Council performance is 'good' - report

SERVICES provided by Suffolk and Essex county councils have been rated as "good" by an independent organisation, it has been revealed.The Audit Commission has published its Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) today for the second year, and it shows that both county councils have performed the same as in the last review.

SERVICES provided by Suffolk and Essex county councils have been rated as "good" by an independent organisation, it has been revealed.

The Audit Commission has published its Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) today for the second year, and it shows that both county councils have performed the same as in the last review.

The report, which classifies the 150 largest local authorities in England as excellent, good, fair, weak, or poor and rates key services, determined that the performance of the councils in the east of England has dipped slightly.

However Suffolk County Council was ranked as "good" for the second year running and achieved a four, the highest score, for its overall service, education and environmental work as well as for its use of resources.


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Its ability to improve was given a rating of three, along with libraries and leisure. Social care scored the lowest in the council's work; with care for children and adults both receiving a score of two.

Bryony Rudkin, leader of Suffolk County Council, said: "We are pleased to have been graded as a good council, independent confirmation that our plans for improving services are being realised.

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"Having set in place the foundations for further improvement in 2003 we are now placed to take the next step forward and I hope we can improve further in the near future."

The assessment also found that the overall performance of Essex County Council remained "good" – the same rating as in 2002.

The commission said Essex County Council had improved in most of its national targets since the assessment last year.

It was given a rating of three across the board, except for social care for adults, which it received a scoring of two for.

Lord Hanningfield, leader of Essex County Council, said: "I am pleased that we have been able to make improvements in several services during a difficult year.

"We are committed to building on this result to further improve the services we provide to local people."

The commission's chairman, James Strachan, said: "Nationally, CPA is proving an effective tool to track – and drive – improvement, but councils in eastern England need to look hard at how they can improve overall. CPA is not just about ranking. It aims to provide councils with vital information and recommendations to help them improve.

"Local people can make better informed decisions because they have an annually updated picture of their councils' performance.

"All councils – regardless of ranking – should focus on where they can do better."

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