Abstracts: January 17th, 2005

This survey of district council’s views on Comprehensive Performance Assessment was commissioned by the Local Government Association and carried out by MORI. The CPA has been extended beyond the larger councils to include all 283 district councils. This interim survey collected the views of chief executives and leaders in some three quarters of district councils.The people surveyed believe that CPA gives a good overall picture of how their council is performing and many find the corporate assessment element and self assessment process very useful. There is a warning that views are coloured by the score the council achieved. Concerns were expressed about the quality of the inspections and the ability of inspectors to arrive at fair judgement which is based on sound evidence. Opinion is divided on whether or not the final judgement reflected the views of local people or that it took full account of local circumstances.

The majority of people questioned believe CPA has challenged the local authority, but most claimed they would have implemented the improvements without CPA. A sizeable minority said they would not choose to be part of a future CPA, but a majority said they would go through the process again, given a choice in the matter.

Improving from Within – A Survey of District Councils Views on CPA is available at: http://www.lga.gov.uk/Documents/Publication/CPAexecsummary.pdf