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Barnet Council Peer Review Presentation Final 05 09 08

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IDeA Peer Review presentation

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Barnet Council Peer Review Presentation Final 05 09 08

  1. 1. London Borough of Barnet Corporate Peer Review 01 – 05 September 2008 Ray Cowlishaw Chief Executive - Derby City Council 05 September 2008
  2. 2. The team <ul><li>Ray Cowlishaw - Chief Executive, Derby City Council </li></ul><ul><li>Councillor Susan Williams - Leader, Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council </li></ul><ul><li>Councillor Chris Pattison - Chair of the Labour Group, Plymouth City Council </li></ul><ul><li>Victor Nicholls - Assistant Chief Executive, Bracknell Forest Borough Council </li></ul><ul><li>Kaaren Goodall - Executive Director, Committee for Auckland, New Zealand </li></ul><ul><li>Kath Jones - IDeA Improvement Manager </li></ul><ul><li>Gary Hughes - IDeA Review Manager </li></ul>
  3. 3. Introduction <ul><li>Peer review is not an inspection – the team are here as ‘critical friends’ </li></ul><ul><li>We have familiarised ourselves with the council, partners, key stakeholders and the local area </li></ul><ul><li>The team has been made extremely welcome and people have worked hard in looking after us </li></ul><ul><li>People have been open and honest </li></ul><ul><li>The evidence we have gathered is non-attributable to individuals </li></ul><ul><li>What you hear is what we’ve seen, read and been told </li></ul>
  4. 4. We will present our findings on… <ul><li>Leadership and governance </li></ul><ul><li>Customer focus and community engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Resource and performance management </li></ul><ul><li>Organisation and people </li></ul><ul><li>Overall key strengths </li></ul><ul><li>Overall key areas to consider </li></ul><ul><li>Open forum for clarification and discussion </li></ul>
  5. 5. Leadership and governance
  6. 6. Ambition <ul><li>The council is a key player regionally and has developed a national profile on the city suburb agenda </li></ul><ul><li>There is broad recognition that the council has made significant progress since 2002 and is now a very ambitious and confident organisation </li></ul><ul><li>Ambitions are clearly stated by the Leader, CX, and senior management team who are well-respected by staff and partners </li></ul><ul><li>The council has an ambitious and innovative approach to facing the financial and organisational changes over the next five years </li></ul><ul><li>The council fully appreciate the need to fully assess the risks that the Future Shape programme presents to maintaining service delivery </li></ul><ul><li>The council is vulnerable to the loss of senior political leadership to drive forward further improvement </li></ul><ul><li>There could be greater ownership and involvement of some partners and scrutiny in developing the council’s priorities </li></ul><ul><li>There is opportunity for greater collaborative working with other local authorities to identify possible solutions to the challenges faced by the council </li></ul>
  7. 7. Prioritisation <ul><li>There are clear priorities which are aligned to the LAA and are cascaded throughout the organisation </li></ul><ul><li>The council has disinvested from its non priorities </li></ul><ul><li>The council addresses its priorities and delivers some excellent services </li></ul><ul><li>There is a need for clearer communication and engagement with all stakeholders on shaping the council’s priorities </li></ul><ul><li>Is there sufficient focus on those services that are relatively expensive and need to change? </li></ul>
  8. 8. Decision making and scrutiny <ul><li>The Cabinet is cohesive & strong </li></ul><ul><li>There is a valued and intensive Member induction programme </li></ul><ul><li>The council has a robust plan for improving scrutiny in response to external and internal criticism </li></ul><ul><li>Some good work has come out of scrutiny and been supported by the Cabinet </li></ul><ul><li>Scrutiny could play a crucial and constructive role and should be made ‘fit for purpose and of best practice’ </li></ul><ul><li>Some concerns expressed around the speed of development of policies in services </li></ul><ul><li>Further roll out of a comprehensive Member development programme could further enhance Member roles </li></ul><ul><li>Develop the democratic champion role of Members and provide appropriate officer support </li></ul>
  9. 9. Customer focus and community engagement
  10. 10. Customer focus <ul><li>Residents very much appreciate the citizens panel and have high levels of satisfaction </li></ul><ul><li>Staff are enthusiastic, motivated and demonstrate a strong pride in Barnet, the council and “going the extra mile” for customers </li></ul><ul><li>Equalities and diversity heading for level 4 of ESLG </li></ul><ul><li>Detailed data held on borough observatory enables analysis and targeting of needs </li></ul><ul><li>There is a need to further develop accessible and high quality customer access points for example to deliver the emergent Library Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>There is evidence internally and externally that some people feel information is not readily accessible to all </li></ul><ul><li>The focus on the internal customer could be improved to further enable change and deliver high quality services </li></ul>
  11. 11. Communication and community engagement <ul><li>There is a strong focus on internal and external communication </li></ul><ul><li>The council is developing a wide range of innovative public consultation tools with expanding & modern communication channels and techniques </li></ul><ul><li>Diversity and the need to communicate and engage with diverse cultures is championed from the top </li></ul><ul><li>Members and the Leader are seen as very much in touch with residents </li></ul><ul><li>Community engagement is becoming more common in service and project design </li></ul><ul><li>Capacity to engage with people, diverse communities and other communities of interest needs further development </li></ul><ul><li>The knowledge and skills of citizens, community groups and opinion formers are a valuable asset that could be used for the benefit amongst the people of Barnet </li></ul>
