NALC and LGA collaborate to boost the development of larger councils


The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) and the Local Government Association (LGA) have allied to enhance the capabilities and growth of local (parish and town) councils.

The landscape of local councils is evolving rapidly, witnessing an upsurge in councils that wield substantial budgets, either by launching new services or taking over existing ones from principal authorities. To bolster this trend and foster excellence, NALC and LGA aim to empower larger councils through corporate peer challenges, offering a platform to assess their strengths and areas for improvement. The partnership invites eligible councils to participate and harness this unique opportunity.

NALC and LGA are now looking to identify a further tranche of local councils that would like to participate in a corporate peer challenge in the current or next financial year. This invitation extends particularly to super councils, wielding an annual precept of over £1m or an annual turnover of over £1.5m. The LGA will wholly fund this endeavour using the government funding it receives. If you'd like to learn more and are interested in participating, please contact NALC at .

The corporate peer challenge is vital in helping councils benchmark themselves against similar councils and identify what they're doing well and how they can improve. The LGA works with the council over several months to pull together a set of documents that explains where the council is at present, which is shared with a small group of peers, made up of a councillor and clerk from a similar council and representatives of NALC and LGA. At the heart of the corporate peer challenge is a two-day visit from this group of peers to meet its councillors, staff, partner organisations and principal authorities. It will see them getting a complete understanding of how the council works before presenting the council with recommendations at the end of the visit and a more detailed report within a few months. This report is then published by the council and used as a basis to develop its action plan. The process is designed around the council's needs, and they choose the areas to focus on. It is not simply an inspection.

NALC and the LGA have already worked on four corporate peer challenges in Falmouth, Chippenham, Cirencester and Morecambe, and the councils involved found the process invaluable in helping them to develop further.

Find out more about how the peer challenge works

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