The reportby the Audit Commission reveals the best and worst local authorities in England. Cornwall, Isles of Scilly, City of London, Middlesbrough, Herefordshire, Rutland and Stoke on Trent are seven local authorities given the 'Excellent', 'Good' or 'Fair' category under the Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA).
As an example of what these authorities are undertaking Middlesbrough unitary council delivers services to some of the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods in the UK. With its independent mayor, Ray Mallon it has launched the `Raising Hope' initiative, a comprehensive community safety and environmental protection strategy which aims to radically alter citizens' and visitors' perception of the town.
Milner Whiteman, leader of the LGA Independent group, said: 'It is good to see the excellent services being provided by our councils are finally being recognised. It clearly demonstrates what can be achieved when politicians work together, lay aside their political differences and work in the interests of the community. Our officers and members should be congratulated for working hard to ensure that our authorities are some of the best-run local authorities in this country. This is only the start, we now aim to be the best of the best.'
1. Excellent or good authorities include: isles of Scilly, Gateshead, Hartlepool, Sunderland, Blackburn and Darwen, Middlesbrough, Hammersmith and Fulham, Wigan, Cornwall, Camden, Cheshire, Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster, Suffolk, Kent, Hampshire, Herefordshire and the Corporation of London
2. There were no Independent authorities categorised as poor or weak.
3. There are approx 2,000 Independent councillors in England and Wales.
4. The LGA Independent group represents the interests of non-partisan politicians
5. Independents control 17 local authorities in England and Wales