Doncaster has a ‘good council’ and is ‘financially stable’ say local government inspectors

A peer review has concluded that Doncaster has a ‘good council’ and is ‘on a journey’ to become ‘exemplary’, according to local government inspectors.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Friday, 8th July 2022, 2:29 pm

Members of the Local Government Association, top officers from Warrington, Lambeth and Halton councils, and a council leader from Huddersfield, carried out the review back in December 2021.

They found DMBC had a ‘good recent record of financial management and reporting’ and it is currently a ‘financially stable organisation’.

But they added that the impact of the cost of living crisis on communities and the delivery of council services will be a ‘major issue’ for the council to think about and respond to.

Inspectors during a peer review praised Doncaster Counciil. Credit: George Torr/LDRS

They added this is because the impact could ‘lead to a reduction in income and an increased demand for services’ as people struggle to pay bills and are compelled to seek help and support from public services.

The peer team gathered information and views from more than 35 meetings, in addition to further research, and spoke to 120 people including a range of council staff, together with councillors and affiliated members.

Satvinder Rana, LGA programme manager, said: “The council has made huge improvements and has an interesting story to tell. It should now begin the process of celebrating its successes and sharing learning and good practice with the wider local government sector.

“The council has a good recent record of financial management and reporting, and it is currently a financially stable organisation.

Doncaster Council is on a journey of continuous improvement with many good features, and if continued it will become an exemplary council. It has overcome some challenging times in its recent past and is now emerging as a strong organisation that is on a positive and upward trajectory.”

Allan Wiltshire, head of policy, performance and intelligence at DMBC, added: “The council would like to welcome the report and recommendations which recognises that DMBC is on a journey to being an exemplary council.

“However, we know that significant challenges and opportunities remain and that this is a journey of improvement and the council must continue to learn and adapt to ensure we are effectively meeting the demand now as well as being ready for the opportunities of the future.”