Corporate Peer Challenge 2015
In September 2015, the Council invited the Local Government Association to conduct a Corporate Peer Challenge to provide external feedback on our performance and to highlight areas where we can do even more.
Feedback from the Peer Challenge was excellent. You can read more about the process here, and download a copy of the final report below.
What is a peer challenge?
The peer challenges are provided by the LGA at no cost, as part of their sector led improvement programme. The process is designed to be forward looking, facilitative and problem solving. It is not a form of inspection and does not rank or score the council in any way.
Who was on the peer challenge team?
The peer team was agreed jointly between the Council and the LGA and was made up of seven people with a wealth of experience across local government, health and the private sector:
Jack Hegarty, Managing Director, Wychavon DC and Malvern Hills DC (peer team lead)
- Councillor William Nunn, Breckland DC (member peer)
- Helen Titterton, Strategic Director of Community, Housing and Health, Lichfield DC
- Mike Hill, Director, Health and Environmental Services, South Cambridgeshire District Council
- Paul Tombs, Head of Public Services and Infrastructure, Zurich Municipal
- Anne Brinkeroff, LGA Challenge Manager
- Rachel Stevens, LGA Programme Support Officer
How did it work?
The peer challenge was focused around on-site interviews and focus groups with Councillors, staff, partners and community representatives.
The peer challenge scope was agreed in advance with the Council. All peer challenges focus on five core areas:
- Do we understand the local context and have we established a clear set of priorities in response?
- Does the council have a financial plan in place to ensure long term viability and is there evidence that it is being implemented successfully?
- Does the council have effective political and managerial leadership and is it a constructive partnership?
- Are effective governance and decision-making arrangements in place to respond to key challenges and manage change, transformation and disinvestment?
- Are organisational capacity and resources focused in the right areas in order to deliver the agreed priorities?
In addition, Reigate and Banstead asked the peer team to focus on our support for people within the borough, recognising the change in our priorities in recent years:
- Do we understand the local health economy and associated issues?
- How effective are we at supporting our health partners, particularly on the prevention agenda, to ensure our residents remain happier and healthier longer?
- Do we understand the local economic context and its impact on our residents?
- Are we doing enough to support residents, particularly young people and families, to succeed within the borough?
The Peer Challenge team recognised the excellent services and support that we are delivering and recognised Reigate & Banstead as a leading Council, exceptional community leader and one of the top Councils in the country.
Other great feedback includes the following highlights – the Peer Challenge team believes:
- We are an ambitious, confident and achieving Council, with strong political and managerial leadership
- Our focus on supporting people is to be applauded
- We are a strong community leader, with an excellent reputation amongst our partners.
- We have a range of great activities and projects such as our health action plan, living and ageing well work and our Joint Enforcement Team
- We have an impressive focus on talent management and staff development, including the Emerging Stars and Next Generation Leader programme
- Our unique focus, dedication and programmes to help challenged young people into work are very impressive
The Peer Challenge team made a few suggestions to help us be even better. To help implement these, we adopted an action plan in January 2016, and are now assessing progress against that plan. The Executive and Overview and Scrutiny Committees receive quarterly reports on the steps we've taken and how successful they've been. The action plan is available to view below.