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COUNCILS SERVE LOCAL PEOPLE WELL, SAYS NEW REPORT

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A new snapshot of local government performance shows that councils are...
A new snapshot of local government performance shows that councils are

serving their communities well, says the Local Government Association.

Responding to the publication today of the Audit Commission's 'A Picture of Performance - early lessons from comprehensive performance assessment' (see LGCnet), the LGA says it offers clear evidence that there is much to applaud in local government.

'The case studies featured are a useful snapshot of some of the most

innovative and successful councils. There are many councils are doing just

as good a job in serving their communities well,' says Jeremy Beecham,

LGA chair.

'As we await the first CPA results next week, this publication is a useful

forerunner. We are confident that these results will enable local councils

to demonstrate their ability to provide high quality services and that many

are keen to improve on their current track record.

'We are pleased to see that the Audit Commission's early response to CPA

emphasises that most councils are providing effective services for their

local communities and often do this through working in strong partnerships

with other agencies. The publication also stressed that councils have an

important role to play in helping each other to improve. The LGA and its

partner agencies, such as the IdeA, strongly believe this is the best way

forward.

'We hope that the publication of the CPA results next week will enable us to

celebrate all that's good in local government, where thousands of dedicated

staff and councillors are working hard to maintain effective public services

in areas which are cash strapped and restricted by over-zealous central

regulations.

'The LGA has argued long and hard that central government should let go and

let local people and local councils decide on the shape and nature of the

services needed to suit their local communities.

'We are pleased at recent announcements about the plans to offer new

freedoms and financial flexibilities to some councils. We need to see the

government take more bold action here and free up all councils to work

locally to serve local people's needs.'

The LGA will also be featuring four dynamic council improvement stories in a

new publication due out on Monday (see here). 'Leading the agenda - the

local government improvement story' highlights services in Middlesbrough,

Telford and Wrekin, Liverpool and Hampshire.

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