Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 13°C

ESTD 1874 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.

shares

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.

shares

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 East Anglian Daily Times 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 East Anglian Daily Times 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 East Anglian Daily Times 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

Colchester General Hospital

A new permanent chief executive has been appointed to lead the trust running Colchester’s hospitals.

The Woodbridge Heritage Group are campaigning against the proposed relocation of

For 35 years it has been rooted to the same spot in a Suffolk town – representing a defiant stand against an unyielding adversary.

Town players Luke Chambers and Cole Skuse visited The Suffolk Punch Trust in Hollesley on Thursday 27 August and officially named the charity’s newest male foal as Bluey. 

The naming of the male foal comes as part of a new partnership between the Football Club and the Suffolk Punch charity. Ipswich Town will be working to support the work of the rare horse breed charity by offering assistance with fundraising and awareness campaigns.
L-R Luke Chambers,Bluey,Cole Skuse,Rob Lambert and Alex Bailey.

Everybody, meet Bluey - the newest addition to the team at the Suffolk Punch Trust, officially named by Ipswich Town captain Luke Chambers and player Cole Skuse yesterday.

More needs to be done to keep cyclists safe in Ipswich

More action is needed to making cycling in Ipswich safe and accessible.

Police were called to the scene

Police are urging residents not to leave valuable items in their cars and make sure outbuildings are secure following a spate of thefts from vehicles and garages this week.

South East Suffolk Magistrates Court

A 50-year-old Ipswich woman has been banned from keeping animals for 10 years after admitting welfare offences relating to her five cats and two dogs.

Police are appealing for witnesses

Suspicious activity was reported to Suffolk police yesterday after a vehicle containing a group of men and dogs was seen parked in a field in Coney Weston.

Suffolk has gone up 22 places in the league table for pupils achieving expected standards in reading, writing and maths at Key Stage 2.

Results for 11-year-olds in Suffolk are improving, according to the latest SATS results which show the county moving up national league tables.

Police have released these CCTV images following a phone theft from restaurant

CCTV images of a man have been released after a phone was stolen from a restaurant in Edith Cook Way, Ipswich, last month.

Sheepen Place office development scheme at night - artist's impression

Proposals have been submitted for two new office buildings planned for central Colchester.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages