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An independent report into the way Coventry City Council is run and performs has praised its leadership and the way it is tackling the problems it faces.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities expects every local authority to undertake regular Peer Challenges, which are organised and delivered by the Local Government Association (LGA).

The latest Coventry review was held in January this year and saw six senior experts from local authorities across the country come to look at how Coventry City Council operates and how it is performing.

The four-day review included interviews and focus groups from across the Council, as well as discussions with elected members, residents and partners. 

Their report finds that Coventry is an ambitious place that is on the up, with good examples of innovation and a willingness to embrace change, while not forgetting its heritage. They also found Coventry is a well-run Council, with strong officer and political leadership and that employees and elected members are passionate and proud about what they do.

Although the Peer Team recognised there are challenging times ahead for as a Council, particularly with the financial challenges facing the wider local government sector, their report recognises the Council is better placed than many for the challenge and praised its financial prudency. 

However, the report also has a focus on areas of improvement that they would expect to see, such as performance management and workforce diversity.

The findings of the report, including an action plan to tackle improvement areas, are set to go to Scrutiny Committee, Cabinet and Full Council during June and July.

Councillor George Duggins, Leader for Coventry City Council said: “Although no one here at the Council is complacent, it was heartening to see the findings of the report which highlights many positives.

“The LGA Peer Challenge was a welcome opportunity for the Peer Team to work with us and look at the services that the Council provides to our residents and businesses. It’s designed to provide robust, strategic, and credible challenge and support to Councils typically every five years.

“The Review Team coming to the Council also allows us to learn about best practice elsewhere and how we can improve. Having a critical friend gives us a fresh perspective.

“I’m delighted that the report is mostly positive and it’s fantastic to read the great things the Peer Team have said about us. Work has already started to address all of the recommendations and improvement areas they have identified, and we will feedback the progress we have made when the team returns later this year.”

The full report will be discussed at Scrutiny Committee on 10 June and Cabinet the day after.

Published: Friday, 24th May 2024