Improving performance management

The LGA’s new performance management tools include a guide for councillors.

For local authorities, performance management is about using data to inform actions that will improve outcomes for residents.

Our new online tools and guidance on performance management in local government support councillors to learn more about performance management and how it can help councils to, for example, work more productively in partnerships or improve their engagement with residents.

Many local authorities are using the period of recovery and renewal after the COVID-19 pandemic to rethink their strategies. Delivering effective performance management is a key way in which local government can take responsibility for its own performance.

It also helps the public and the Government to hold local service providers to account, ensuring that they are responding to local needs and that public money is being spent wisely.

Our performance management resources include a guide for councillors, a guide for local authority officers, and a series of performance management case studies.

The guidance for councillors is suitable for councillors in any role, and provides an overview of performance management and the role of councillors in it.

In the guidance, we suggest that it is important to ensure that councillors are equipped with the performance management skills they need to answer the question: “Are the actions of your council effective in making the progress that is important to your residents?”

Our performance management case studies, from councils across our regions, are packed full of inspiration and practical tips.

For English councils, our free data-benchmarking platform – LG Inform – presents up-to-date data about your local area and the performance of your council or fire and rescue service. New data is added quickly after publication, from its source, enabling you to review and compare data on a range of topics, between local areas. You can use LG Inform to compare your local authority with others and monitor trends in your local area.

Additionally, more than 50 themed reports on a wide range of topics enable users to focus on key statistics, such as: housing affordability; local green jobs; resident demographics; children in need and care; COVID-19 cases and deaths; special educational needs and disabilities (SEND); children’s services; rates of homelessness; adult social care; health; fly-tipping; and recycling rates.

These reports are useful for:

  • councillors who are portfolio-holders or cabinet leads for a service – or who sit on a service committee – so they can monitor performance
  • those on a scrutiny committee who are examining a service in detail
  • frontline councillors who want to understand how their council is performing against key measures and to share that knowledge with their residents.

Our paid subscription service, LG Inform Plus, offers additional reports and benefits.

Get involved:

Join our Improvement and Performance Knowledge Hub – a community of practice where you can discuss performance management with colleagues across the local government sector and stay updated about the support we offer at Welcome – Knowledge Hub (khub.net).

Email us at transparency@local.gov.uk to find out more about our performance management support and resources.

The LGA’s new performance management resources are available at local.gov.uk/our-support/performance-management. Please let us know what you think of them by emailing transparency@local.gov.uk with your suggestions and ideas – and let us know of any additional resources you might find useful.

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