Council publishes peer-review recovery report

Warrington Borough Council has published a recent Local Government Association (LGA) review into the council’s recovery and renewal plans in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

The report, informed by an impartial review undertaken late last year by a panel consisting of LGA experts, senior officers and political leaders, discusses the work of the council since the initial lockdown in March 2020.

The report finds that the council has ‘gone above and beyond what could ever be described as business as usual’ and describes the strong partnership-working the council has demonstrated in response to the pandemic.

The key reflections of the LGA review report are that:

  • The council has been part of a huge community effort in responding to COVID-19, with opportunities to build on these foundations for even closer working with health, voluntary, community and faith partners in future
  • The council’s refocusing of partnership working has brought about ‘swifter, more pragmatic responses and supportive, collective activity behind a common goal’
  • There are strong member and officer ties across the council’s leadership teams
  • There is a consistent acknowledgement of the tough financial decisions that the council will have to make into the future as part of Warrington’s post-pandemic recovery

Leader of the Council, Cllr Russ Bowden, said: “Inviting peer reviews and seeking external scrutiny are important processes as part of the work we do as a council and I am pleased that the LGA panel’s report acknowledges just how hard we have worked to support our residents throughout the pandemic. This work of course continues, but the way we have worked alongside our partners throughout the pandemic so far has set the foundations for a strong local recovery that puts our residents and communities at the heart of our plans.

“There will be challenges and difficult decisions required as we emerge out of the other end of the pandemic and assess what will be a significantly changed landscape. This review report, however, reassures me that we have the endeavour, resilience, pride and assuredness to support a strong recovery for our town.”

Chief Executive of Warrington Borough Council, Professor Steven Broomhead MBE, said: “I’m pleased that the LGA review has stated that we have acted with leadership and decisiveness and that we have also worked very closely with our partners throughout the pandemic. The response from the council, including our elected members and entire workforce, has been very positive and our strong relationships with partners across Warrington has been validated by this peer review report.

“Of course, there are opportunities for us to improve and we are not resting on our laurels as we enter the next important phase of the pandemic and defeating the virus. This report demonstrates that we are on the right track and have much to be optimistic about as part of Warrington’s recovery and ‘reset’ after the pandemic.”

You can read the full report on the council website.

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