High Performing Councils Think-piece

This report, written by Dr Barry Quirk, examines what makes for a good council.

Dr Quirk is one of the UK’s most experienced and successful chief executives.  He argues that councils need to adopt new approaches and mindsets to cope with the double whammy of spending cuts and increasing public expectations and that high performing councils are ‘successful by design’.  Furthermore, councils need a combination of good leadership and good governance, focused on a few simple ingredients.

Councils need to be willing to root out bad practice and dysfunctional relationships.  They have to be ambitious and encourage openness and personal responsibility.  They should focus on partnerships that get things done.  And they need to encourage honest regular assessment of how they are performing from peers, the public and inspectors.

Dr Barry Quirk outlined his ideas at the first in a series of leadership lectures organised by the Public Policy Institute for Wales (PPIW)  on Thursday 16th July which was attended by the then Minister for Public Services, Leighton Andrews AM, and an invited audience of public service leaders from across Wales.