Like “chalk and cheese”. That is how representatives from the Local Government Association (LGA) described the change in the city council over the last four years following their recent visit to Gloucester.
A team of experts from across local government were invited to the city by Gloucester City Council as part of a national programme of improvement.
They spent three days between 14th and 17th November on site at the council offices, looking at how it had progressed since the last review in 2013.
Since then, the city council has made improvements in areas identified back then. These include finance, IT, decision-making and relationships between elected members and officers.
The peer group described the comparison between 2013 and 2017, as “like chalk and cheese”. The issues raised in that initial review have all been turned around. Particular praise was also reserved for the city’s regeneration, with the team impressed by the amount of activity they saw on site during their visit.
It was made clear that the council needed to do everything possible to make sure that the benefits of these improvements are felt across all parts of the city.
They found that the council was a good and effective partner with passionate and dedicated staff, but that more work was needed following the recent “Together Gloucester” reorganisation.
Cllr Paul James, leader of Gloucester City Council, said: “I’m delighted that the Local Government Association’s team of experts from around the country had so many positive messages about the work we’re doing.
“We’ve made good progress since 2013 which is down to the hard work of many people across the organisation. This feedback really validates all that effort and also helps to identify the challenges we face now and in the future.
“There is still a lot for us to do, but it’s good to be told that we are on the right track.”
The LGA report with their initial feedback can be found at: http://democracy.gloucester.gov.uk/documents/s41112/CPC%20Feedback%20Presentation.pdf
The full report is expected to be published shortly and will be considered by cabinet with an action plan drawn up to address the points raised.
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