Outcomes: peer challenge reports

An expectation of the Corporate Peer Challenge offer is that councils will publish the findings of the process, and how they intend to use the feedback from peers. Councils can choose the timing of publication and are able to consider the issues and produce their own action plan or feed this into their business planning process or overall improvement plan. The vast majority of councils have published their reports or are planning to.

A number of councils have published the outcomes from their peer challenge:

Worcestershire County Council

Clare Marchant, Chief Executive of Worcestershire County Council:

"Local government, unlike many other sectors, is uniquely placed to benefit from learning across the sector. The real sign of a mature organisation is one that continues to learn and welcomes challenge by others. The peer challenge is an absolutely critical element of this learning and for Worcestershire County Council has helped us build confidence in our direction of travel and ability to deliver as well as providing useful challenge and advice on areas where we could do more, for example creating space for innovation and being more open to taking risk."

Braintree District Council

Nicola Beach, Chief Executive of Braintree District Council:

"The Peer Challenge of Braintree District Council – in October 2013 – was a catalyst for us to focus on how we can be more innovative in tackling our financial challenges, with the aim of becoming self-financing in the next three to five years. We have used the Peer Challenge report to develop and implement an action plan. This is already having an impact on our finances with a balanced budget proposed for 2015/16 and the budget gap in 2016/17 significantly reduced.  To date we have increased our return on investments through property purchases, frontline service investments to get a good return – e.g. leisure and gyms and car parks – and investing in equity markets; working with EELGA to develop commercial ideas and being more business-like and using New Homes Bonus to lever in external funding to boost economic growth. I am delighted with the commitment and interest that Members and staff have shown in taking forward the  action plan; it has galvanised the whole organisation."