In November 2022, Stockport Council extended an invitation to officers and political peers from the Local Government Association (LGA) and other councils to visit Stockport for a Corporate Peer Challenge (CPC). The purpose of this process was to provide a strong evaluation and support system for councils, allowing for valuable insights and learning opportunities. The peer team was highly impressed by Stockport Council, describing it as an “impressive organisation” and identifying areas for further development.
In November 2023, members of the CPC team returned for a progress review. This revisit provided an opportunity to showcase the significant progress made over the past 12 months and reflect on ways to further improve the lives of residents and communities. The summary letter detailing the outcomes of the revisit has now been published, highlighting the following:
– The CPC team was not only impressed by what they witnessed but also acknowledged that Stockport Council had exceeded their expectations in implementing their recommendations. They commended the council’s strong leadership role and recognized how it facilitated real and ambitious changes while working closely with partners to provide high-performing services that meet the needs of the local population.
– The team also noted Stockport Council’s forward-thinking approach, which prioritizes long-term transformation through their One Stockport: One Future agenda. The peer team highlighted the “sophistication” of Stockport’s approach to neighborhood collaboration, bringing together communities, healthcare, physical spaces, and public services to work together seamlessly. This breadth and scale of collaboration were unprecedented in other locality models.
– The team expressed admiration for the strength of cross-party cooperation in Stockport’s diverse political environment. They were also impressed by the relationships between councillors and officers, commending the council’s efforts in developing member induction programs since the last all-out elections in 2023.
– The council’s purposeful and targeted approach to developing its workforce, known as the “One Team People Plan,” was highly praised. The plan instils core values and fosters a sense of pride among staff members. The team recognized Stockport Council’s clear priorities, ambitious goals, and strong financial management and were pleased to hear that the council is firmly focused on excelling at the basics.
– The team acknowledged Stockport Council’s “strong financial position,” evident in their ability to set balanced budgets, achieve savings targets, and underspend in recent financial years.
The CPC team concluded that Stockport Council has a well-established system in place to support ongoing improvement and encouraged the council to prioritize equality, neighborhood work, and performance management moving forward.
To read the full report on Stockport’s Progress Review, please click here.