Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 6°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 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

Rail passengers travelling between London to Ipswich this morning are facing delays after ‘trespass incident’ between Colchester and Marks Tey.

The A14 Orwell Bridge will remain open today as Storm Doris looks to have passed - but it was a busy night for the emergency services as they dealt with the aftermath.

This year marks the 47th annual Ipswich to Felixstowe Road run - and as the organisers make their final preparations we look back to a particularly popular run in May 1995.

Pianos collectively worth £50,000 are being given away to schools and community groups.

Storm Doris has caused widespread disruption across Essex.

Nearly 11 hours after it was closed, motorists are now able to use the Orwell Bridge.

Ipswich’s MP has said work must continue to provide the town with alternative routes for diverted Orwell Bridge traffic in the wake of yesterday’s closure.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24