LGA Conservatives to ‘beef up’ member peer application process to meet the new challenges of the day faced by local government

October 2023

Conservative peer interview - 23 oct

The peer support package offered by the Local Government Association continues to be the cornerstone of the sector support programme for our membership. From Corporate Peer Challenges to one-to-one mentoring for councillors in leadership positions, the LGA Conservative Group is committed to ensuring that Conservative councillors throughout the country can access high quality peer support which provides them with the confidence and skills required to deliver high quality public services for our communities.

Local government faces new pressures and threats. As a result, the new leadership in the Conservative Group at the LGA has decided to ‘beef up’ and strengthen its member peer application process to make sure that the organisation is sending the very best Conservative councillors into local authorities to carry out our sector support offer.

As part of the ‘rebuilding the road to victory’ strategy published by the LGA Conservative Group this month, it has been agreed that all our current 120 member peers will be expected to go through a reassessment process to ensure quality and appropriate new skills are learnt. The Leader of the Conservative Group, Councillor Kevin Bentley, will be leading from the front by being the first to undergo this process.

Councillor Abi Brown, Chair of the Improvement & Innovation Board at the LGA and Deputy Leader of the Conservative Group, has committed to exploring options to bring forward a formalised peer accreditation process for member peers as part of our efforts to ensure that peers are best qualified to undertake peer work but also, so member authorities understand that member peers have been through a formalised and intense process to become member peers.

From now on in, all prospective Conservative member peers are to be interviewed by the Conservative Group Executive where the leadership of the group will assess their analytical, objectivity and leadership credentials. Again, this is part of our new process to ensure that the Conservatives are sending the very best councillors into member authorities.

With 93 per cent of local authorities Chief Executives and Council Leaders agreeing that sector-led improvement is the right approach, the Local Government Association remains steadfast in delivering its sector support programme to member authorities. During the 2022/2023 year, the LGA provided 143 peer challenges and remote peer support and 98 per cent of respondents to the LGA’s recent evaluation survey stated they were satisfied with the Corporate Peer Challenges or Finance Peer Challenges that their council received.

Cllr Willian Nunn, Conservative National Lead Peer said “We are committed to continual improvement in our organisation and its why the Local Government Association itself rightfully volunteered to have Corporate Peer Challenge within the organisation last year. As the Conservative National Lead Peer, I will be working hard to make sure the standards in our peer support offer can be strengthened for authorities”.