‘Positives must not be lost’

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HARTLEPOOL Borough Council’s chief executive said it is important the positive aspects of the report are not forgotten.

Dave Stubbs, in a report to next week’s full council meeting, said: “It is important to reflect on the fact that the Peer Review team found much in the authority and the way it operates that was very positive and this should not be forgotten in the process of action planning in respect of the matters they have raised with us.”

Identified strengths included:

l An authority that has had an impressive record and positive reputation and is widely held in high regard.

l The council has played an integral role in the successful delivery of major regeneration in Hartlepool.

l A council that has traditionally performed well and delivered good quality services.

The team also praised the pride among staff, the joint working in Hartlepool and praised the council for its tradition of “delivering within budget”.

Mr Stubbs added: “The Peer Review team have also identified a range of issues that they have strongly recommended that the council addresses immediately if the positives which they have identified are not to be lost.

“The issues raised are the culmination of their considerations and reflect the experience and knowledge they bring to the exercise.”

The Peer Review team, which was made up of senior officers and elected members from other local authority areas, visited Hartlepool for four days in September after being invited to carry out the assessment.

Senior officers have produced an action plan in a bid to tackle the areas of weakness, which councillors are asked to agree.

The full council is due to meet on Thursday, December 6, at the Civic Centre, at 7pm.

Before that there will be a special council meeting at 6pm, where members will discuss changing governance arrangements following the recent referendum.

A report added: “That council resolve to cease to operate its existing form of governance of elected mayor and cabinet executive and start to operate a committee based system.”

Further reports about the committee structure will go to council.