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GMCA receives positive feedback from Local Government Association’s Corporate Peer Challenge

Last year, GMCA put itself forward as the first Combined Authority to go through the Local Government Association’s Corporate Peer Challenge. We did this because we wanted to get an external view on what we were doing well and what we need to improve on in order to help us meet our organisational objectives and make a difference to the lives of the 2.8 million people in Greater Manchester.

The independent LGA peer challenge team held more than 50 meetings and interviewed 155 people over the three days in November and December 2022 – from both GMCA and the wider Greater Manchester system, including senior representatives from local councils, public sector, business and voluntary, community and social enterprise partners. The team looked at:

  • Local priorities and outcomes
  • Organisational and place leadership
  • Governance and culture
  • Financial planning and management
  • Capacity for improvement

The team’s final report has now been published and it is overwhelmingly positive recognising the many strengths of GMCA and by extension Greater Manchester as a whole. This includes our political and partnership arrangements and ways of working.

The full LGA peer review report is available here.

Eamonn Boylan, GMCA Chief Executive said:

“I’m absolutely delighted with the really positive findings of the Local Government Association Review. When we started this process, we were open about how we work, what our priorities are and areas we thought we needed to improve on and we wanted honest feedback from the Review team on how they thought we were performing. My thanks go to them and all those who participated in the process.

“The good outcome is a testament to the hard work of staff across the organisation and the work of our partners and stakeholders to help us in achieving our ambition to make Greater Manchester a great place to grow up, get on and get old.

“Our priority now is to respond to the recommendations set for us to help us improve as an organisation and deliver the service and outcomes the public and our stakeholders expect.”

The report notes that GMCA “can evidence a strong and impressive track record of strategic delivery and impact across services and programmes which matter, including transport, economic growth, health and more” and that there is strong, visible and effective leadership is exercised from the Mayor, GMCA Chief Executive and Council Leaders and Chief Executives. It further says that staff are well-motivated, enjoy their roles and are passionate about working with the Mayor and local councils to deliver.

The report also makes 15 core recommendations where the reviewers feel there is opportunity for development, exploration of additional activities, or where collectively Greater Manchester could do something different or further than currently. It also highlights some of the significant risks and future funding challenges for GMCA.

The GMCA action plan to meet the recommendations is available here.

Members of the LGA challenge team were:

  • Cllr Nesil Caliskan, Leader Enfield Council (Labour)
  • Judith Hurcombe, LGA Peer Challenge Manager
  • Peter John OBE, former Leader Southwark Council (Labour)
  • Henry Kippin, Chief Executive, North of Tyne Combined Authority
  • Arjen Overbeek, Senior Adviser, Metropolitan Region of Amsterdam
  • Tom Riordan CBE, Chief Executive Leeds City Council
  • Alex Saul, LGA
  • Cllr Heather Scott OBE, former Leader, Darlington Borough Council (Conservative)
  • Darra Singh OBE, Strategy Partner, Newton Europe

Article Published: 14/02/2023 16:53 PM