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The new leader of Dudley Council has set out his vision for the authority as he looks to respond to a national report which outlines the council’s current position.

Councillor Patrick Harley, who was elected leader of the council in May, has set out his proposed response to recommendations made in a recent Local Government Association (LGA) report on Dudley Council.

An LGA Corporate Peer Challenge of the authority took place in the form of a four day on-site assessment at the end of March. The report showed progress was being made in many areas and also made a series of recommendations on how things could be improved further.

And the new man at the helm is now working on an action plan which will include a re-focused transformation programme to help deliver services differently and open up commercial opportunities for the council. The new leader is vowing to drive forward changes in procurement to ensure the authority gets best value for money when buying in goods and services to help the council make much-needed financial savings.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of the council, said:

“Delivering value for money to our residents has to be one of our top priorities and we are confident that through a review of procurement activity we can deliver significant savings and improve the deal the taxpayer is getting.

“We’re already working hard to act on the recommendations to ensure our transformation initiatives are appropriately focused on ‘big ticket’ projects which will lead to service improvement for residents and financial savings for the council.

“The report has also reminded us of how proud we should all be to live and work in Dudley. All councillors will be working with partner organisations to develop our vision for the borough so that we can continue to shout loud and proud about Dudley as the historic capital of the Black Country.”

The LGA peer challenge report highlighted the council’s excellent partnership work across the community and its success in growing the economy and creating jobs, much of it through its work as part of the West Midlands Combined Authority. It also highlighted the positive turnaround in performance of its children’s services department which Ofsted has recognised is continuing to improve at pace.

Dudley Council is currently in no overall political control and the report acknowledged that this can create a difficult working environment. But it highlighted the children’s services improvement as an area of best practice where all parties have worked well together and made suggestions on how more positive cross-party working could be achieved.

Councillor Harley added:

“We will carry on the good work we have all been involved in around children’s services and around job creation to ensure our young people have a safe place to grow up in where they can thrive and prosper in education and in the world of work.”

The LGA Corporate Peer Challenge team consisted of eight experienced local government officers and councillors from across the country. Over the four days from March 27 to 30 the team interviewed council representatives and the authority’s key strategic partners to produce the report as well as reviewing a wealth of performance and strategic documentation

  • CouncillorPatrickHarley-leaderDudleyCouncil

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