City of York Council Executive to consider new Corporate Improvement Framework

City of York Council’s Executive is set to discuss a new Corporate Improvement Framework, developed by the Chief Operating Officer, in consultation with the Corporate Leadership Group (Corporate Directors, Directors and Assistant Directors).

The move comes as part of a programme of work to deliver the new Council Plan, ‘One City, for all’ – agreed by full council in September 2023.  Executive will be invited to approve the proposed Corporate Improvement Framework subject to consultation, with a Council Plan Progress Report published online.

The Corporate Improvement Framework will enable the council to embed its four core commitments; Equalities, Affordability, Climate and Health (EACH), and respond to the “How the council operates” strategic theme of the Council Plan 2023-2027, ‘One City, for all’ with its priority that “improving customer experience will drive everything we do.”

The Corporate Improvement Framework has been informed by evidence and recommendations in the LGA Peer Challenge February 2024, also published by the Council today, and will be updated with feedback from additional sources such as staff surveys or co-designing detailed action plans with Executive, officers, and partners, together with a resident consultation launching in May.

The Corporate Improvement Framework provides a work plan for an initial 12 months of action and is the foundation of continuous improvement that will ensure a more effective and efficient organisation, that residents and officers can be proud of.

The LGA Peer Review Challenge Report identifies both strengths and areas where the council can improve.  The Peer Challenge – undertaken at the Council’s request in February – found, “a strong and palpable sense of pride in, and commitment to, the city of York as a place in virtually every conversation during the Corporate Peer Challenge” saying this “message came through strongly from the council’s passionate and dedicated staff who are hugely committed to the place and its people.” It also identifies, “examples of great practice and delivery” along with “really positive links and connections into communities (where) this engagement is well aligned with social provision such as libraries and leisure”.

In particular it points to work in Climate Change, Equalities, infrastructure projects such as The Guildhall, York Central and the community stadium and the Single View of the Customer project as examples of strong delivery.

It has however shared areas for learning and improvement about corporate challenges it identified. The Corporate Improvement Framework is designed to address these areas for improvement to help move the council forward to become a stronger organisation.

Council Leader, Councillor Claire Douglas said,

“In our Council Plan, ‘One City for all’ we were absolutely clear that the people of this city deserve the very best from those who serve them and a council they can be proud of. We made a commitment that improving customer experience will drive everything we do.

“Recognising the benefit of a fresh outside perspective, we invited an expert, independent LGA assessment of what we do well and where we must improve. Some of the feedback presents real challenge to the council in how it operates, but we welcome that.  We are not surprised by it, because we were very aware of some of the problems we had inherited.

“I take the points raised seriously and can assure York residents the council will be serious in acting to address them as I’m determined to fulfil our promise to build a council York can be proud of.

“The review shows what we already knew; that the council has a talented, hardworking and committed staff team who will deliver the improvement we need for the people of York.

“We want to thank them for the work they already do across York and in all our communities, as well as for their support in the coming months to deliver the changes we know to be necessary.”

Chief Operating Officer Ian Floyd, who will lead the work of the Improvement Plan through a newly established board, said,

“We have been working on this improvement plan following approval of the Council plan, and have also taken the opportunity to consider the feedback from the Peer Review. We’ve been delighted that the Peer Review has identified examples of very good practice, but we also accept there are opportunities to improve as set out in the report. We recognise and accept the recommendations made by the LGA as we seek to maintain our continuous improvement journey at a time when there is, as the report says, a ‘huge opportunity to take advantage of York’s unique assets’.”

“Given the financial challenges, it is important we look to always improve how we can work, and are open to ongoing external review which can assist the organisation

“We have also shared progress against the Council Plan so we can be transparent about how our officers continue to deliver for the city.”

The LGA report contains 15 recommendations for improvement. The Corporate Improvement Framework is designed to meet those across 16 key work elements.

Find more at:

The Council Plan 6-month progress snapshot is published online: Snapshot of progress on the Council Plan – City of York Council