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FEATURES - AN INSPECTOR CALLS

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Best Value Inspection Service...
Best Value Inspection Service

North Lincolnshire Council HH

North Lincolnshire Council's highways and transportation service is good and has promising prospects for improvement, according to the Best Value Inspection Service.

Inspectors gave the service two stars. The report said: 'The roads are in good condition, recent service improvements include more urgent repairs being carried out within 24 hours, and there are more pedestrian crossings with facilities for disabled people.'

Pat Thynne, northern region commissioning inspector, said: 'Both the service and council have a strong track record of achievement, and staff and councillors are committed to improving the service. Positive steps have been taken to consult more widely and take local views into account, and the local transport plan reflects that.'

Inspectors warned the council to consider whether its improvement plan can be achieved within the planned five years.

York City Council

York City Council's housing management service has received a two-star rating from the Best Value Inspection Service.

Inspectors said the service is good but has uncertain prospects for improvement.

The service is responsive and customer-focused. There are high levels of customer satisfaction, and the service already matches the performance of the best unitary councils in several areas.

Nick Atkin, acting lead housing inspector, northern region, said: 'Staff, tenants, senior officers and councillors are committed to raising standards and there is a significant track record of improvement, innovation and high levels of performance.'

However, the improvement plan lacked specific actions which would result in clear benefits for customers.

Joint Audit Commission and Social Services Inspectorate

Waltham Forest LBC

Waltham Forest LBC's social services department is not serving people well and prospects for improvement are uncertain, according to a joint review by the Audit Commission and Social Services

Inspectorate.

Inspectors found councillors, staff and senior managers showed a determined and enthusiastic approach to improvement and essential partnerships were being formed.

There were fundamental weaknesses in children's services and financial management.

Inspectors found serious shortcomings in assessment and care management for children. The team found delays in the investigation of some child protection referrals and a need for better co-ordination between police, education, health and social services.

Systems used to gather information about service provision and financial performance were poor and provided unreliable data.

Anne Bretherton, assistant review director, said: 'If the council continues to focus on delivering excellent services, we would expect local people to benefit in the coming years.'

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