Headlines: August 3rd, 2006



A new report from the Audit Commission highlights examples of good practice in local government drawn from 17 corporate assessments of single tier and county councils carried out under the Comprehensive Performance Assessment harder test framework and annual use of resources assessments undertaken in all councils last year.

“Learning from CPA in 2005/06″ says most councils have made significant improvements in performance since CPA was introduced. It sets out areas, however, where more needs to be done to address specific priority issues, including developing broad strategies for older people, integrating economic, housing and environmental action to develop sustainable communities, and promoting health.

The report, which has an accompanying web tool, has been produced to give local authorities practical examples of successful initiatives and practices adopted by councils and their partners. The Commission says the case studies are not designed to be prescriptive but to show some of the ways in which councils have made improvements. The document reviews each of the shared priority themes, sustainable communities and transport; safer and stronger communities; healthier communities; older people; and children and young people.

Good practice examples include Staffordshire County Council’s reduction of its carbon emissions by 44 per cent and the cross-party budget scrutiny group at Horsham District Council, which has identified large efficiency savings. Brent Council is praised for its successful partnership working with the community and as an active member of the West London Alliance and Calderdale Council is singled out for the strong leadership, which led to significant improvements across its services.

Steve Bundred, the Chief Executive of the Audit Commission, hoped the case studies would provide inspiration for councils in their own improvement programmes.”‘This report highlights a number of different approaches to improving service delivery, but the one thing that links them is a firm commitment to raising standards and improving the user experience,” he said

The Learning from CPA interactive web tool is available at http://www.audit-commission.gov.uk/lfcpa   It will be regularly updated to feature new examples of notable practice by local authorities.