  12. 12. Delivering through partnerships <ul><li>Excellent senior level relationships with the university, college, police, PCT, LSP, regeneration partners and trade unions </li></ul><ul><li>The council is making the most of new opportunities with GLA family and pan London groupings </li></ul><ul><li>The cross organisation networks are set to deliver success on crime, problem children, 300 deprived families </li></ul><ul><li>The CDRP is well led and has delivered reductions in crime and disorder </li></ul><ul><li>There is a need to ensure that partners have the capacity to deliver the ambitions for Barnet </li></ul><ul><li>The council is seen as a focussed organisation but partners feel that more could be achieved with greater openness and collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>The excellent partnership relationships need to be developed into collaborative delivery partnerships </li></ul><ul><li>Need to robustly explore with partners where joint working addresses common issues. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Resource and performance management
  14. 14. Performance management <ul><li>The council is business-like, efficient, low spending, pragmatic and high performing </li></ul><ul><li>Performance management is devolved to services </li></ul><ul><li>There is a robust and comprehensive performance management framework which is embedded within the organisation </li></ul><ul><li>Performance management needs to be more firmly embedded within the scrutiny process </li></ul><ul><li>Cabinet and O&S Members need to closely monitor and challenge performance and access to the appropriate data needs to be universal </li></ul><ul><li>The council has set some overly ambitious targets that have not been achieved </li></ul><ul><li>The council needs to address the risk of maintaining performance during a period of significant change </li></ul>
  15. 15. Resource management <ul><li>The council is seen as business-like and efficient by its partners </li></ul><ul><li>It is prepared to invest in strategic change and understands the need to take advantage of shared procurement </li></ul><ul><li>It has developed innovative approaches to tackling future infrastructure demands through the Barnet Financing Plan </li></ul><ul><li>There is concern amongst staff that the imperative to avoid overspending is leading to caution </li></ul><ul><li>A lot is riding on the success of the Barnet Financing Plan; we could see no evidence of a clearly stated fall back position should that plan fall through </li></ul><ul><li>There are real opportunities to enhance service provision/efficiency by working with the evident talent and enthusiasm in partners and residents </li></ul>
  16. 16. Organisation and people
  17. 17. Change and project management <ul><li>Staff have been and continue to be involved in change design </li></ul><ul><li>Significant change has been delivered in the organisation and the Future Shape programme demonstrates the council’s desire to further change and improve </li></ul><ul><li>There has been concerted effort by the political and managerial leadership to improve performance with specific success in financial management and controls, electoral registration and planning services </li></ul><ul><li>There is a corporate standard for project management that is used and valued </li></ul><ul><li>The council needs to ensure that it has the capacity and has assessed the risk of going to the next stage of improvement </li></ul><ul><li>Human resources need to be consistent and fully fit for purpose to enable the council to effectively manage change </li></ul>
  18. 18. Organisational design and development <ul><li>The Future Shape programme is bold and recognises the complexity of future challenges </li></ul><ul><li>A lot of effort has gone into enhancing internal communications and developing modern working practices, and there is potential to unlock more capacity </li></ul><ul><li>Staff are involved in redesigning adult services, crime and anti-social behaviour services </li></ul><ul><li>There is potential to further develop cross organisational, joined up services </li></ul><ul><li>There are opportunities to further enhance the leadership capacity of middle managers </li></ul>
  19. 19. Managing people <ul><li>The council is open to new ideas and staff appreciate the training and development opportunities provided </li></ul><ul><li>There are good relations with the unions </li></ul><ul><li>The council has recognised the need and put in place an organisational development post at director level </li></ul><ul><li>The council seeks external challenge as a route to improvement </li></ul><ul><li>The council could further harness staff motivation by enhancing the existing commitment and fully involving them in the story of change </li></ul><ul><li>Staff retention and morale are at risk from the uncertainty of the Future Shape programme </li></ul><ul><li>The work that the council has done could be enhanced by further collaboration with partners and other councils </li></ul>
  20. 20. Overall key strengths <ul><li>There is across the board recognition that the council has come a long way since 2002 and is now a very ambitious and confident organisation </li></ul><ul><li>The council is business-like, efficient, low spending, pragmatic and high performing </li></ul><ul><li>The council addresses its priorities and delivers some excellent services </li></ul><ul><li>There are excellent senior level relationships with the university, college, police, PCT, LSP, regeneration partners and trade unions </li></ul><ul><li>Significant change has been delivered in the organisation and the Future Shape programme demonstrates the council’s desire for further change and improvement </li></ul><ul><li>Staff are enthusiastic, motivated and demonstrate a strong pride in Barnet, the council and “going the extra mile” for customers </li></ul>
  21. 21. Overall key areas to consider <ul><li>The council should continue to develop its communication and engagement strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Scrutiny should play a crucial and constructive role </li></ul><ul><li>There is a need to further develop accessible and high quality customer access and information points </li></ul><ul><li>Capacity to engage with people and communities of interest needs further development </li></ul><ul><li>The council needs to continue its work to ensure that targets are met and are not overly ambitious </li></ul><ul><li>The council needs to ensure that it has the capacity and has assessed the risk to go to the next stage of improvement </li></ul>
  22. 22. What next? <ul><li>There is now a chance to reflect on our conclusions </li></ul><ul><li>Our draft report will be produced soon for the authority to comment on </li></ul><ul><li>The final report will be agreed and issued </li></ul><ul><li>The authority can decide what elements of our feedback it wishes to act upon </li></ul>
  23. 23. Open forum An opportunity for clarification and discussion Thank You

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