Nottingham City Council has been given a list of 67 things to do by the end of November to avoid further Government intervention at the authority. The council recently avoided Government commissioners being sent in to run it following problems - including £40m being misspent and the collapse of Robin Hood Energy.
An Improvement and Assurance Board (IAB) was instead given more powers in overseeing improvements being made at the council. As part of this, Councillor David Mellen says that a list of 67 'requirements' has been presented which need to be fulfilled by the end of next month, centred around areas including governance and working practices.
Speaking at a meeting of the council's overview and scrutiny committee on Wednesday (October 12), Councillor Mellen said: "When we were issued with the list of 67 requirements it was very much 'oh my goodness how can we possibly do 67 things by the end of November'."
But Councillor Mellen said that many of the requirements were "similar" to the Together for Nottingham Plan which the council unveiled earlier in the year to address the "seriousness of the financial, governance and operational challenges" it faced. This plan has now been adapted to reflect the list of 67 requirements.
Issues being worked on include the council recently receiving an "inadequate" rating from Ofsted in relation to children's services. Councillor Mellen said that the council was "not at all complacent" about the work that needed to be done.
Sir Tony Redmond, who is the chair of the IAB, will send a report to the Government at the end of November to update it on the progress being made. A decision will then be made again on whether commissioners need to be sent in.
Writing in a foreword to the Together for Nottingham Plan earlier this year, Councillor Mellen said: "It is going to take a significant collective effort from all at the council to reach a sustainable position.
"We remain determined and confident in our organisation's capacity and capability to change. We are under no illusions about the size and scale of the challenge ahead of us, but working constructively with the Government, our partners, and the people of Nottingham, we are confident we can take the necessary actions, at the required pace, and to the desired quality, to deliver the fundamental changes needed."
The then Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Greg Clark, said at the time of the council avoiding commissioner intervention in September: "Under Sir Tony Redmond’s leadership of the Improvement Board, working with the council leader, Nottingham City Council has taken important steps to deliver the changes expected by local residents.
"However, it is clear that more action is needed to ensure the council is able to meet its best value duty. I have therefore issued directions today that will empower the Improvement and Assurance Board and accelerate improvements at the council."
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