Nottingham publishes Recovery and Improvement Plan

After the government raised financial and governance issues at the authority, Nottingham City Council has outlined how it plans to move forward to 2024.

A rapid non-statutory review was carried out last year on behalf of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, following a Public Interest Report into the council’s governance of Robin Hood Energy. The rapid review raised concerns around past financial management and governance and recommended that the council should produce a three-year recovery plan, setting out the actions needed to restore the financial viability of its capital programme and revenue budget and implement a more robust medium-term financial planning process.

The council’s Recovery and Improvement Plan provides assurance to government that the council is responding positively to the review and is committed to making improvements at pace. The Plan also confirms that the council is committed to ensuring that it continues to deliver the quality statutory and day-to-day local services that help keep the city safe and clean, and that it will work in partnership with the communities it serves to build a prosperous city that offers residents the opportunity to realise their potential.

The Plan includes actions which will deliver: an affordable and sustainable medium-term financial strategy and balanced budget; a clear plan for managing and reducing debt levels, including releasing capital receipts through increased property disposals; a clear approach to the management of the council’s companies; a workforce and organisational development programme which will be developed in conjunction with the Local Government Association; and a modernised constitution and decision-making process.

Mel Barrett, chief executive at the council, said: “We recognise the seriousness of the financial, governance and operational challenges we face, and it is going to take a significant collective effort from all at the council to address them and reach a sustainable position. However uncomfortable these review findings are, we remain determined and confident in our organisation’s capacity and capability to change.”