Headlines: July 25th, 2003

Six authorities in West Sussex have become the first district councils to undergo Comprehensive Performance Assessment, and the results have been welcomed as `positive and encouraging’ by the Local Government Association. During 2003-4 all district councils will be assessed by the Audit Commission.Two of the six Sussex councils – Chichester and Horsham – were rated as ‘excellent’ and Arun was judged to be ‘good’. Worthing, Crawley and Mid-Sussex councils were rated as ‘fair’ but all three were found to have good prospects of improvement. Arun District Council, also in West Sussex, will have its CPA results published in September as it has yet to complete the assessment process.

Sir Jeremy Beecham, who chairs the Local Government Association, said the performance of the six authorities demonstrated that district councils were providing quality services to local communities. He thanked the authorities for their work on behalf of all district councils during the county trial, and said the LGA was working with the Audit Commission to find ways to make sure the CPA process is a useful and positive experience for councils.