Corporate Peer Challenge
In November 2022, Gloucester City Council invited a team of local government officers and members to review and challenge us on how we operate. This process was managed by the Local Government Association. The peer team spoke with over 50 people, including members, officers and council stakeholders.
The peer team considered the following five themes, which form the core components of all Corporate Peer Challenges and are critical to councils’ performance and improvement:
- Local priorities and outcomes
- Organisational and place leadership
- Governance and culture
- Financial planning and management
- Capacity for improvement
The peer team praised the Council’s understanding of, and ambitions for, its place and people, commending our comprehensive Council Plan, which sets a clear vision and places emphasis on tackling inequalities and climate change.
The peer team also highlighted the fact that the Council is fortunate to have high quality staff, who are both proud of and passionate about the work they do. The team recognised the Council as well led and respected by its partners, with strong collaboration to support the political and organisational leadership in the delivery of the Council Plan. They praised the Council for strong community development work, and positive relationships with Gloucester’s voluntary and community sectors – along with a wider positive approach to collaboration and partnership working.
The Council’s work in responding to both the Covid-19 pandemic and cyber incident was also highlighted as a strength. The peer team referenced the role the Council played in leading and co-ordinating the provision of essential support to individuals and local businesses during the pandemic, along with developing workarounds in order to continue delivering facilities and services to residents following the cyber incident in December 2021. The team referenced governance arrangements at the Council as working well, highlighting the collective desire for political consensus when it is in the best interests of Gloucester, and the strong working relationship between the political leadership of the Council and the Senior Management Team.
The peer team also praised the Council’s ambitions for Gloucester – highlighting a track record of organisational and place leadership, and an ambitious growth agenda, referencing the scale of regeneration that has already taken place and the economic benefits that has provided for the city. Other notable successes were highlighted including the retention of the Purple Flag for providing a safe evening economy, Green Flags for three parks, and funding and awards for our cultural venues.
We know that there are always areas for improvement and things we can do better. The peer team left us with several helpful challenges which we have developed an action plan to tackle. This includes reviewing our Human Resources and Communications services, developing and maintaining robust project governance arrangements, and developing an overarching Growth Strategy which aligns with the Council Plan, alongside other actions.
The report, presentation and action plan can be found on this page
Click here to read our 2017 report.