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Copeland prepares for advisers

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Copeland Borough Council is preparing to brief councillors on how external advisers will be assisting officers in implementing its ‘Choosing To Change’ programme.

The council has fared badly in recent assessments and the programme has been designed to address them - and the challenges it faces in the recession.

Copeland insists the move was its own initiative and is using funding from the North West Improvement and Efficiency Partnership to pay for advisers from bodies such as IDeA to work with the council from next month.

Councillors will be briefed on the initiative at a special session on 29 September.

Acting corporate director Keith Parker has responded to an article in a local newspaper - reported on the LGC website - saying that inspectors were being called in.

“There are a number of organisations regionally and nationally which have been established to help local authorities like ours,” he said in a statement.

“What we are doing is choosing to take advantage of these organisations to increase our capacity to improve.”

Mr Parker added: “This support network is open to all local authorities across the country to benefit from. We are using them to add value to the Council’s improvement programme, and in doing so benefit residents and businesses in the borough.

“We are about to embark on a programme of improvement - a programme which will be shaped by councillors and supported by a number of external organisations.

“We do this in uncertain economic times to make sure we are fit for the future and for everyone who lives and works in the area.”

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