An independent team of local government experts has given Wyre Forest District Council a clean bill of health after a three day “inspection”.

The Peer Review team – made up of senior officers and experienced politicians from other councils across England  – spent three days in Wyre Forest in March examining the Council’s aims, objectives, outcomes and performance as part of its commitment to continuous improvement.

Wyre Forest District Council had requested the review as part of the Local Government Association’s Corporate Peer Review scheme.

The team scrutinised documents and met elected members, senior managers and staff, partners and stakeholders from the wider community, to understand and build a picture of how the organisation works and how well it is doing in meeting its objectives.

Their findings are included in a feedback report, welcomed this week by Council Leader Councillor Marcus Hart.

The report says: “Wyre Forest District Council is a prudent and well managed organisation. The Council has continued to deliver against its priorities and remained committed to minimising reductions to frontline services, whilst maintaining a balanced budget through asset rationalisation, cost reduction, shared services and increased income generation.  

“It has demonstrated an ability to think beyond its role of delivering statutory responsibilities, and is a self-aware organisation that understands the need for continued change, improvement and innovation.  As a result, the Council is well positioned and equipped to respond to current challenges and future uncertainties.”

Councillor Hart said: “Wyre Forest District Council is committed to the Local Government Association’s model of improvement led by the local government sector, and this is our second peer review. I welcome that the Peer Review Team has many positive things to say and highlights numerous examples of the excellent work going on to achieve our vision and ensure Wyre Forest is a place where people want to live, work, visit and invest and whose residents have a great quality of life.

“The report confirms that our approach to transformation and ensuring long term financial stability is working and also includes helpful suggestions for ensuring we continue to develop and achieve the goals we have set ourselves.

“We will now reflect carefully with colleagues and staff and consider how we can refine what we are doing – building on the combined experience of the Peer Review team - to get us to where we want to be.”

Areas for further development include developing a long term vision for the period beyond 2020, considering wider communication and creating a greater understanding of the Council’s vision and priorities, looking at ways to build a stronger two-way relationship with communities and continuing with initiatives to achieve income generation and cost saving.

The Peer Review team will return to Wyre Forest in March 2018 for a short follow up visit and is expected to review progress in addressing the issues that have been raised and in particular how they are dealt with in preparing the Council’s next financial strategy.