Warrington Town Hall.

On Wednesday 8 May, the government confirmed it would be appointing an independent inspector to conduct what is known as a Best Value Inspection.


Statement from the inspection team: Wednesday 15 May

On 8 May, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities appointed an inspector to undertake an independent inspection of Warrington Borough Council. This is under section 10 of the Local Government Act 1999.

The Secretary of State decided to commission this inspection to provide him with direct, independent assurance that the council is complying with its Best Value Duty. This duty requires councils to make sure they are continuously improving the way their functions are exercised, with regard to economy, efficiency and effectiveness.

The government has published a letter from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to Professor Steven Broomhead, the Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service at Warrington Borough Council. This letter details the decision taken by the Secretary of State to appoint an inspector.

Ministers have appointed Paul Najsarek as Lead Inspector, with expected assistant inspector appointments to follow. The Secretary of State has asked him to report findings to him by 30 August 2024, or a later date agreed with the Secretary of State. The inspection process is independent of government.

Members of the community who wish to contact the inspection should email warrington.inspection@levellingup.gov.uk

The Inspectors

Paul Najsarek – Lead Inspector

Paul has led public service transformation and innovation for the last 30 years at local and national level, primarily in local government and health settings.

He was a council chief executive for 10 years, including six years at Ealing Council where he led the Future Ealing transformation. Before that, he was the Corporate Director of Adult Services in Harrow, where he led a service turnaround.

Paul has worked at a national level as Head of Policy at the Audit Commission, and on the team which developed the Every Child Matters programme in children’s services.

Paul currently acts as a strategic advisor to CQC, and is a non-executive director on the South East London ICB, What Works Centre for Wellbeing and Recovery Focus Boards.

He is a school governor and contributes to a wide range of work on sector led improvement in local government. Paul was also the Interim local government and social care Ombudsman during 23/24.

A photo of Paul Najsarek, inspector as part of the best value inspection

Statement from Warrington Borough Council: Wednesday 8 May

The inspection will undoubtedly have our full cooperation, and we will work positively, openly and at pace with the inspector.

Equally, we welcome the CIPFA review report being made public, following their review in February 2023. We have supported the report being made public since receiving the draft report in September 2023.

While DLUHC recognises that we have taken steps to address areas for improvement, we will continue to identify any learning and further improvements that can be made as part of this inspection process.

Finally, we would like to reassure residents and businesses that this review will not impact the valuable services that you depend upon. We will continue to make sure that our day-to-day services remain at the standard you expect and deserve.