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IDeA SAYS MERTON LBC DOING WELL - BUT COULD DO BETTER

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Merton LBC has accepted the results of a full-scale independent ...
Merton LBC has accepted the results of a full-scale independent
investigation into the council - warts and all.
Earlier this year the council commissioned IDeA's local government
improvement programme to examine the council and this week they reported
back.
Council leader Andrew Judge welcomed the report, which was
compiled by five senior local government managers and councillors from
around England.
'It is gratifying that they pointed to many positive achievements by Merton
and it is equally important they highlighted deficiencies where we can and
will improve'
Cllr Judge said he was elected Leader in May after the IDeA inspection
was completed to concentrate on making Merton the best council in London.
'This report shows the way. Where the report has criticisms of the council,
we have already developed an action plan to deal with the problems. We will
develop strategic policies to drive Merton forward according to the
priorities outlined by residents, we will work closely with partners to
develop new ways of working and we will introduce training schemes to help
councillors adjust to the new democratic processes. We are also planning to
develop stronger internal planning and to introduce performance management
throughout the council.
'We have already started work on providing a one-stop-shop to improve
service to customers at the civic centre and this should be open by the end
of the year.
'We have also introduced two council pages in the Guardian to communicate
more effectively and more frequently with local residents.'
Cllr Judge said these actions dealt with the negatives of the report
but residents should also know the council got a grade A for its work on
regeneration, crime and disorder, the multi-agency work on youth drugs
miss-use. It was also praised for its commitment to consultation, its
relationships with tenants and residents associations and the range of
consultative forums.
'Overall I would give the council grade C and a 'could do better'. I want
everyone to know we have already started that process and when the IDeA team
return in six months they will see a council that has already made
tremendous strides - for the benefits of Merton residents.'
* also see LGCnet'IDeA: MERTON APPLAUDED FOR THE WAY IT TALKS TO RESIDENTS'
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