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BASSETLAW GETS 'FAIR' CPA REPORT

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Bassetlaw DC overall is 'fair', according to a major report out from the Audit Commission. Based on its current pla...
Bassetlaw DC overall is 'fair', according to a major report out from the Audit Commission. Based on its current plans, the council is putting in place the building blocks it needs to sustain the significant improvements it has made.

Bassetlaw was among seven authorities inspected in Nottinghamshire as part of the comprehensive performance assessment (CPA) of district councils which rates each as either excellent, good, fair, weak or poor.

CPA is the first time that people have had a single overall assessment on their council. Reporting for the 238 district councils in England follows the 2002 CPA carried out for the 150 larger all purpose and county councils.

The assessment of Bassetlaw DC found that the council is doing well in some areas:

It makes a significant contribution to the economic regeneration of the district and the reduction of unemployment

It undertakes effective partnership working at a local and regional level, for example, in Information Communications Technology and community safety

It performs well in most areas of revenues and benefits and there has been a significant improvement in housing services

The council has a well managed budget within a challenging financial context

But the assessment also found room for improvement:

Consultation and engagement with its community are under developed

Service performance is variable and customer satisfaction is below average

Strategic management of its human resources is not yet in place

Following this report Bassetlaw DC will plan what it needs to do to improve, with support from the Audit Commission.

Audit Commission senior manager Mike White said:

'Bassetlaw DC is working hard to continue to improve the performance of its services. But it must engage its community more effectively in its aspirations and plans for the future. Residents of Bassetlaw will want to know what happens next. Where the council has weaknesses it should use this assessment to help it deliver improvement. We would expect the council to make its improvement plans public. We will want to track progress. The end result should be better services for the people of Bassetlaw.'

Audit Commission chairman James Strachan said:

'Comprehensive performance assessment is strategic regulation. It reduces red tape and is aimed at helping improve public services. Not only is this the first comprehensive report to the public on how well councils are run - it also provides a powerful tool to make services better. The findings we have published today will form the basis for future improvement plans. The commission will help by focusing its attention where it is necessary and most productive. The council will get maximum support without unnecessary bureaucracy.'

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