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Councils to share best practice information
WORCESTER City Council is going to use good ideas from town halls across the region after signing a new deal.
A new contract has been created to try to bring together local authorities across the West Midlands for the first time.
The deal will see the city council work with the councils in places including Birmingham, Wolverham-pton, Coventry and Sand-well, to swap good ideas and launching joint projects.
The closer working relationship will also be extended to politicians – something which hasn’t made much progress in recent years, due to the differing denominations of political leadership.
in Worcester, the city council was Conservative controlled for 13 successive years until May, unlike areas like the Black Country, where Labour has tended to dominate.
However, the West Mid-lands Sector Led Improve-ment Contract will be signed by 33 councils, and calls for a “collective responsibility” over improving standards across the region.
Each one will share data, see how their services measure up to their neighbours, and exchange useful ideas.
An annual ‘performance of the region’ report will also be published to publicise how the area’s councils are doing one year on.
It has been backed by the city council’s Labour leadership, who says it hopes Worcester can benefit from it.
Councillor Geoff Williams, deputy leader and cabinet member for economic prosperity, said: “One of the good things about this is that it’s an opportunity to share good practise.
“That can only be to the benefit of us all in the West Midlands.”
Council leader Adrian Gregson said: “There’s an emphasis on collective responsibility and improving the sector as a whole, not making political points to each other.
“I’m very keen to put our name towards that climate of openness and honesty.”
The deal will review every service to look at possible areas of poor performance as a region.
For example, if it highlights empty retail units as a West Midlands-wide problem, solutions will be considered on a shared basis.
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