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Date published: 10th November 2023

North Norfolk District Council is pleased with the conclusions of an extensive and thorough Corporate Peer Review of the authority conducted in September of this year through the Local Government Association’s sector-led improvement programme. 

Over the course of the week the peer group, which included senior officers and elected members from a number of local authorities elsewhere in the UK, conducted over 55 conversations / focus group meetings with elected NNDC members, staff, partners and local stakeholders, as well as reviewing a number of corporate policy documents and observing meetings of the Council’s Governance, Risk and Audit and Overview and Scrutiny Committees.

The review concluded the District Council performs well and has a very clear understanding of the needs of its residents and is passionate about delivering for its communities.  It is ambitious for the district with a new Corporate Plan, has a strong record of partnership working and is investing in local facilities – The Reef, Cromer Pier, public conveniences.

The Review Team noted the Council is debt-free and has healthy reserves, but is starting to feel the pinch of austerity, high levels of inflation and increased demand for services such that moving forward it will need to give increased consideration to the changed financial context in which the Council operates.

In order to move from being a good council to a “great” council, the Review Team made four recommendations around having a stronger focus on strategic financial issues; aligning resources with the ambitions of the new Corporate Plan; developing a new Organisational Development Plan to support workforce planning and development; and more distributive leadership to increase operational capacity.  The Council will now develop an Action Plan in response to these recommendations.

Cllr Tim Adams, Leader of the Council, commented:

“We were pleased to welcome a team from the Local Government Association’s Corporate Peer Challenge process to North Norfolk in early September as part of the Council’s approach to corporate learning and improvement. 

“Their report on the performance of the Council is testament to the work of staff and elected members from across the Council in seeking to provide services to - and be an advocate for - residents, businesses and communities across the District. 

“I am really pleased that the process recognises that the Council has a strong understanding of our “place” and its communities and is ambitious for the future through directly provided services, our strong partnership working arrangements and track record of delivering projects such as The Reef, the North Walsham Heritage Action Zone programme, investments in Cromer Pier and in new and inclusive public toilets. 

“The report identifies areas for future development and improvement, particularly around the increasingly challenging financial context in which local government operates and how we will need to align our ambitions as laid out in our new 2023 – 2027 Corporate Plan with increasing demand for our services, particularly homelessness, temporary accommodation services and cost of living support. 

“It also makes recommendations as to how we can improve Overview and Scrutiny, develop a new digital strategy and Organisational Development Plan to broaden management and leadership capacity across the Council and we will now develop an Action Plan detailing how we will respond to each of the four recommendations made by the Peer Review team, as we look to move from being a good council to a “great” council.”

Read the Local Government Association Peer Review’s full report on North Norfolk District Council

Last updated: 10th November 2023