Peer review reveals improvements at Doncaster Council

Ros Jones.  Picture: Andrew Roe
Ros Jones. Picture: Andrew Roe

A team of local government experts say Doncaster Council has made tangible and positive improvements in how it is managed and led.

The council invited a team of external officers and politicians to conduct a Peer Review to assess the organisation’s progress since being placed into government intervention four years ago.

The team, put together by the Local Government Association, included a Labour and a Conservative politician and senior local government officers led by Sir Derek Myers, the former Joint Chief Executive of Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham Councils.

After collectively spending over 400 hours examining the council and interviewing over 150 staff, the Peer Review team concluded that Doncaster Council is now functioning well, at a level to be expected in other local authorities.

Experts commented on the renewed stability the new Mayor and Cabinet have given the council.

The report highlights that behaviours across the council are very different to those observed during the CGI in 2010.

Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster, said: “I’m determined to lead Doncaster Council out of government intervention and I am delighted that this review confirms we have made significant progress.

“In the past the council has let down the people of Doncaster. However, we now have clear plans and much improved governance. Statutory and community partners have reported a step change in the way the council engages with them, particularly since the 2013 elections, and we have secured significant infrastructure projects and inward investment schemes that will benefit local people.

“I’m pleased that peer reviewers recognised that Doncaster is now a real player in the City Region, with ambitious plans to grow further and create more opportunities for the borough and our residents.

“We’re under no illusion that we still have more work to do but we are in a much better place now than we were previously. Our focus on continuing to do things better and differently remains sharp.”