WIRRAL Council was given a seal of approval in an external report – despite a series of scandals which have rocked the authority.
A care crisis voiced by a whistleblower, the controversial awarding of a multi-million pound highways contract and alleged bullying at the council have all raised concerns about the way the authority has managed its affairs.
But a report by the Local Government Association’s Peer Challenge Team has said they are now “on the right path”.
The report, put together following a series of damning independent reports which looked into the council troubles, laid out the council’s strengths and weaknesses but was largely positive.
Making mention of the unprecedented budget savings the council has to make it said: “Tough decisions and unpopular choices need to be made.”
The report also said the council was right to recognise the areas that needed immediate improvement and are “building corporate leadership capacity (helping managers develop more skills), achieving financial stability and improving governance (the way the council runs itself) and decision-making.
It said given that 70% of its revenue budget was related to staffing and employment, a reduction in these two areas was “inevitable”.
And it said there was a “genuine willingness” to break down the “silo culture” that has developed over time at the council.
The publication has been welcomed with cross-party support from the three main political parties and backing from the Chief Executive, Graham Burgess.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Phil Davies said: “This report is largely positive and is to be welcomed.
“Whilst the very public challenges the council has faced in recent times has often left many of us feeling beleaguered, this report is a timely reminder that there are many things we are getting right in Wirral.”
Graham Burgess, Chief Executive of Wirral Council, said: “I am pleased and reassured to say that the peer team’s findings demonstrate Wirral is on the right track and helpfully identified key areas for close attention over the coming months.”
Visit www.wirral.gov.uk/downloads/5162 for a copy of the full report.