How We Can Help Local Authorities and Their Stakeholders

Photo of Birmingham UK City Council building front facade in front of clear blue sky
Birmingham City Council building. Image licenced courtesy of Ell Brown,[email protected]

From our experience of working with local government organisations we know that they are committed to improving the lives of people in the communities but that there are also ongoing challenges e.g. the Covid-19 pandemic. The same is true for their stakeholders including in the charitable, voluntary and not for profit sectors.

We know that we have experience of working alongside local government colleagues to provide support and expertise in a range of ways.

We do not merely work in an advisory, arm's length capacity. Our people can also work side by side with councillors, managers or their teams to bring about or support initiatives.

Touchstone Renard Areas of Experience and Expertise Include:

  • Independent reviews of service areas to help councils improve delivery, manage costs and meet changing demands of their stakeholders and communities.
  • Financial and non-financial reviews of partnership and contractual arrangements.
  • Options appraisals to support councils in making decisions on the best way forward for delivering specific services bearing in mind the financial and other challenges that they face e.g. Brexit and Covid-19.
  • Advising on collaborative working / shared services: helping councils build effective and sustainable working arrangements with other councils or other organisations, to add strength to service delivery and achieve savings.
  • Equality, diversity and inclusion advice and support so that councils can meet and sustain their obligations in this area.
  • HR policies and support in achieving them.
  • Realising change programmes in a way that will be effective and sustainable.
  • Independent audits and evaluations (for example of projects or to meet the requirements of regulations, financial scheme rules, management standards and operational procedures).
  • We are framework holders for Auditing consultancy with English Shires Purchasing Organisation (ESPO).
  • We have been appointed to provide Audit and Assurance Services (Lot 4) on the national DPS (Dynamic Purchasing System) maintained by the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Example Projects Completed for Local Authorities and Stakeholders

Please refer below to some of our related case studies:

East Suffolk Council (ESC)

An options analysis review of the Citizens Advice Service provided in East Suffolk by three existing Local Citizens Advice Centres, leading to development of transformative options for operating the East Suffolk service.

Public Sector Audit Appointments (PSAA)

A review on the options and factors for structuring a future procurement approach and audit contracts to maximise a sustainable audit supply for most English local authorities in the next procurement exercise, thereby securing a strong, sustainable market supply for local government in England, from 2023.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES)

An audit of the Gender Pay Gap data produced and published by HES which included giving guidance on what HES could do to further reduce its gender pay gap.

Derbyshire County Council

Two annual compliance audits delivered in 2019, and remotely in 2020 (subject to Covid-19 safety requirements), under the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) Scheme for Derbyshire Council’s Adult Community Education Service (DACES).

North East Lincolnshire Council (NELC)

A review of NELC’s key strategic partner responsible for a wide range of service delivery. This was a deep and wide-ranging review of financial and contractual aspects of the Strategic Partnership. It involved 50 extensive interviews with key people from both the Council and the partner, aligned with gathering and analysing key documents and data.

East Sussex County Council (ESCC)

A review, and options appraisal of ESCC’s Contract Management Group (CMG), which works in partnership with a major joint venture contractor and is made up of 4 teams: Contract & Commercial; Asset Management; Performance & Compliance; and Service Development. The work included benchmarking some aspects of the service provision.

London Councils

An end of project evaluation, relating to a major administrative exercise regarding 850,000 Freedom Pass renewals across London, including data gathering, interviews, surveys, data analysis and recommendations for change. This involved interviewing over 200 customers and stakeholders including all London Borough Councils and recommending changes. Stakeholders included two charities, TfL, London libraries and technical delivery companies.

Guildford Borough Council

Delivering a wide range of HR-related services, in particular, service reviews and equalities and diversity programmes to step up the Council’s practices against the requirements of the Equality Foundation for Local Government (EFLG) to support on-going transformation programmes.

Telford & Wrekin Council

A review of the Engineering Services Department that involved a programme of desk research, interviews and analysis. Explored the skills of post holders, organisational structure and staffing gaps. Delivered a risk assessment workshop, emerging findings and final reports.

Surrey County Council

Review of internal procedures, proposed and facilitated a change realisation programme for the Education and Libraries Department.

East Hampshire District Council

Numerous independent confidential reviews and investigations including complaints made against councillors.

Greater London Authority

Investigation of internal structures and procedures of London Underground for dealing with industrial relations, comparing London Underground with other Metros internationally.

Local Partnerships (Local Government Association, LGA)

A re-design and implementation of internal structures and processes for an integrated quality assurance and information security management system.

Mole Valley District Council

Reviewing internal programmes, schemes, policies, processes, and costs and proposing and implementing changes.

Epsom and Ewell Borough Council and Waverley Borough Council

Engaged to bring the Council’s equalities programme up-to-date and in line with the requirements of the Equality Act 2010.

Tandridge District Council

Engaged to bring the Council’s equalities programme up-to-date and in line with the requirements of the Equality Act 2010.

London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham

Review of internal quality assurance procedures for corporate governance and subsequent change programme.

Britannia Home Care

Business continuity advice and support and, working with and guiding local lead person, introducing a Business Continuity Plan for the organisation as requested by Surrey County Council.

Reigate & Banstead Borough Council

Development of ISO 9001 quality management systems for three departments: in-house Estate Management, Legal and HR Services and change programme.

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