In 2021-22 the Improvement Programme was launched to support sector-led improvement across local government in Wales. This is a Welsh Government grant funded programme of up to £800,000 per annum for three-years.
Since 2021-22 a small team has been recruited to develop, deliver and manage the programme, to provide and commission support and to recruit a panel of member and officer peers.
What is Sector-led improvement?
The success of sector led improvement is dependent on the active participation of the sector which in turn relies on the offer being relevant and of value.
Leaders and chief executives have expressed a commitment to sector-led improvement, underpinned by peer challenge, support and mutual aid. Notwithstanding the unprecedented challenges during COVID 19, mutual aid and partnership has underpinned the collective local government and public service response and senior leaders have continued to provide mentoring, peer support and challenge to colleagues across the local government family.
A successful sector-led model will be reliant on a commitment from senior members and professionals to commit to engage and offer reciprocal support to colleagues within and across the local government family. The benefits of peer challenge and support are twofold:
- an authority receives expert and experienced peer perspectives in tackling a specific issue or undertaking an assessment/challenge process; and
- it is a developmental opportunity for peers, who experience other organisations’ approaches, cultures and solutions and brings back new organisational, personal or professional insights and learning.
WLGA Improvement Programme
The overarching objective of the programme for 2023-24 is ‘further developing enabling support around public engagement, participation and data and digital capabilities to ensure all councils engage and involve their citizens who have confidence in their performance’.
The WLGA’s Improvement Programme 2023-24 builds on the work undertaken over the last two years of the programme and has been informed by engagement with councils, findings from Audit Wales and Regulator reports, engagement with Welsh Government, and councils self-assessment improvement priorities, which highlighted the following collective corporate themes:
- Data Culture
- Risk Management
- Public Engagement and Participation
- Organisational Culture and Community Resilience
- Workforce Planning
- Managing Demand and Capacity
The WLGA’s Improvement Programme has been endorsed by leaders and supported by chief executives.
The improvement programme during 2023-24 comprises of two elements:
- a universal offer available to all councils – focused on building strong corporate capacity and capability with councils under four interdependent priorities:
- a targeted offer for those councils who need more intensive and dedicated support to address emerging corporate threats.
Peer Challenge and Support
The WLGA is recruiting Officer Peers to support sector-led improvement across local government in Wales. The Officer Peer Role description provides detail on the role and responsibilities, and core competencies required.
To apply to become an Officer Peer, please complete the online form which can be accessed from the link below. Our Officer Peer privacy notice explains what information we require, the lawful basis on which we rely and how we will use your personal data.
Expression of interest to become an Officer Peer
The WLGA will continue to work closely with the LGA to access a wider peer pool with varied expertise and experience. While the WLGA is developing its peer challenge support and offer, it will continue to fund Welsh authorities to access the LGA’s peer offer.
For further information about any of the support, please contact the WLGA Improvement Team: