LGA gives Camden a positive report in its Corporate Peer Challenge

A team of local Government experts have praised Camden Council’s dedication to succeed, deliver for residents and “strive for social justice” in a review of the Council’s work.

A Local Government Association (LGA) sponsored team, led by Tom Riordan, the Chief Executive of Leeds City Council and Mayor Phil Glanville from Hackney Council, visited Camden between Monday 20 and Wednesday 22 January 2020. They reviewed how the council performed in the following key areas, in what is referred to as a Corporate Peer Challenge. These areas were:

  • Understanding of the local place and priority setting
  • Leadership of place
  • Organisational leadership and governance
  • Financial planning and viability
  • Capacity to deliver
  • Camden’s Public Participation and engagement work

The Corporate Peer Challenge is not mandatory and is not a formal inspection – but it is a chance for the council to get feedback from local government colleagues on what it is doing well and what it could change to be more impactful.

The full report is now available to read.

Tom Riordan, Chief Executive of Leeds City Council, said: “Camden is an innovative and outstanding council that has the community at its heart. It was great to meet so many councillors, officers and people of the borough during the peer review and I thank everyone for their time. This report, reflects the excellent work led by the council to tackle the challenges faced by communities and residents. As shown in this report, Camden are well placed to deal with these and deliver on their ambition and vision for Camden 2025.”

Councillor Georgia Gould, Leader of Camden Council
In Camden we were excited to participate in an LGA Peer Review earlier this year as an opportunity to benefit from the expertise and experience of local government colleagues from around the country. We were incredibly lucky to have a Peer Review team with a wealth of experience working in housing, service design, citizen participation, local government leadership, central Government and more. 

"The thoughtfulness and insight in the report reflects the deep listening they did, and I am grateful for their time and ideas. Our Peer Review Team spent time with our staff and noted their pride in working for and with our communities and their commitment to addressing inequality and making lives better. They acknowledged our commitment to innovation and creativity at the front-line, but also to ensuring that we listen and change what doesn’t work. 

"Recognising how Covid-19 has challenged how we work, the Peer Review report was incredibly timely in its reflection on how we work with staff, all elected members, citizens, businesses and communities. I am proud for what this report says about the passionate and reflective organisation that Camden is, and am clear that we will listen and learn to ensure we deliver on our ambitions to make Camden a fair, equal, just and sustainable place.
Councillor Georgia Gould, Leader of Camden Council

The review team spoke to more than 170 people, including a range of council staff together with councillors and external partners and stakeholders, in compiling their report. Collectively the team spent more than 350 hours determining their findings – the equivalent of one person spending more than nine weeks in Camden.

Camden Council will now consider the feedback in more detail before reporting back through a future Cabinet meeting later this year.

The team who lead the Corporate Peer Challenge at Camden was made up of:

  • Tom Riordan, Chief Executive, Leeds City Council
  • Mayor Philip Glanville, London Borough of Hackney
  • Carol Culley, Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer, Manchester City Council
  • Deirdra Armsby, Director of Place Shaping and Town Planning, Westminster City Council
  • Steve Skelton, Director of Strategy and Innovation, Government of Jersey
  • Tom Hook, Assistant Director, Planning, Performance and Engagement, East Sussex County Council
  • Monica Needs, Head of Engagement and Participation, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham
  • Judith Hurcombe, Programme Manager, Local Government Association
  • John Tench, Programme Manager, Local Government Association