The Council has participated in the Local Government Association (LGA) Corporate Peer Challenge. An initial review was undertaken in November 2017 and since then, a re-visit took place in December 2021, along with a further review taking place in September 2022.
The LGA Peer Challenge process includes a review of:
- Local priorities and outcomes – considering the clarity of the Council’s priorities and their relationship to local context
- Organisational and place leadership – considering the effectiveness of the Council’s local leadership, including the relationships with partner agencies and communities
- Governance and culture – considering the clarity and robustness of the Council’s governance arrangements, including a culture of respect, challenge, and scrutiny
- Financial planning and management – considering the Council’s current financial position, and the Council’s strategy and plans to address financial challenges
- Capacity for improvement – considering whether the organisation can support the delivery of local priorities and has the capacity to improve as appropriate.
The feedback report from the re-visit undertaken in December 2021 can be viewed here. In summary, the review team acknowledged that:
- The Council has a good understanding of its communities.
- The value of the Knowsley Better Together approach (bringing people and organisations together for the benefit of Knowsley and its communities) and also commended the Council for their induction process by introducing the “Knowsley Better Together Journey”.
- The Council has taken brave decisions regarding investments to stimulate the economy.
- The Council has made progress made in developing the Council’s leadership and culture (which was well illustrated through the Council’s effective response to COVID-19), and the joint work which took place with partner agencies, voluntary, and community organisations.
- The Council continues to have strong financial management in place.
As expected, the Peer Challenge team made a number of recommendations for the Council to consider which focus on taking Knowsley Better Together “to the next level” by embedding the principles into the Knowsley Council Plan 2022-2025 and further developing community engagement and empowerment.
An action plan has been developed to progress these recommendations. You can view the action plan here.
The team conducted a further re-visit to monitor progress against the Council’s action plan. You can read progress review report here, but in summary the team noted:-
- The pandemic has resulted in staff and communities feeling more empowered which should continue to be progressed.
- Knowsley Better Together (bringing people and organisations together for the benefit of Knowsley and its residents) has been instrumental to the management of COVID.
- Extensive consultation has been undertaken over the Summer to find out from communities what they need to thrive and not just survive. The results have shaped the Knowsley Offer which will be launched in February 2023 and outlines the help and support available to residents, addressing their key priorities.
- The Council has developed a Stronger Communities Strategy which focuses on growing community capacity and supporting more people to be active within their communities so that people can help themselves, each other and their neighbourhoods.
- A Leadership Programme is being developed for the six local authorities across the Liverpool City Region (Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral Councils), strengthening partnership arrangements as well as providing greater opportunities for people working in the Liverpool City Region.
- The Council Plan for 2022-2025 has been approved, which focusses on effective support for those in need, inclusive skills and growth and climate emergency and achieving net zero.
- The Council has been raising the profile of the Borough by attracting media attention for projects such as the opening of the Shakespeare North Playhouse, along with media coverage generated related to the Council’s Levelling Up Fund bids.
For further information on the Corporate Peer Challenge, contact Melanie Duncan – email [email protected] or telephone 0151 443 5824.