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We're celebrating 'impressive progress' after health check visit

Published: 17 February 2022

We have made impressive progress, carried out excellent work, and are in a strong position to deliver results for residents according to a new report.

The independent and impartial report to be published by the Local Government Association, (LGA), is the result of a visit by a Corporate Peer Challenge team last October.

We invited the team to follow up on a visit they made in October 2018 and carry out a 'corporate health check' on progress that had been made in the past 3 years.

The new report states that as well as making impressive progress since the 2018 visit, we have excelled in emergency situations when faced with numerous challenges, from COVID-19 to multiple floods, and that people looked on the council as a safe and trusted organisation that took the leadership role and acted at speed.

The aim of a Corporate Peer Challenge is for the panel to note what we do well and suggest areas we could improve.

The Peer Team, made up of 6 of our senior and LGA officers, spoke to a range of our employees, councillors and external stakeholders, gathered information and views in more than 16 meetings and carried out additional research before reporting their findings.

Our Leader, Councillor Barry Lewis said:

“We really welcome this independent report which highlights the hard work of council officers at all levels, often in extremely challenging circumstances, and the improvements we have made since the last visit.

“We took on board the recommendations made 3 years ago and acted on every one, ensuring we continued to drive forward our Enterprising Council and `One Council’ concepts, sharpened our Council Plan, developed even stronger partnership working and moved forward with a programme of centralisation of some services.

“While the panel has recognised our achievements there is work to do and we have already started to make progress on the further recommendations made to ensure we build on our strong foundations and continue to improve, ensuring we are doing our best for Derbyshire residents.”

Positive feedback in the report includes how we:

  • excelled in emergency situations and stood up in times of crisis
  • had a positive culture of partnership working, with employees showing pride and commitment in working for us
  • are building a 'One Council' approach, with corporate initiatives such as climate change being championed by strategic directors
  • have high ambitions articulated in our Enterprising Council strategy and the Council Plan through Vision Derbyshire, Thriving Communities and the County Deal
  • are building on the impacts of the pandemic – including agility in decision-making, more flexible ways of working, better use of technologies and enhanced communication
  • have good aspirations in place for the county
  • are in a strong position to deliver impressive results for the people of Derbyshire

Read the full report.