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Corporate Peer Challenge

The LGA's corporate peer challenge offer is a cornerstone of the wider sector support programme for councils in England.  The peer challenge approach involves a team of experienced officers and members spending time with another council as "peers" to provide challenge and share learning. The peer teams spend significant time with councils to identify and address issues and challenge progress across five core themes covering local priorities and outcomes; organisational and place leadership; governance and culture; financial planning and management; and capacity for improvement. Participating councils receive a comprehensive report and recommendations from the peer team and then identify their own action plan to respond.  

High Peak Borough Council and Staffordshire Moorlands District Council were pleased to welcome seven peers from other local authorities and the LGA during the last week of January 2022 for our joint Corporate Peer Challenge, which was conducted virtually. Over five days the peer team met with 117 people across 50 meetings, to gain insights into each Council, its workings, its relationships with Members, colleagues, partners, residents and businesses.

The critical overview concluded that both Councils had been well managed for many years with particular strengths in financial management, governance, and risk. They also concluded that the Alliance is at the 'forefront of creative thinking' in terms of the shape of the organisation with a clear focus on efficiency and resilience - and made some welcome recommendations for opportunities to develop further excellence.

In February 2024, the Alliance commissioned the LGA to deliver another peer review, with a scope to review the recommendations made in 2022. However, as the  political context of both Councils had changed following the May 2023 local elections, the current position was also reviewed against the core CPC components. Over 3 days spent onsite, the peer team spoke to more than 80 people including staff, members and external stakeholders, they gathered information and views from more than 30 meetings in addition to further research and reading.

The peer team found that the Alliance is impressive and continues to be effective, and that the key findings from 2022 described above remain true.

The documents here include:

January 2022

The Council's Position Statement provided to the Peer Team in advance of their arrival; The full feedback report from the Corporate Peer Challenge Team; Our summary overview of its findings; and Our Action Plan, which builds on the key recommendations from the Peer Team.

The LGA has also published the full Peer Challenge Report on its website.

Position Statement - January 2022 [2MB]
Corporate Peer Challenge Report - January 2022 [263KB]
Staffordshire Moorlands Peer Challenge Overview - January 2022 [359KB]
Alliance CPC Joint Action Plan [410KB]

February 2024

The Councils position statement provided to the Peer Team in advance of their review; The full feedback report from the Corporate Peer Challenge Team.

The action plan responding to the recommendations will be published by 22 July 2024. The peer team will return to undertake progress review by December 2024.

Position Statement - February 2024 [1MB]
Staffordshire Moorlands Corporate Peer Challenge Report - February 2024 [538KB]