Stratford-on-Avon District Council asked for a peer review from the Local Government Association (LGA) involving leading councillors and senior officers from other councils across the country to help further improve the council's work. Peer challenges are provided by the LGA at no cost as part of their improvement programme. The process is designed to be forward-looking and problem-solving. It is not a form of inspection and does not rank or score the council.
The team that visited in March 2017 was:
The five areas focused on are as follows:
The Corporate Peer Challenge report highlights positive findings and offers recommendations on how the council can move forward and help shape the future of the local authority.
Following the original LGA corporate peer challenge in March 2017, Stratford-on-Avon District Council asked the peer team to make a follow-up visit to help review and assess progress and development in response to the original feedback and recommendations. This visit took place on 28 February and 1 March 2019. As part of the original challenge, the LGA team made eight specific recommendations in the following areas:
1. Develop a coherent narrative of place and your ambitions
2. Use the narrative to place shape more effectively with partners
3. Make sure members have appropriate support to lead the future direction of the council and the district
4. Review support for scrutiny
5. Make sure the Strategic Review happens at pace and is aligned to the MTFP
6. Update your Reserves Strategy and appetite for risk in the context of the Strategic Review
7. Implement the required skills and capacity including an Organisational Development and Workforce Strategy
8. Member champion for town and parish councils
After interviewing over 40 people and considering the council's submissions, the LGA team have now completed their considerations and have issued a letter on their findings. The council thanks the LGA team for their advice and guidance; this letter will help the council make further improvements in the future.