A detailed health check by local government experts has found that Bath & North East Somerset Council is well led and managed and its new administration has an “ambitious agenda for change”.
A team of councillors and senior officers from other local authorities across the country carried out the Local Government Association peer review in July.
Peer reviews aim to help councils improve and look at leadership, financial planning and the ability to meet priorities.
The review states that the council is ’well led and well managed’ and it found ‘a council that is self-aware, which recognises and is responding to the wonderful opportunities that the city of Bath and the vibrant communities of North East Somerset represent’.
The authority was also recognised as a ‘collaborative and reliable partner. The team noted the pride and commitment to the whole of the district from everyone they met during their visit including members, staff and partners.
The review highlighted challenges facing the council including the rising demand for and cost of social care and also noted the district’s equality gaps in education, employment and health.
Councillor Dine Romero, Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “The fact that we welcomed this review by our peers from other councils, so early in our administration, demonstrates our commitment to openness and transparency.
“I was especially pleased that the LGA spoke of finding pride and commitment to the whole of the district from everyone they met on their four-days here.
“This is an excellent starting point for us to take forward our ambitious plans for the area to help improve people’s lives.
“However, the review rightly identifies the challenges we need to address if we are to deliver our key priorities including tackling the climate emergency, delivering social housing and improving transport.”
The report noted a number of challenges and potential areas of improvement from which a proposed action plan has been drawn.
These include vision and plan for the city, setting a long-term strategy, keeping communications under review and providing support to elected members.
A report about the review will go before the council’s cabinet on 7th November.