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Positive from ‘Peers’ for Cambridgeshire County Council

25 March 2022

A follow up visit from ‘peers’ about the Council’s Corporate Peer Challenge report has identified positive progress by the Council.

Local Government Association ‘peers’ submitted their final report in 2021 and in a six month follow up visit to the Council have provided their feedback on the progress made since their original report. This follow-up visit focussed on a number of key areas, including Budget and Medium-Term Financial Strategy, Shared Services and Place Shaping with the Council’s partners.

Peers have reported how ‘pleased’ they are to see some actions successfully completed including the appointment of a new Chief Executive dedicated to Cambridgeshire and the completion of a review of ‘This Land’ resulting in a series of recommendations with actions already underway.

The Joint Administration is recognised for having delivered urgent work on budget setting and developing a new Corporate Strategy to set the direction for future priorities and delivery and creating more opportunities for members and officers to work closely together.

There are some recommendations which are ongoing and will need to continue to be worked on, such as the Council’s shared services arrangements with neighbouring Peterborough City Council.

Peers also heard about the increased focus on working in partnership with other agencies and, in particular, the positive developments with the Combined Authority and the new Integrated Care System for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

“I am pleased with the progress we have achieved, and we will continue our work on the actions and recommendations from Peers as we are determined to work collaboratively to deliver against our challenges.” said Cllr Lucy Nethsingha, Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council.

“In relation to our shared services arrangement with Peterborough there is still more work required, and that now we have Stephen Moir in place he is playing a key role in leading this review – we have always been clear that where these services are helping to deliver strong outcomes for residents and communities, or resilience for the councils, they will continue to be an option" added Cllr Elisa Meschini, Deputy Leader of the Council.

“We also need to continue our work on the financial challenges we are facing and will be working on a three-year medium-term financial strategy. This letter is a tribute to the hard work of committees across the council – their members and the officers who support them. The findings from the follow up peer challenge visit were welcome, and we will continue to act upon them.” said Cllr Tom Sanderson, leader of the independent group on the council, and the third group leader of the Joint Administration.

The LGA Peer Challenge final report letter to Cambridgeshire County Council has been published today and can be viewed here.