Three years ago, alongside the abolition of the previous top down inspection regime, the LGA published "Taking the lead" setting out an approach to improvement in local government which had been developed and agreed with councils.
Sector-led improvement has been a success. As the wide-ranging evaluation demonstrated: residents remain satisfied with and continue to trust their local council, despite the increasing financial constraints being faced by the sector; councils' performance across a wide range of metrics continues to improve; and the approach and offer of support from the LGA is welcomed and valued by councils.
But we know that some commentators have suggested the voluntary nature of the approach is a weakness and that it should have more bite – for example all authorities could be expected to have a corporate peer challenge on a regular basis. Others have suggested that there is a potential lack of transparency since there is no "requirement" to publish corporate peer challenge reports. And we need to consider the implications of recent instances of Government intervention in councils.
"Taking stock: where next with sector-led improvement?" raises these and other issues, asking whether the approach is still the right one for the future or whether any changes are needed.
These are important issues for the sector and we are really keen to hear your views. Information about how to respond is set out in the paper and responses are requested by Friday 13 March. Please do take the time to let us know your views.
This consultation has now closed and the results are available here
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