Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 3°C

Search

West Suffolk: Peer review of region’s councils praises ‘clear sense of ambition’

10:48 09 May 2014

The West Suffolk House council offices in Bury St Edmunds

The West Suffolk House council offices in Bury St Edmunds

Archant

An external health check of two west Suffolk councils has praised their amalgamation of staff to save cash and backed their plans to behave more commercially in order to
benefit taxpayers.

Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council have completed a move to save £3.5 million a year, by sharing staff and services – while retaining the political independence of the two councils.

The two councils opted to undergo a free external health check – called the corporate peer challenge – run by the Local Government Association (LGA). The challenge saw a team made up of two council leaders, a chief executive and two deputy chief executives all from elsewhere in the UK, join an LGA advisor to review the way Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council operate.

They found despite massive changes, which had seen the two councils move to having one chief executive and a slimlined management structure with dozens of job losses, the levels of service to residents, businesses and other customers, had been maintained.

Leader of Forest Heath, James Waters, said: “Everything we do is with our taxpayers, our residents, our businesses in mind.

“Our priorities are for economic growth, for strengthening our families and communities, and for establishing better housing. This peer review tells us that we are getting it right, working more smartly to deliver more for each pound.”

John Griffiths, leader at St Edmundsbury, added: “There will always be more challenges ahead but, together, we are stronger, smarter, and better placed to serve our communities in west Suffolk.”

LGA principal advisor Heather Wills said: “There is a clear sense of ambition for the place, and recognition that the councils must change the way they do things in order to deliver the things that matter most to local residents and businesses in the context of significantly reduced financial resources.”

The review took place during November and February and saw the team speak to 135 people including staff, council members and representatives of outside bodies.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Highways England chiefs have closed the Orwell Bridge this morning after Met Office forecasters warned of gusts of up to 65mph on the A14.

Campaigners in Suffolk are urging MPs to back a ground-breaking European treaty that aims to eradicate domestic violence against women and girls.

Ipswich market has closed early today over safety fears as Storm Doris heads towards Suffolk.

A not-so-frighteningly named storm is set to wreak havoc on our roads today with gusts of up to 65mph expected on the A14 and A12.

Ipswich’s role as the county town of Suffolk is being questioned, with some suggesting Bury St Edmunds is more deserving of the title.

Two men arrested after a stabbing in Ipswich have been bailed by police this morning.

Suffolk and Essex have a lot to shout about when it comes to producing top quality food and drink brands which are capturing the world’s attention.

Arlington’s Brasserie, in Ipswich, has an historic link with the women’s suffrage movement and next week it will host a celebration of International Women’s Day.

A new push is underway to recruit more ‘on call’ firefighters to make up a shortfall of around 40 across the county.

It’s pancake day on February 28 and as people across Suffolk dig out the frying pan and stock up on eggs, flour and milk, you might be wondering why we make these flipped treats on Shrove Tuesday at all and indeed why the day is significant. Well, it’s funny you should ask...

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24