The commission's corporate assessment inspection team found the council to be working, with its partners, consistently above minimum requirements across the range of services they provide across the city. The council is ambitious and working hard to regenerate the city and reduce the level of inequalities across the borough by developing community based services, particularly in areas of greatest need.
'It's very encouraging to see the progress that Salford City Council is making. We found the services it provides to local people are of a consistent or improving quality, an example of this is its planning service. Political and managerial leadership is strong. It continues to strengthen how it works with others to help regenerate the city; create safer communities; improve health outcomes; improve services for older people; and is modernising services for children and older people. It is focused on improving, and working in partnership with public, private and community sectors to make Salford a better place.'
The inspectors found:
. Partnership working is a key strength and partnerships are facilitating the delivery of better outcomes in a range of priority areas that are visible to local people and are being reflected in increasing public satisfaction levels.
. The council has made progress in diversifying and regenerating the local economy. It has targeted activity on areas of greatest need and is working with the private sector to deliver its ambitions.
. It is delivering on its agenda for clean and green liveability, and provides efficient and effective refuse collection and streetcare services.
. It has taken a strong and leading role with partners in addressing crime and disorder issues, the health improvement agenda, developing services for older people, and making improvements to services for children and younger people.
. Political and managerial leadership is strong.
. The council provides good value for money and continues to improve its financial management.
To help the council improve, inspectors recommended that the council should:
. Continue to maintain the improvements it has made to educational attainment as a key enabler for local people to benefit from the improved prosperity increased investment in the city.
. Continue to deliver the improvements to housing needed to ensure compliance with the decent homes standard and the higher Salford standard.
. With partners continue to develop its understanding of the needs of the less advantaged, minority ethnic and hard to reach groups in the city, and to continue to shape service delivery to meet these diverse needs.
. Improve the corporate management of human resources.
Copies of the report are available from the Audit Commission website at www.audit-commission.gov.uk/reports