Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council has maintained the highest overall performance rating for a Council with an Audit Commission assessment of ‘four stars’ and is judged to have plans in place to continue ‘improving well’.
The Assessment, which took place at the end of last year, looked at how each of the Council’s main services are performing, how well the Council is being managed, how it manages its finances and achieves value for money, as well as what progress the Council has made over the past year and the plans it has in place for the future.
Cllr Eric Empson, Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council’s Cabinet Chairman, said: “This is a significant achievement which should be celebrated by residents, partner organisations and staff alike.
“The Audit Commission’s assessment of the Council as a four-star organisation is real evidence of the sustained and continuous effort by staff and partners throughout the Borough to improve services for the benefit of local residents and businesses.
“What is really gratifying is that despite the growing demands against the budget and the increasingly challenging criteria of ‘The Harder Test’, we have maintained our status as one of the top-performing Councils in the country. We would like to thank residents, partner organisations and staff who helped us to achieve this excellent result.”
The Commission singled out a number of achievements for particular praise:
- Good performance levels have been sustained and services are improving in areas prioritised by local people, including increasing employment.
- Early Years provision is good and performance by 11 year olds continues on an upward trend.
- Adult social care services help more people to live at home and benefits claimants are dealt with more accurately and promptly.
- Rapid progress is being made in improving local housing services.
- Environmental performance is strong with targets for waste and recycling significantly exceeded.
- Libraries perform well against national standards.
- More people access services through the contact centre, one-stop shops and Libraries.
- The Council engages well with young people and progress has been made in delivering equality in service provision.
- Support services have been brought back in-house during 2006 and a
Council-wide project is underway to deliver improvements at lower cost.
- Value for money is good and statutory plans are robust.
- Improvements to performance and financial management offer a sound basis for continued improvement.
Cllr Glyn Nightingale, Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Corporate Resources, said: “What has been accomplished in the past year is tremendous. However, as a Council, we are determined to continue to improve and respond to residents’ priorities.
“We, along with our partners, will build on recent work to tackle the challenges of crime and anti-social behaviour and we are exploring how we can further address health improvement, social care and the quality of our local environment.
“Our work in these areas, alongside significantly increased investment in education and the creation of future employment opportunities, means that we are looking forward to the future with renewed confidence.”