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Corporate peer challenge

We invited a small team of councillors and officers from the Local Government Association (LGA) and councils outside Derbyshire to take an objective look at what we do, how we do it and our plans for the future.

This is called a corporate peer challenge.

It’s not compulsory but we wanted an independent view about how we’re doing as we strive to be an efficient, high-performing council delivering value-for-money services to improve the lives of our residents.

Reducing budgets and increasing demand for our services means we need to look for creative ways to deliver better services local people want and need for less.

The team of 8 'peers' were with us from 22 to 25 October 2018. They talked to staff, elected members, partners and customers to help build a better picture of the services we provide.

You can read their assessment of how we’re doing in our Cabinet report attached to this page.

Positive feedback in the report highlights our:

  • Good approach to running the council.
  • Willingness and ambition to make improvements including through its ‘Enterprising Council’ approach. This new approach focusses on looking for better ways to run the services it provides for Derbyshire residents in order to modernise services and help save money by being more commercially-minded. Cabinet members are being asked to approve a plan for becoming an Enterprising Council at the meeting next week.
  • Positive working relationships between councillors and officers.
  • Work to improve the way it works with partner organisations such as district and borough councils and the NHS to deliver joint priorities.
  • Strong commitment to and understanding of Derbyshire as a place.
  • Rapid response to popular concerns such as repairing potholes and scrapping waste disposal charges at recycling centres.

The report sets out a number of areas where we could improve our current approach including:

  • more work on the Enterprising Council and One Council approaches which are at an early stage and developing a clear operating model
  • reviewing the Council Plan to establish which actions are most important and how and when they will be delivered
  • developing a more consistent and strategic approach to the council’s budget and financial systems linked to corporate priorities
  • making sure councillors receive transparent and timely reports on the council’s performance.
  • further investment to improve the way we work with partner organisations
  • raising the profile of health and social care integration
  • greater awareness of what other councils are doing to improve services

Cabinet members considered the report on 31 January 2019 and decided on next steps.

Read what council Leader Barry Lewis has to say.