The aim of a corporate peer challenge is for the peer team to note what we do well and suggest areas that can be improved, with the team looking at a number of areas including how the council is run, how it provides services across the county and how it works with its partners.
Following the initial visit in 2018, which we had invited, a number of key recommendations were made, and since then we’ve been working hard to strengthen and improve these areas.
The follow-up visit has proved that this work has been successful, with the LGA due to publish an impartial and independent report highlighting our `impressive progress’ and `excellent work’, saying we are in a `strong position to deliver impressive results for the people of Derbyshire’.
The new report states that as well as making impressive progress, we have excelled in emergency situations when faced with numerous challenges, from COVID-19 to multiple floods, and that people looked on us as a safe and trusted organisation that took the leadership role and acted at speed.
The peer team, made up of 6 senior council and LGA officers spoke to more than 40 people including a range of council employees, councillors and external stakeholders, gathered information and views from more than 16 meetings and carried out additional research and reading before reporting on their findings.
Positive feedback in the report includes how we:
- excelled in emergency situations and stood up in times of crisis
- have a positive culture of partnership working, with employees showing pride and commitment in working for the council
- are building a `one council’ approach, with corporate initiatives such as climate change being championed by strategic directors outside of their traditional service areas
- 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 - agility in decision-making, more flexible ways of working, better use of technologies, enhanced communication, community resilience, volunteering and environmental issues
- have good aspirations in place for the county
- are in a strong position to deliver impressive results for the people of Derbyshire.
The LGA report ends on recommendations to build upon our excellent work to date. These are:
- simplifying and continuing to creatively communicate the Enterprising Council concept
- continuing to improve and refine our management processes and partnership working
- continuing to communicate and sell the ambition of `Vision Derbyshire’ and the `County Deal’ to all stakeholders
The full report is attached to this page.
Cabinet members considered the LGA report on 10 February 2022, welcoming the areas of success, progress and improvement and noting the recommendations made by the LGA peer team.