Council welcomes peer challenge report

PUBLISHED: 7 November 2022

Colchester Borough Council has welcomed constructive feedback and advice following a recent Local Government Association (LGA) peer challenge.

Those partners were “impressive and very well engaged’. Many of whom considered Colchester to “punch above its weight” and to provide the “glue” that holds them together.”
But the review team saw key areas for review and improvement. To include a corporate delivery plan that would help refine priorities and ensure sufficient resource is available to achieve Colchester’s ambitious goals.

Their recommendations included the suggestion that a move to four yearly elections would help stability. That the capital build programme needed review, as also the Council’s commercial and housing delivery arms, of Colchester Borough Homes and Colchester Commercial Holdings Ltd.

The Peer Challenge Team concludes that the council has a positive future and there is opportunity to put Colchester on a regional and national stage.  The Council has committed to address their recommendations.

Cllr David King, Leader of Colchester Borough Council welcomed the peer team’s feedback, saying “I value the insight they brought and their positive feedback. We do have a talented team and a great future as a city, but we must take all the learning we can and ensure we deliver on what we promise. 

“The report helpfully confirms where we thought the Council can do better. And their findings will inform our future strategy, taking account of the ‘Future of Colchester’ public consultation. Work on the recommendations has already started, and we will publish our plans soon. As this experienced review team have said, there are many reasons to be optimistic and excited about Colchester’s future. But we have a great deal to do to make the most of that future, and to ensure, given high inflation and financial pressures, that we do so in a sustainable way."

Pam Donnelly, Chief Executive of Colchester Borough Council, also welcomed the findings of the report, and said: “I’d like to thank all the members of the Peer Team for coming to Colchester; it was a very positive experience.

“I recognise the value a fresh pair of eyes can bring, and I am pleased that they recognised our achievements, staff and the work we do with partners, but also areas where we could have more focus and be doing better.

“We will now go through the report in detail and develop an action plan to take forward. In the meantime, work has already started on the key recommendations.’

The peer challenge report action plan will be on the agenda for the council’s Scrutiny Panel on 14 December 2022.


Page last reviewed: 7 November 2022


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