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FEATURES - AN INSPECTOR CALLS

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Audit Commission ...
Audit Commission

Wycombe DC

Wycombe DC?s planning service is good and has promising prospects for improvement, according to an Audit Commission report.

The best value inspection team awarded the service two stars for planning policy, research, development control, conservation and urban design.

Senior manager Steven Shuttleworth said: ?The planning service at Wycombe DC is delivering a good service. Customer satisfaction and service performance is generally high and we saw clear evidence of helpful and enthusiastic staff delivering an effective service. There is strong support and focus within the council for further improvement. However, the cost of the service is above average when compared to other district councils nationally.?

The best value review said the staff perform well and this is reflected in the high quality of local developments.

Colchester BC

Colchester BC has been awarded a three-star rating for its leisure services by the Audit Commission.

The best value inspection team also said the service has excellent prospects for improvement.

The report praises high-quality staff and says there is an impressive range of successful partnerships.

There is also strong, objective management of high-quality, cost effective services, according to inspectors.

The report said: ?The council is providing excellent leisure services including sport, arts, countryside, tourism, museums, parks, beach and foreshore areas. To provide excellent services across such a wide range is remarkable. Not content with this, the council is planning many significant improvements to these services.?

Keith Nicholson, the council?s head of leisure, said: ?What is really pleasing is this result reflects a distinctive and high-quality set of services where targeted investment makes a real difference to local people?s lives.?

Taunton Deane BC

The sports service provided by Taunton Deane BC is good and has excellent prospects for improvement, according to an Audit Commission best value report.

Best value inspectors gave the service two stars because there is a wide range of facilities and services. Costs are relatively low and the service is well used and has high levels of customer satisfaction.

Simon Farnsworth, a senior manager at the commission, said: ?Taunton Deane BC currently provides a wide range of sports facilities and services for customers at a relatively low cost. The service has high levels of customer satisfaction and is well used.?

The council was praised for its sports and health development team and for developing effective partnership arrangements

It has successfully accessed external funding, and performance in many areas is among the top 25% of councils.

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