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CPA: DO NOT MAKE POLITICAL CAPITAL OUT OF RESULTS, AUDIT COMMISSION CHAIRMAN WARNS

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More than half the councils in England are performing well and should be...
More than half the councils in England are performing well and should be

left to get on with their job, Audit Commission chairman James Strachan told

BBC Radio Four's Today programme this morning.

The Audit Commission's comprehensive performance assessments, published

today, are 'the most comprehensive analysis that has ever been done of local

government,' Mr Strachan said. But 'this is a tool for improvement and very

much a means, not an end in itself,' he said.

'In England today there really are some phenomenally good councils and this

tends to get forgotten,' he told Today. 'More than 50 per cent of all the

councils are either good or excellent. Those councils should be relatively

left alone to get on with it.

'We want to focus the scarce resource on helping particularly those councils

at the bottom of this scoring system to get much better, because people are

simply paying for very, very poor services.

'In certain cases the government is going to have to intervene ... but in

other cases the commission and others will work with the council to draw up

plans for improvement and move on.'

Mr Strachan warned politicians against making political capital out of the

CPA results. There is no pattern in terms of political control, he said, and

there were many excellent councils in deprived areas. 'That proves that with

the right leadership you can solve these problems,' he said.

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