CIPFAstats Case Study London Borough of Southwark


by N Burrell, Marketing, Research and Analytics, CIPFA

"CIPFA Libraries Survey results inform many decisions, providing the necessary statistical and benchmarking information needed to work towards improving performance in this challenging environment." 

Brian Cape, Senior Contracts and Performance Officer, London Borough of Southwark.

About London Borough of Southwark

The London Borough of Southwark was created in 1965 when three smaller council areas amalgamated under the London Government Act 1963 and forms one of the oldest parts of London. Southwark has a youthful population with around 58% of its 314,000 residents aged 35 or under. Southwark is a densely populated and diverse inner London borough situated on the south bank of the River Thames.

Its central location encompasses some of the capital’s cultural hotspots, vibrant communities and acclaimed green spaces. It has excellent transport links, making it a highly accessible area. Large-scale investment programmes are changing the face of the borough, and the local authority are working to ensure that this creates a fairer future for all in Southwark.

How CIPFAstats Public Libraries Profiles benefit Brian Cape and his colleagues

CIPFA's cost, performance and analytics tools have assisted London Borough of Southwark with their improvement strategy and operational transformation projects, to help modernise services to better serve customers.

Southwark Council were already a part of CIPFA’s Public Libraries Profiles when Brian took over the role more than six years ago. I asked Brian how he used the survey report to convey findings, and secondly how stakeholders benefitted from their CIPFA subscriptions.

"All the information is used to create a range of collateral that focusses on performance, procurement and financial reports. Stakeholders that benefit include library assistants, heads of service, councillors etc. The information then forms part of a range of documents including reports, papers, presentation slides and articles. It’s easy to copy charts from the Excel report straight into documents and by using the interactive Excel comparative profile chart, I can provide a demonstration of the many performance indicators.

Benchmarking against similar local authorities supports informed decision making and leads to performance improvements. Without CIPFA’s comparative data sets to benchmark against, it would be very difficult to accurately pinpoint and measure performance. From library assistants to heads of service and from the communications team to councillors, this is valuable information for all to use. We’ve even used some findings to celebrate our good performance levels by producing articles, promotional pieces and social media posts!"

London Borough of Southwark's Research and Analytics subscriptions include:

  • CIPFAstats Public Libraries Profiles
  • Regulatory Services Profiles
  • TISonline.

CIPFA’s benchmarking analytics tools are essential for projects involving:

  • policy re-modelling 
  • value for money reviews
  • restructure review fact finding
  • efficiency saving measures.

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