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
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