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The “ambition” and “energy” of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council has been acknowledged by local government experts following a second visit to the authority.


The complimentary comments are just some of the many positive aspects of a new report by the Local Government Association (LGA) highlighting developments and further achievements at the final stage of an independent inspection.


An experienced team from the LGA, comprising an experienced council leader and senior officers from other local authorities in England, carried out a full assessment of the Council’s performance in March 2023 as part of a Corporate Peer Challenge.


At the time, the peer team found that the Council has strong leadership, financial stability and is poised to deliver once-in-a-lifetime regeneration projects thanks to the ability to attract “enviable” amounts of Government funding. Also singled out was the ability to work jointly to deliver good services, a rigorous savings programme and staff’s pride in theborough. Specific mention was given to the tireless work in the face of the unprecedented problems at Walleys Quarry, which have generated more than 20,000 complaints.


Now – responding to a progress review carried out in January – the latest report reveals that “good progress is being made against eight key recommendations” and “that some of the things talked about are now moving to fruition”. It notes how “2024 is the year of delivery for the Council and its ambitions for the borough”, “regeneration remains an important focus” and once again highlights the continued delivery of a “strong and impressive approach to partnership working”.


The report also notes:


• Increased levels of employee satisfaction and engagement which is a real testamentto how the organisation is run;

• Staff underlining their commitment to the Council and continuing to be a tremendous asset to the organisation and the borough;



• The Council’s ambitions where it’s aiming to be industry-leading in its approach to delivering regeneration;

• How the Council manages its finances;

• The strength and depth of the partnership working and the active role which the Council plays.


Simon Tagg, Leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, said: “The Council has undergone a major transformation in recent years but will not rest on its laurels; it is committed to continual professional improvement and development which is why it welcomed the inspection with open arms in the first place.


“I’m delighted with the results of the progress review. Once again, the peer team are full of praise for all the great things we’re doing to make Newcastle-under-Lyme a better place to live, work, visit and invest. They confirm that we’re building on the many achievements they found the first time. It’s great to have external validation that we’re heading in the right direction. The Council can again feel very proud.


“Both visits were hugely successful, both in their smooth running and array of partners and stakeholders involved, but also in the positive outcomes reported and I would like to thank the peer team for their expertise. Many actions in the action plan are now completed, with the rest underway and they will continue to be monitored internally until fully implemented.”



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