Corporate Peer Challenge

LGA Corporate Peer Challenge

Corporate Peer Challenges are coordinated by the Local Government Association (LGA) on behalf of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. They are an opportunity for a council to reflect on its performance and achievements as well as to take forward learning and areas identified for improvement.

In November 2023, a team of five peers from a range of local authorities and the LGA visited Watford to undertake a peer challenge, focusing on five themes and questions recommended by the LGA as well as two specific areas of focus we asked them to consider.

Summary of challenge findings

During the 4 day visit, the team gathered information and views from more than 55 meetings, in addition to further research and reading. They spoke to more than 150 people including a range of council staff, councillors and external stakeholders and partners.

The review team found many strengths in the council’s approach, including that:

  • we have transformed since our last peer challenge in 2017 driven by strong leadership and a ‘can do’ attitude
  • we are ‘delivering hugely ambitious plans for Watford’ and have ‘an unwavering focus’ on outcomes for our residents
  • we have very effective partnerships in place involving both our businesses and community and we have ‘forged strong external relationships’ to support delivery
  • we are underpinned by ‘a culture of pride, ambition, and empowerment’
  • we have a well-developed focus on place shaping with joined up senior leadership ensuring the vision for Watford is promoted nationally, regionally and locally
  • we have a good record of financial stewardship and a clear understanding of our financial position.

The team also made recommendations that have formed the basis of the council’s Corporate Peer Challenge action plan.

Challenge documents

The document below provide more detail about the peer challenge and its outcome, including the team’s final report and the council’s action plan.

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