In October 2015 the Council undertook a Peer Challenge. Peer Challenge is a core element of the Local Government Association’s (LGA) sector-led improvement offer to local authorities. A major part of the support is the offer to each council to have a corporate peer challenge (at no charge) at a time of its choosing.
Peer challenges are delivered by experienced elected member and officer peers. The make-up of the peer team reflected and the focus of the peer challenge and the basis of their relevant experience and expertise. Their ambition is to help the council respond to its local priorities and issues in its own way to greatest effect.
LGA Peer Challenge Offer
Scope and focus
While at Blaby District Council, the peer team considered the following five questions which form the core components looked at by all Corporate Peer Challenges. These are the areas we believe are critical to councils’ performance and improvement:
1. Understanding of the local place and priority setting: Does the council understand its local context and place and use that to inform a clear vision and set of priorities?
2. Leadership of Place: Does the council provide effective leadership of place through its elected members, officers and constructive relationships and partnerships with external stakeholders?
3. Financial planning and viability: Does the council have a financial plan in place to ensure long term viability and is there evidence that it is being implemented successfully?
4. Organisational leadership and governance: Is there effective political and managerial leadership supported by good governance and decision-making arrangements that respond to key challenges and enable change and transformation to be implemented?
5. Capacity to deliver: Is organisational capacity aligned with priorities and does the council influence, enable and leverage external capacity to focus on agreed outcomes?
In addition to these questions, we asked the peer team to provide feedback on how well we work in partnership to deliver the best outcomes for our customers.
The Peer Challenge Report made 9 key recommendations. The council has developed an Action Plan to ensure that these recommendations are followed through and implemented.
Peer Challenge Action Plan