10 September – 12 September 2019
Boston Borough Council is hosting a visit by a Local Government Association (LGA) peer challenge team this week. We have invited the team in to look at what we do and give us some thoughts on what we are doing well and what we could improve.
The team include elected members and senior officers from other councils plus a Challenge Manager from the LGA.
With the abolition of the inspection and regulatory regime and the national performance framework, there was a shift to local accountability for performance and self-regulation in local government, with sector led improvement through peer challenge at its heart. The Local Government Association (LGA) provides a Corporate Peer Challenge to all member councils once every four / five years.
The aim of the peer challenge is to provide external challenge to the council’s own self-assessment. The peer challenge considers priorities within 5 key themes:
- Understanding of local context and priority setting
- Leadership of Place
- Organisational leadership and governance
- Financial planning and viability
- Capacity to deliver
We’ve shared strategic plans and documents with the peer team, and provided them with a position statement describing where we currently are. This highlights what we think are our strengths and areas for improvement, as well as our priorities for the futures, and our key challenges and risks. Through this process Boston Borough Council demonstrates its own improvement. These documents aim to be open and honest and to act as a guide for the peer challenge team, providing them with areas to focus on during the peer challenge itself.
What will happen?
The team are on site with us for three days. They are visiting us as friends, albeit ‘critical friends’, and this allows for an open and honest exchange to drive improvements forward that we will own. The team will be seeking to help us recognise and celebrate our strengths as much as identifying areas for improvement.
During the visit members of the peer challenge team will meet and talk with a cross-section of people. This will include councillors, staff, and partner organisations and may include service users. The team will give us feedback on the final day. This is followed by a written report that we will have the opportunity to consider and respond to and this will be published by the council.