An independent team of reviewers has noted improvements at Wokingham Borough Council since its first visit in 2021.
Wokingham Borough Council underwent a Local Government Association Corporate Peer Challenge in November 2021; this involved a team of senior councillors and officers from other authorities visiting the council to challenge the way it works in order to support improvement.
The original challenge team made five key recommendations including: a commitment to co-producing a long-term vision for the borough with partners, ensuring there is capacity in core corporate areas and recognising the council’s leadership role, including sometime taking criticism and making tough decisions. An action plan was put in place.
The review team returned to the council in October last year and its report will be considered by the council’s Executive on January 26 and can be read in full on the council website.
Palpable and positive change
The report notes the independent reviewers found improvements in a number of areas.
The peer review’s feedback states: “The Peer Team observed that there has been a palpable and positive change at Wokingham, in tone, style and purpose and felt that they were encountering a council that was very different to a year ago which is a credit to the work of both officers and
“The council has clearly embraced the issues they were facing at the time of the original peer challenge and turned them into opportunities using the financial position and a change in political control as an impetus for change.”
We are not complacent
Leader of the council Cllr Clive Jones said: “It is important to learn from others and I am pleased the peer review team has seen improvements in the council. They noted in particular that we don’t shy away from difficult decisions and, given the difficult national economic position, that is very important. I would urge anybody interested in how we are working to make things better for residents to read this report.
“It is encouraging that these independent assessors have found we are going in right direction and have improved against their recommendations, but we are not complacent and will continue to work with our partners for the good of all our residents.”
The LGA Corporate Peer Review Challenge – Progress Review is published with the Executive committee agenda on the council’s website here and will be discussed at the meeting next week.
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