Broads Authority urged to work together for common good

PUBLISHED: 20:55 15 December 2017

Broads Authority chair Jacquie Burgess. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Broads Authority chair Jacquie Burgess. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

A Peer Review team set up to look into governance at the Broads Authority (BA) has raised concerns that the organisation's achievements could be overshadowed by recent member issues which have played out in public.

Broads Authority chief executive John Packman. Picture: ANDREW STONEBroads Authority chief executive John Packman. Picture: ANDREW STONE

In a feedback report released this week, the peer team “encouraged” the authority to work together to ensure that “these reputational issues are left in the past”.

The team also recommended that the authority review its current governance structure, that it commit to a common purpose, build on existing relationships and understand its wider strategic role in the region.

Commenting on the report, Broads Authority chair Jacquie Burgess said they had already taken some action since receiving initial review feedback.

This included greater engagement with various stakeholders such as local authorities.

She said: “(BA chief executive) John Packman and I have been meeting with leaders and chief executives of our constituent local authorities to improve our relationships and understanding of each others priorities and challenges.

“We have started reviewing our engagement methods with other Broads stakeholders through our consultation with local partners and members of the Broads Forum.”

She said she welcomed the suggestion that the authority’s structure, committees and governance be reviewed to make processes more efficient and to increase involvement, debate, creativity and challenge in the authority.

“It was obvious to the Peer Review team that we are all passionate about the Broads but we need to channel that energy and passion into a common direction and in a positive way,” she said.

“We have set up a meeting at the end of January for members and the management team to consider the report, the ways in which we can learn from it and of course changes we can make.

“While we should focus our efforts on the ways we can make improvements we must not lose sight of the compliments that are within the report, of which there are many.”

The peer team found that the authority’s executive was seen as being accessible and that staff felt valued and were seen as hardworking, committed, knowledgeable and experienced.

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