The findings are conclusive and positive
The findings are conclusive and positive

St Helens Borough Council has made significant progress in transforming how the organisation operates according to a national review.

Cabinet have welcomed the results of a Local Government Association (LGA) Peer Review Revisit, to evaluate the work that has been done to transform the organisation following a Peer Challenge in 2019.

The report of the review team, and associated action plan, was considered by Cabinet on the 1st December. The Review Team visited in September this year, met with a wide variety of people including senior leaders, Cabinet members, council partners, managers and frontline workers to understand where the council is now as an organisation.

The LGA noted that this achievement has also taken place whilst the organisation dealt with the huge impact and demands of a global pandemic. They added that the scale, pace and extent of improvement they’ve witnessed, is a credit to the council.

In addition to the key overall findings the LGA found the following:

  • Member and officer leadership had greatly improved with widespread positive feedback internally, and externally with partners, on the role of the Leader and Chief Executive in driving change.
  • A ‘confidence and honesty’ were reported as existing between political and officer leadership teams, with staff commenting that “we can see a team of people are now here who can really help us deliver for St Helens”.
  • The Borough Strategy was a golden thread that aligned with other policy and strategy developments, a reset and recovery roadmap is established, and each directorate has a more specific programme of transformation in place underpinning this.
  • A dedicated Organisational Design and Development team is having a positive impact, with frontline staff commenting, “we are listened to, we can contribute, and we can make changes”.
  • External communications have improved significantly with a strategy and rebrand in place.
  • ICT were recognised for the role they played in supporting the council through lockdown and transformation.
  • A regeneration and growth pipeline had been established with an approved Economic Recovery Plan and a Place Board, with private sector partners now regarding the council’s leadership and direction in relation to its regeneration programme positively.

You can read the full report at

The action plan is available at

Council leader David Baines says: “The independent LGA inspection report is conclusive – since 2019 under new leadership our council has made huge progress. Credit goes to my Labour colleagues, senior officers and all our council keyworkers for delivering all this, and throughout a pandemic too!
But we’ve still got a long way to go. I’m determined we’ll keep working to improve the 700+ essential services we deliver on a daily basis, that we’ll deliver the major regeneration projects in the pipeline including redevelopment of our town centres, and of course we will continue to respond to the ongoing risks of Covid on public health, schools, businesses and our communities.
Together there’s no limit to what St Helens can achieve.”
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