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AUDITORS SAY APPLY RESULTS

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Many councils need to improve consultation practices, the Audit Commission has said. ...
Many councils need to improve consultation practices, the Audit Commission has said.

Some councils fail to use the results of their consultations to inform service decisions. The methods used can allow unrepresentative but articulate groups to dominate.

A commission report, Listen up!, finds the quality of individual consultation exercises is patchy and that few councils evaluate their work or plan consultation programmes jointly with partners.

It says consultation should be linked to decisions, involve all sections of the community and be fed back to local people, to show them whether the results have influenced decisions.

Commission controller Andrew Foster said: 'Some innovative authorities can already show how they are using consultation to improve the quality and cost effectiveness of services, but others need to catch up with best practice.'
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