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What is a Corporate Peer Challenge?

In March 2022, we invited an external team from other local councils to Mid Devon to investigate, explore and analyse the way we operate. This review was headed by the Local Government Association as part of their sector-led improvement programme and is something that all councils participate in every 4-5 years. Our previous review was back in 2017, and much has changed since that time so it felt appropriate and timely to invite them back to Mid Devon to assess our journey from that point, where we are now, and the direction in which we are heading.

In advance of the review, the council submitted a Position Statement to provide the review team with our thoughts on where we were as a council. Then, as part of the process, a large cross-section of people were spoken to from both within the council and from our external partners and stakeholders. This was to ensure the peer team could get a comprehensive overview of how the council operates, how we do business, our performance and, ultimately, our readiness for the future and challenges ahead.

What were the results?

The initial feedback report contains a number of specific recommendations but fundamentally recognises that Mid Devon is a ‘good council’, with real leadership of place. Work to support residents and businesses through the challenges of the covid pandemic are particularly highlighted.  Key recommendations identify the continued work required to keep us constantly moving forward, re-setting corporate plan priorities, proactively engaging with residents/communities and seeking external support where this is of benefit. These key recommendations are reflected in an action plan, agreed by the Cabinet on 28 June 2022, and show progress made/being made. The final ‘follow up’ progress report acknowledges the improvements made and confirms that we are in a strong position to address future challenges; this is a reassuring message from our peers.

We're extremely grateful to those colleagues within the local government sector for the time they took to undertake this latest peer challenge, and of course to all those internal and external partners and stakeholders that gave up their own valuable time to assist us by providing their thoughts, views and impressions. Your contribution will help drive our continued learning and improvement, as we strive to deliver the best possible value and outcomes for the people of Mid Devon.

Barry Warren
Leader of the Council

Stephen Walford
Chief Executive


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