Issue - meetings
Peer Review Report
The Strategic Director – Transformation and Resources introduced his summary report on the Council’s Corporate Peer Challenge. The report informed that Wirral Council was committed to external review and challenge in order to continue to improve how it works and how it is able to achieve positive outcomes for residents. The Strategic Director reported that the Council had a strong track record for participating in peer reviews and that in November 2015 a team of experts from across the public sector were invited to conduct a Corporate Peer challenge.
The Committee noted that at the Council’s request an invitation had been presented to the Local Government Association (LGA) to organise the review. Members noted that the peer review team was led by Mark Rogers, Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council and had included peer members and officers from other local authorities. The team had been asked to focus on the Council’s capacity to deliver the Wirral Plan, its approach to partnership working, and the work currently underway to develop new models of service delivery.
Members were informed that the findings of the report had been published and the Council had developed an action plan in response to its findings, which it had immediately set to work on delivering. The peer review team had confirmed that the Council had the appropriate plans in place and also helped to identify where additional attention was required to ensure the Council and its partners focussed on ‘the right things in the right order’ to deliver improved outcomes for residents and businesses and were fit for purpose.
Members noted that the Council had agreed a new five year plan in July 2015 that had been adopted by all Wirral partners. The report informed that the Wirral Plan committed to achieving a set of 20 Pledges by 2020 to improve the quality of life enjoyed by all Wirral residents.
The peer team feedback / findings were attached at Appendix 1 to the report and were considered by the Coordinating Committee. Members questioned the Strategic Director on a variety of points contained within the report that included:
- The time taken to compile the report (delays incurred due to general drafting and FOI enquiry relating to peer challenge correspondence).
- Corporate Leadership (issues regarding senior leadership adequacy / capacity - arising from new Chief Executive in post, significant changes underway, and senior leadership focus on operational matters at the time).
- Actions to identify commercial skills, capability and capacity required to develop the Council’s approach to commercialism.
- Review of short term capacity gaps in the Council’s corporate functions.
The Strategic Director informed that long term planning was now taking place and Officers were being released from operational matters to create leadership capability within the organisation in support of the identified actions in the peer review report.
1) the contents of the Corporate Peer Challenge report and associated action plan be noted; and
2) the Committee be updated on progress of the listed actions.