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'There is no doubt Lewisham is good and getting better' said Bob Kerslake, ...
'There is no doubt Lewisham is good and getting better' said Bob Kerslake,

chief executive of Sheffield City Council and leader of the IDeA peer review

team after their week-long review of Lewisham LBC. 'The key issue for

the council now is to understand how it can harness its strengths to raise

performance to the best. To do this will require a greater honesty about

where the council still needs to improve.'

Mayor of Lewisham, Steve Bullock, said: 'To receive this kind of feedback

from other local government experts means that we can work with even greater

clarity towards serving the people of Lewisham.

'The IDeA review team are leaders in their field and so I place a great deal

of store by what they say. Clearly I am delighted at much of their feedback.

This is not just good news for the council, it is good news for local

people. The task now is to listen very carefully to the review team's

suggestions for improvement and to find effective and creative ways to move


'This comes at a very useful time and will help inform my planning for the

next four years of this adminstration.'

Lewisham invited a team of IDeA experts to visit the authority from 10-14

June. They spent the week investigating the organisation and meeting with a

wide range of staff from elected members and managers and staff, to external

partners and residents, to identify the key strengths of the council and

importantly, areas where the council can improve.

The review team found the council had some impressive strengths. It has

benefited from stable pragmatic and forward thinking leadership over a long

period and demonstrates remarkable vision and willingness to work actively

in partnership. The council has a strong reputation and is able to combine

innovation with quality in delivering its services and is genuinely

impressive at all levels. The team also concluded that in Lewisham diversity

is genuinely celebrated as a strength.

However, the team also identified a number of issues for the council to

consider and areas where the council can improve further from this

impressive base. They found some significant issues to resolve in the

operation of the new political management system. The team also found that

the council's enthusiasm can often come across as overbearing in

partnerships and its approach to consulting and involving the community

needs to be reviewed and refreshed. Finally, the team found that Lewisham's

performance does not yet match the management strength of the council.

The peer review team was made up of

Bob Kerslake, chief executive, Sheffield City Council

Katherine Kerswell, chief executive, Solihull MBC

David White, acting director of Modernisation, Norfolk, Suffolk and

Cambridgeshire Health Authority

Marie Dickie, Labour member, Northamptonshire CC

Serge Lourie, Liberal Democrat member, Richmond LBC

Andy O'Brien, principal consultant, IDeA

Rob Pearce, review manager, IDeA

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