Peer review action plan progress

PUBLISHED: 15 December 2023

At their meeting on 18 December, cabinet members will discuss the council's significant progress in implementing the Local Government Association (LGA) Corporate Peer Challenge Action Plan.

The report underscores the advancements made in addressing the recommendations outlined in the initial peer challenge, conducted in 2022.

The LGA Peer Review focused on the council’s performance, governance, relationships, and financial resilience. The review provided the council with an opportunity to discuss its strengths, as well as areas for improvement. The council was praised for its high-quality services, strong fiscal management, and robust governance. The review also concluded that the council has a positive future with opportunities to put Colchester on a regional and national stage.

The council welcomed the team’s constructive feedback and advice. And has worked hard over the last year to address the areas identified for improvement. The Cabinet report highlights significant progress including:
  • Delivery of the council’s new three-year Strategic Plan: A City fit for the Future This plan, adopted in March 2023, sets clear priorities for the council and was developed following extensive consultation with residents through the ‘Future of Colchester’ survey.
  • Completion of a review to reduce and reset the Council’s Capital Programme. Savings from this review will be used to offset higher-than-expected costs in running core services and the extra costs expected from current pay negotiations.
  • A comprehensive review of its strategic asset strategy, culminating in the adoption of a “corporate landlord” model. This transformative approach will consolidate the expertise currently dispersed across Colchester Commercial Holdings Ltd (CCHL), Colchester Borough Homes (CBH), and the City Council into a unified “centre of excellence.” This consolidation will foster a more coordinated, efficient, and effective approach to managing and utilising council land and buildings, as a step towards better use and maintenance, and or disposal
  • Significant progress in developing a collaborative city vision and Place Strategy. This strategy will define the City of Colchester for the future, building a legacy for the success of modern city status and the Year of Celebration.

“I am pleased of the progress we have made with cross party support in tackling the issues confirmed by the peer challenge,” said Cllr David King, Leader of Colchester City Council.

“Despite the ongoing budget constraints and a lack of government funding, we are driving forward the necessary improvements to ensure that we are a council fit for the future.

Cllr King continued. “We are committed to working with our partners to develop a long-term vision for the city and to deliver on our ambitions for regeneration and improvement. We are confident that Colchester has a bright future, and we are committed to employing every means at our disposal to make it a reality.”

Due to the significant progress made, the council will no longer need to provide separate progress reports on the Peer Challenge recommendations. The council will continue to monitor its performance and respond as needed. All outstanding work to address the Peer Challenge recommendations will be reported through the council's normal performance reporting mechanisms.

Page last reviewed: 15 December 2023


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