Knowsley Council received a Local Government Association (LGA) Corporate Peer Challenge re-visit in December 2021. The re-visit reviewed how the Council had implemented the actions from a previous Corporate Peer Challenge which was undertaken in November 2017.
The LGA Peer Challenge process includes a review of:-
- Local priorities and outcomes – the clarity of the Council’s priorities and their relationship to local context;
- Organisational and place leadership – the effectiveness of the Council’s local leadership, including the relationships with partner agencies and communities;
- Governance and culture – the clarity and robustness of the Council’s governance arrangements, including a culture of respect, challenge, and scrutiny;
- Financial planning and management – the Council’s current financial position, and its strategy and plans to address financial challenges; and,
- Capacity for improvement – whether the Council can support the delivery of local priorities and has the capacity to improve as appropriate.
The formal report from the re-visit has now been received -the report acknowledges that the Council:-
- Has a good understanding of its communities;
- Is operating a valued “Knowsley Better Together” approach (bringing people and organisations together for the benefit of Knowsley and its communities) – the Council is also commended for improving its staff induction process by introducing the “Knowsley Better Together Journey”;
- Has taken brave decisions regarding investments to stimulate the local economy;
- Has made progress made in developing its leadership and culture (which was well illustrated through the Council’s effective response to COVID-19), and the joint work which took place with partner agencies, voluntary, and community organisations; and,
- Continues to have strong financial management in place.
As expected, the Peer Challenge team made a number of recommendations for the Council to consider – these focus on taking Knowsley Better Together “to the next level” by embedding the principles into the Knowsley Council Plan 2022-2025 and further developing community engagement and empowerment. The recommendations include embedding and extending the emerging culture of empowerment across the Council, building on the progress made throughout the pandemic and the new ways of working developed in response to the pandemic, further development of the Knowsley Council Plan to clarify post-pandemic priorities, and continuing to develop relationships with the community, voluntary, and faith sectors.
An action plan has been developed to progress these recommendations, all of which are in line with the approach which the Council has been taking in recent years.
Councillor Graham Morgan, Leader of Knowsley Council said, “I was delighted to host the LGA Peer Challenge team and showcase the outstanding work of this Council. The team commented that the Borough had made excellent strides, particularly in terms of how our town centre regeneration plans have progressed.
“I was also proud to hear the team’s feedback about the hard work of our workforce and our Councillors’ commitment to local communities.
“The achievements which have been recognised are particularly noteworthy given that they have been delivered whilst managing the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, placing increased demand and pressures on our services and our staff.
“This is a very positive report and I’d like to thank our staff and our Elected Members for the support and services we provide which have been recognised by an independent team.”
You can read the full LGA Corporate Peer Challenge Revisit Report here.