What does the LGA Peer Review of Wirral Council state on overspending, agency staff, morale, consultation and leadership?
To very little fanfare, Wirral Council have published the 12 page peer review conducted by the Local Government Association last year. This was accompanied by a press release which glosses over some of the criticism in the peer review.
Here are some quotes from the peer review (followed by my comments in italics):
In past years the council has been overspending in some directorate revenue budgets and using its reserves to balance the revenue budget. This issue was reflected in the previous peer challenge in 2012 and the council needs to develop the 2016/17 budget and not divert from it. It is currently anticipating a £9.2m slippage on this year’s savings target of £38m.
The Leader’s role as Chair of the Merseyside City Region is seen as recognition of the important role that the Wirral is playing in the development of the city region.”
Well shortly after this peer review, Cllr Phil Davies resigned as Chair and Mayor Anderson is now Chair of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.
If I hadn’t written Why has Wirral Council spent £6,003,273.07 on temporary staff over the past 10 months? around a year ago, would this have even been mentioned in the peer review?
The council and its partner agencies recognise that they want to form a different relationship with residents in the future. There is general recognition that relationships with local communities has been negatively impacted by the past challenges the council has had to deal with. The new relationship will be based on a clearer Wirral narrative, a greater ability to listen to resident’s issues, making better use of the data and intelligence the council gathers across the Wirral and greater use of channels use as digital and social media.”
Ahh, listening to residents’ issues such as over 6,000 signing a petition against closure of Girtrell Court but you go ahead and decide to delegate closure to the Cabinet Member anyway? Or is this all part of listening to residents then doing the opposite of what they want?
There is evidence of community involvement in the council’s budget processes, although more limited evidence that this has influenced decision-making.”
So, this seems to imply that when Wirral Council have a budget consultation, the consultation has a limited effect on the decision after the consultation?
Despite reading this a few times, I’m a little unsure what this means? Anyone care to hazard a guess? I thought the constituency committees were supposed to do community engagement?
Delivering significant change must take account of some instances of low staff morale generated by the perception of indiscriminate universal cuts in service provision in recent years.”
In other words Labour councillors constantly going on about government cuts nearly every public meeting is damaging staff morale at Wirral Council.
In other words, there’s going to be a senior management restructure and some managers are going to be leaving.
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