Recovery and renewal panels launched for councils

Councils across the country can now access a newly developed remote support offer to enable them to test plans for recovery and renewal.

The Local Government Association said that its Recovery and Renewal Panel already creates space for councils to pause and reflect on their responses to coronavirus and to facilitate an open and collaborative conversation about recovery and renewal plans. It is now inviting councils to sign up for the offer.

The LGA Recovery and Renewal Panel and Bespoke Remote Peer Support are remotely delivered peer support offers, which will help councils focus on their emerging plans for recovery and renewal or specific issues that a council wants to review in greater depth.

It comes as the LGA’s annual report on sector-led improvement work has also been published, highlighting the achievements of the past year, including delivering 129 peer challenges and enrolling nearly 1,000 councillors on leadership programmes. Among the many highlights of the last 12 months are: 129 peer challenges delivered to a wide range of local authorities, in support of leadership, governance, corporate capacity and financial resilience (including 60 corporate peer challenges); 958 councilors developed through participation in the LGA’s leadership programmes; 5,000 applications to the national graduate development programmed (ngdp) in 2020, the highest number of applications to date; 149 graduates placed in councils in 2019; and £38.5 million saved by helping councils through using the LGA’s productivity and income generation experts in 43 councils.

Peter Fleming, chairman of the LGA’s Improvement and Innovation Board, said: “Our new recovery and renewal panel and remote peer support offer will build on our well-established improvement support programme, which has been helping councils for nearly a decade. Much of our activity has been refocused on providing support for councils in dealing with the pandemic and we are now helping them as we move to the next phase of our response.

“By bringing together peers from our unique pool of politicians and officers into a virtual panel, it will help to focus on improving leadership, governance, finance and identifying any practice and learning to share with the sector. As our end-of-year report shows, councils can continue to use the LGA’s sector-led improvement offer to learn and share best practice and work together, to ensure they continue to deliver effective and efficient services for their communities.”