Abstracts: October 4th, 2006

This report sets out the findings from the evaluation of the Department for Communities and Local Government programme of involvement with councils classified as poorly performing. Most of the fifteen councils have either achieved, or are well on the way to achieving recovery. Those that have been slower to improve are now making progress. Overall the improvement rate of councils in the programme is better than other councils.The main weakness of the poorly performing councils was in corporate performance and greater progress has been made here than in service delivery. The report shows that employees are more positive about the outcomes achieved by the council and report improvements in their perception of capability, and capacity. Confidence in senior managers and councillors has exhibited a marked improvement, although the level of improvement is greater for managers than councillors, possibly reflecting their greater visibility to employees.

The research reveals that councils that are able to develop an understanding of their performance problems and build a leadership coalition of senior managers and members are able to deliver recovery outcomes more rapidly. It also shows that leading members have a significant yet difficult role in building a constituency for change across political lines.

The report is available at: http://www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1502577