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CPA: 'INSPECTION SERVICE COULD DO BETTER'

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The Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) results* have confirmed the Liberal Democrat view that many councils...
The Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) results* have confirmed the Liberal Democrat view that many councils perform very well despite a shortage of resources and burden of bureaucracy coming from central government. Across the country, local authorities are improving services and failing councils are working hard to turn the corner.

But Liberal Democrats have also sounded a warning that the process of assessment risks ignoring some recent big steps forward, in particular by councils nearer the bottom of the list.

Chris Clarke, Liberal Democrat leader in local government, said:

'The CPA shows just how much good work is done by local authorities across the country. It's clear that local government has a lot to offer and a lot to be congratulated on.

'But the CPA mustn't only be about where a council is now - It should be more about where it's going. The CPA doesn't properly take account of recent improvements by many councils and sometimes the most up-to-date data wasn't included.

'This is a real problem because it should put more weight on the achievements of councils which are getting better. It's one thing to maintain a high level of service if you've got a solid base to work on - it's another to build the foundations for future growth. Some councils which have worked wonders in this respect in a very short time will feel let down by today's results.

'The CPA itself is a reasonable foundation to work on - The test will be making it's conclusions more consistent, forward looking and up-to-date. We also need to be sure that the CPA framework is a genuine streamlining of the inspection regime'.

* See here for results.

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