Local Authority Governance Week – a round up
Local Authority Governance week examined what good governance looks like for local authorities and the lessons that can be learnt from the various public interest reports, the recent spate of s114s and associated commissioner interventions, as well as research commissioned with think tanks and academics into the topic.
During the week, we released a three-part Governance podcast series, in which our Trowers experts Amardeep Gill and Scott Dorling spoke with special guest Catherine Staite, Professor of Public Management at the University of Birmingham. Catherine is working with councils that are subject to intervention and will be sharing valuable insights on what is happening on the ground for those councils experiencing governance failure.
Together, they examined how to avoid local government governance failure:
The lessons that can be learnt by others from current failures in the sector
- In the first episode they discuss whether it is possible to identify some of the common themes coming from the recent local government failures and what the key signs are that a system isn't working.
The tools and resources often overlooked by councils in trouble
- Catherine shares her views on the best ways councils can properly reflect on their governance systems to see if they are working as effectively as possible, and also the role of Overview and Scrutiny in preventing failure.
The changes needed by the sector to safeguard against failure
- Amardeep, Scott and Catherine discuss the changes that need to happen in order to better protect the sector from future failures. They consider whether a lack of transparency has been a common theme in recent failures and also what the top priorities should be for local government going forward.
In addition, we have been lucky enough to collaborate with Centre for Governance and Scrutiny (CfGS) on several recent reports.
Firstly, we have our Governance Risk and Resilience Framework Toolkit which looks at the seven characteristics to help local authority officers and councillors anticipate and manage governance risk.
We also published our White paper on Devolution and Good Mayoral Governance, in which we explore the subject of directly elected Mayors in English (DEMs) local government, and as a feature of English combined authorities. We question what makes for a “good” Mayor, and whether the accountability systems and checks and balances we have in place for DEMs are fit for purpose and proportionate.