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Peer Challenge

Last updated on: 09-Apr-2021

2. Peer Challenge Action Plan

Response to the LGA Corporate Peer Challenge Key Recommendations (January 2020)

Peer Challenge Action Plan
Action Responsible Officer Timeframe
Embed regular Cabinet and Management Team joint working by creating time and space for discussion on strategy, expectations and key issues. For example, more joint meetings and away days
To agree with the Leader of the Executive an approach to ensuring more joint working is undertaken across the Cabinet and Management Team. Chief Executive April 2020
Develop a corporate project plan to maintain an overview of the significant number of corporate projects underway, to form the basis of the joint-working/away days. Chief Executive April 2020
Implement a calendar of away days to focus on corporate projects as a Leadership Team (six-monthly). Chief Executive June 2020 onwards
Introduce a clear improvement plan for Planning, which is jointly developed and owned by Cabinet and Management Team, to establish clear targets and deadlines for improvement. This should include member training about their role in planning, inviting in the Planning Advisory Service (PAS) and improving processes and procedures
Complete the internal business process review project that is currently underway within the planning service. Director (Planning & Regeneration) June 2020
Develop a service improvement plan as part of the internal business process review process and include provisions for subsequent monitoring and review. Director (Planning & Regeneration) August 2020
Member Training – explore the opportunities presented from the Planning Advisory Service in respect of the training opportunities. Director (Planning & Regeneration) March 2020
Develop greater partnership working. Gravesham has been very self-sufficient, but to tackle some of the bigger issues it needs to develop greater partnership working to deliver on key priorities such as housing.
Forge new relationships with key partner organisations – Homes England, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) etc. in order to work together on the development of sites within the borough. Chief Executive
Director (Planning & Regeneration)
February 2020 onwards
Ensure a dedicated grants/bidding resource is in place to assist the progression of projects, both internally and with partners, in terms of sourcing grant-funding opportunities. Chief Executive April 2020
Engage with the Thames Estuary Envoy to ensure a collaborative approach to this project and to develop a strong relationship with this partnership. Chief Executive February 2020 onwards
Seize on the cross-party consensus on the need for the Council to be pro-active in relation to housing delivery in Gravesham, including putting its argument strongly to government.
Regular Member briefings to all parties regarding the housing delivery targets for the borough (linking to the Local Plan) to ensure all Members are informed about the council’s position. Director (Planning & Regeneration) February 2020 onwards
Liaise with the Thames Estuary Envoy to enable an argument to be put to government for investment in the area to support the communities’ already in place within Gravesham, to ensure GBC is set within the context of the Thames Estuary Growth Area. Chief Executive
Director (Planning & Regeneration)
February 2020 onwards
Improved liaison with the Kent and Medway Economic Partnership (KMEP), and the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to ensure a stronger focus on Gravesham and the growth areas within Kent. Chief Executive
Director (Planning & Regeneration)
Liaison with the Kent Developers Group to forge stronger relationships with developers across the county by hosting a Group session and engaging with the private sector. Director (Planning & Regeneration) March 2020 and ongoing
Be a spokesperson for the area. The Council should put itself at the forefront of telling the story of Gravesham’s proud history, vibrant and varied heritage – creating a local ‘brand’ to unlock development opportunities and investments.
Development of an Arts and Cultural Strategy for the borough ensuring this is developed with the community and communicated effectively. Director (Communities) September 2020
Development of an external communications strategy to link to the council’s corporate projects, ensuring communication of key projects affecting the borough to the community. Communications Manager June 2020
Develop closer link between the Economic Development Team and the council’s Communications Team to ensure a ‘brand’ for Gravesham is developed. Director (Communities) September 2020
Develop an induction programme for the new Chief Executive, which includes joint sessions delivered by the Leader and Chief Executive to cascade key information and expectations from the Corporate Plan to staff
Ensure a thorough handover from the current Chief Executive to the newly appointed Chief Executive. Chief Executive
Chief Executive (Designate)
March 2020
Ensure the new Chief Executive is engaged in key partnership meetings (Kent Joint Chief Executives, Kent and Medway Leaders, North Kent Leaders, C2E Executive Group, Thames Gateway Kent Partnership (TGKP), etc.) prior to commencement of role. Chief Executive
Chief Executive (Designate)
March 2020
Review council policy for flexible working arrangements and ensure consistency of implementation. A synchronisation of the policies with the investment in the equipment to make this happen.
Develop a consistent, corporate approach to flexible working for the council as a whole in line with the action plan that has been developed in response to the council’s IiP assessment, ensuring this is communicated to all staff. Director (Communities) October 2020
Undertake a review of current office space requirements in order to determine if there is the potential for reducing the number of desks required and develop a more ‘hot desking’ approach for the workplace. Chief Executive September 2020
A more diverse workforce. The Council has a strong programme of engagement initiatives with its diverse community but there is a need for the Council to reflect that diversity within its workforce
Ensure that job advertisements are publicised externally to enable the potential pool of candidates to be expanded. Director (Communities) Ongoing
Explore the potential for introducing a jobs/career fair to the borough to not only open up the employment market across the borough but also the council’s specific requirements to the community. Director (Communities) February 2020 onwards
Review of person specification, apprenticeships and work experience opportunities to ensure they are as inclusive as possible. Director (Communities) May 2020
Communicate success more effectively. Utilise expertise of new Communications Team to develop a corporate approach to communications that enables the Council to sell its success to the public, partners and staff more effectively
Further building on action point 15, develop a Communications Strategy, which includes internal communications, to ensure that there is an approach to ensuring the council celebrates is success and publicises its achievements Communications Manager September 2020
Review risk management. Risk management should be reviewed to include issues such as property investment strategy and non-delivery of key developments.
Engage with Zurich Municipal to review the council’s overall approach to risk management and implement any recommendations as required. Director (Corporate Services) April 2020
Ensure that a thorough review of the council’s risk register is undertaken to ensure that all potential risks, including property investment strategy and non-delivery of key developments, are assessed against the current risk criteria. Director (Corporate Services) April 2020


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