LGA review concludes council staff are committed to delivering the best possible outcomes for residents

Wiltshire Council’s members and officers are “committed to delivering the best possible outcomes for residents” according to an independent review conducted by The Local Government Association.
Feedback from the review included: “Wiltshire Council is clearly, and proudly, a values-led organisation with senior members and officers committed to delivering the best possible outcomes for residents.”
The council invited the Local Government Association to carry out a Corporate Peer Challenge in November 2022. The peer review offers local authorities an in-depth look at their service and provides a critical friend’s view of both strengths and opportunities for improvement.
Peer challenges are delivered by experienced elected members and officer peers. During their visit to Wiltshire Council the peer review team engaged with nearly 180 councillors, officers and partners across three days of interviews, and collectively spent more than 200 hours to arrive at their findings, which is the equivalent of one person spending five weeks with Wiltshire Council.
The positive feedback received, includes:
● The council’s business plan developed by the cabinet provides a clear set of objectives for the council and provides organisational focus
● The focus on improving outcomes for some of the most vulnerable in the community is none more evident than in children’s services
● A collaborative, open and transparent organisational culture has developed under the stewardship of the current chief executive
● There are examples of where the council works well to deliver improved community outcomes, such as the Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub
● Wiltshire Council is a valued partner and is working well in specific projects, such as working with the UK Health Security Agency and Ministry of Defence at Porton Down
● Constructive challenge and discourse are genuinely welcomed between senior officers and members with the shared commitment to securing the best possible outcomes for residents
● The council is excelling in work to address climate change
● A truly positive organisational culture pervades all levels of the council
● Scrutiny is well resourced, and members feel they are able to challenge and influence the policy agenda.
● The council has impressive and strong internal governance
● Staff are motivated, energetic and committed.
A series of recommendations have also been provided to the council, including:
● Reviewing the role and function of area boards so that they add maximum value
● Creating a county-wide strategic partnership board to oversee the economic strategy for Wiltshire
● Ensuring opportunities are maximised to involve the voluntary community sector (and other partners) in developing strategies and policies.

Cllr Richard Clewer, leader of Wiltshire Council, said: “It was an incredibly useful and worthwhile exercise to invite the Local Government Association to see how we work at Wiltshire Council. I’m delighted with the feedback we’ve received as it’s reflective of where I think we are as an organisation – focused on achieving the very best possible outcomes for our residents.
“I was particularly pleased to see children’s services and climate change, two vital areas we’ve worked really hard on, highlighted for the progress we’ve made.
“I’m a big advocate for our business plan, as it underpins everything we do as an organisation, so it’s positive that it too was also recognised for the focus it provides our work and how we’ve embedded it.
“We’ve been provided some really useful recommendations, some of which we’ve already made progress on, and this sort of constructive feedback will help us continue to develop, all to the benefit of the communities we serve.”
The full report is available to read on the Wiltshire Council website.

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