s ‘innovative’ approach to adults and health care integration, displaying ‘exemplary leadership and partnership working’.

The report also highlighted the progress being made in Children’s Services and the council’s determination in continuing this improvement.

While the peer team concluded that the council is relatively small in terms of capacity, they praised the enthusiasm and positivity from staff and councillors in delivering services for the borough. The team said that, like other authorities, it faces reducing budgets and depleting reserves – pressures that are not unusual, but urged councillors to fully understand the budget in terms of decisions they make. 

Key recommendations included: Retaining the ambition for North East Lincolnshire, clarify priorities, and align resources to ensure sustainable delivery; be clear on what NELC wishes to achieve for the area; expand skills development; and capitalise on the interest that the Government has in the area.

The team consisted of councillors and officers from Stoke-on-Trent, East and West Sussex County Councils, North Tyneside, Torbay and Newcastle-under-Lyme.

“Staff and councillors have an immense pride in delivering services for their communities, with many feeling a particular identity in being from the area and working for the residents and stakeholders,” they wrote. “Employees like the values of the council and generally describe it as an open and non-hierarchical place to work, where they can take risks, innovate and make positive contributions which are listened to at the most senior levels.  There is a general sense of everyone working with a common purpose.  Staff also value working with their team members and colleagues and like the mutual support they give each other. There is evident goodwill towards the council.”

Coun Jackson told the Cabinet meeting: “There’s nothing in there that we weren’t already sighted of, which is reassuring.”

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