How do we ensure that our public services are effective, accountable and transparent in an increasingly complex and place based landscape? How do we think about good governance as a tool for growth? And how do we maximise the opportunities of devolution and combined authorities from a governance perspective?
These are all questions that we know are on the minds of officers and councillors today.
Our experienced core team and associates are working on a daily basis with organisations and places to help them to think differently about developing effective governance arrangements and developing councillors in all their different roles. Through our network of support, advice and connections we are able to offer a wide range of regional, sub-regional and organisational support in all areas of governance.
Key areas we have and will continue to support are:
- Support and development for cabinets
- Supporting health and wellbeing boards as they evolve in a new integrated system
- Developing portfolio councillors capacity and sharing good practice
- Equipping councillors to support their communities
- Supporting new devolved structures Combined Authorities, Mayors, City Regions
- Supporting councillors in assurance roles, scrutiny, outside bodies
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We worked with Salford to help them to assess the ‘fitness for purpose’ of the overview and scrutiny function given the current and likely future financial and policy challenges and the City Mayor’s strategic direction for the authority. As a result of this work we have made a number of recommendations around clarification of roles, structures and processes and training. This work has also allowed us to support other member organisations by sharing the learning more widely.
We have worked with Greater Manchester City Region and Liverpool City Region Combined Authorities to help them to establish or review their scrutiny arrangements. This work has involved looking at the current arrangements, what is working well and where can improvements be made? What are the skills that need to be developed and how can the structures and processes put in place enable good governance and scrutiny in an evolving context?
We are working in partnership with the team at Birmingham University who undertook the 21 Century Public Servant research to develop a sister report that will examine what the councillor roles and skills will look like in the future. This is an exciting piece of research that will explore:
- What will be the demands on the role in the future
- What skills, attitudes and behaviours will councillors need
- How will we need to support them differently
We will be releasing more details of the research over the coming months but if you would like more information in the meantime then contact Sharon Senior.
Health and Wellbeing Boards are a key part way in which places can bring together essential partners to develop strategy and drive change. Since their establishment there has been a mix of approaches, successes and membership on boards nationally and across the North West.
We will continue to support health and wellbeing boards as they move into their next phase of development and help them to maximise the role they play in integrating health and care services. The support we provide in this area can be bespoke to a particular board but will also include:
- Support and facilitation of events and away days for HWB to develop their thinking, build relationship, and review strategies and outcomes
- Networking opportunities to share learning across the North West
- Strengthening links between scrutiny and health and wellbeing boards
- Optimising the systems leadership role of the health and wellbeing board
- Supporting those that support the health and wellbeing boards to deliver their ambitions
High performing teams invest time to work together to develop a shared vision, agree and review outcomes and build effective relationships. We provide a range of bespoke support for cabinets to help them achieve their ambitions and our facilitators bring expertise in working with groups together with a deep understanding of the role of cabinet members which provides a powerful combination.
Every authority and every cabinet is different and we tailor our development to provide practical solutions to help cabinets work on real life issues. Some examples of the work we have done recently include:
- Developing a strategic plan for the next five years
- Developing a new cabinet team
- Responding to peer review recommendations
The North West Charter on councillor development provides authorities with a tangible process to draw evidence of their commitment to long-term investment in the development of its councillors. The Charter operates in three levels:
- Level 1 concentrates on ensuring the fundamental methods to aid councillors development are apparent within each authority assessed.
- Level 1 Review process focuses on ensuring the continued achievement of support councillor development.
- Level 2 process concentrates on the impact, but there is also the opportunity to briefly showcase continuous improvement.
Level 1 and Level 1 Review is based on a self assessment tool outlining good practice criteria to work towards and map progress. Level 2 is based on an application form outlining the community issue and how councillor development has had an impact on addressing the issue, the local community, councillors and the authority.
Please Click Here to view our dedicated page to the Member Development Charter
For further information contact:
Sharon Senior, Assistant Director – Development
T: 0161 214 7120