Herefordshire Council, like other councils, has faced significant financial challenges over recent years as central government funding has been withdrawn, while costs and demand increase. The need to work with less has required us to adapt, change and re-prioritise, but it hasn't reduced the council's ambition to keep improving and delivering for and with Herefordshire residents.

As a commitment to learning and improving the way it works and continue to support the community ahead of further significant funding pressures, Herefordshire Council invited the Local Government Association (LGA) to review the way the council approaches its work. The LGA corporate peer challenge provides an independent and objective assessment of achievements, challenges and future plans as Herefordshire Council continues on its journey of improvement.

The Peer Challenge report from the LGA has now been provided and includes acknowledgement of Herefordshire Council’s significant successes, alongside recommendations for improvement to maximise impact and help residents understand the good work being done. The council is recognised as being in a relatively secure financial position over the medium term which provides a platform to realise the county’s ambitions. Herefordshire Council is described as having a good understanding of the county and strong ambitions for Herefordshire, alongside an appetite to learn, a desire to improve, and an awareness of key areas for change.  It also recognises that there is an engaged workforce that is proud to work for Herefordshire.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Jonathan Lester said:

“I am pleased we chose to conduct the peer challenge and there are some extremely encouraging aspects that the council should be proud of. We now have a great opportunity to build on the foundations of positive work going on every day for the residents of Herefordshire. A peer challenge provides useful guidance, drawn from experience and best practice from across the local government sector, on how the organisation can improve. I am grateful to all the peer team members who shared their time, knowledge and experience with us. Cabinet will consider practical ways in which we can take forward the recommendations made by the peer team at our meeting in June.”

Chief Executive, Alistair Neill said:

“The LGA corporate peer challenge findings are very helpful additions as we continue our journey to become an outstanding council. There are many positives that we should celebrate alongside useful recommendations to help identify areas of improvement- many of these include areas where work was already in progress. Work is now being done to identify how these can be best implemented and the full report with future recommendations will be presented to Cabinet at its meeting in June.”

The Herefordshire Council corporate peer challenge document and the LGA findings report are available on the Herefordshire Council website.

Published: 9th April 2018