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The great and the good

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Councillors have unanimously welcomed recommendations which will help Stroud District Council fulfil its ambition of progressing from being a good council to a great one.

Three years ago the council asked the Local Government Association to help improve its performance and the services that residents and businesses receive, with a Corporate Peer Challenge. The peer team came back for a three-day visit in March and the feedback report has just been published.

The report is complimentary about the framework SDC has set out to deliver its ambitions – the Council Plan which maps out its priorities up to 2025, the 2030 Strategy to lead the district to carbon neutrality and the modernisation programme in particular, as well as progress made with IT.

The main findings include:

• SDC is a good council, progressing well towards its ambition of being a great council.

• The council should be proud of what it has achieved over the last 3 years and of its response to the pandemic, and  has worked very hard to support its residents, tenants and businesses as well as its own staff.

• The developing ‘One Council’ ethos, which is about councillors and officers working well together across teams, is driven from the top by the council’s political and managerial leadership and can now be embedded across the organisation.

• The plans and strategies that the council has put in place provide a clear framework for delivering the council’s ambitions.

• Great progress has been made with IT (Information Technology)

• There is a clear and positive intent on community engagement and some good work started with communities.

It comes after the annual independently-conducted budget survey found last year that levels of satisfaction with SDC remains high, and much higher than a national survey of residents carried out by the Local Government Association (LGA) at a similar time.

At the council’s annual general meeting on Thursday, May 19, councillors from all parties unanimously welcomed the LGA Corporate Peer Challenge Feedback Report. An action plan based on the recommendations in it will be considered by the Strategy & Resources Committee on 9 June.

“I’m particularly pleased that the feedback report from the LGA Corporate Challenge Team who visited us reflects the excellent progress that the council has made in the last three years,” said SDC Leader, Councillor Doina Cornell. “It says we should be proud of the way we responded to the pandemic and the way we worked hard to support our communities, businesses and staff. Looking forward, we’ve put in an effective framework to achieve more for our residents and businesses in the future.”

The full report can be read at https://stroud.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=143&MId=1335&Ver=4

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