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The Audit Commission's inspection service has announced its initial programme of best value inspections across coun...
The Audit Commission's inspection service has announced its initial programme of best value inspections across councils in England and Wales.

Speaking at the Local Government Association conference, director of inspection at the Audit Commission, Wendy Thomson said: 'Best value is all about improving local services which communities rely on and I am delighted that a number of councils have already completed reviews of some services and are ready for inspections to begin. Their enthusiasm and commitment should be congratulated.

'The best value inspection service will work with councils to help them deliver improvement by identifying innovative approaches and ideas from which both councils and the inspection service can learn, and the public benefit.'


1. The best value inspection service is part of the Audit Commission. It was established by the 1999 Local Government Act to provide the public with an independent assessment of whether best value is being achieved by their local council. Inspection reports judge how well a service is currently serving local people, based on a star rating from 0-3 where 0 is poor and 3 excellent, and how likely it is to improve in the future.

2. The government has placed a duty of best value on councils requiring them to improve local services over the next five years. Services must be delivered to clear standards of cost and quality - by the most economic, efficient and effective means available. Councils must annually report on their performance (best value performance plans) and review all of their services over the next five years in order to identify and achieve continual improvements in local services.

3. The Audit Commission for local authorities and the NHS is an independent body established under the Audit Commission Act 1998. Further details about the commission can be obtained from its web site -

4. The authorities in the initial programme of inspections are as follows:

AuthorityBest Value Review

Leeds City CouncilSports

Manchester City CouncilHomelessness

Harrogate Borough CouncilHousing Strategy

Bolton Metropolitan Borough CouncilLegal Services

Sefton Metropolitan Borough CouncilBuilding Control

Richmondshire District CouncilTourism

Suffolk County CouncilProperty

London Borough of LewishamOne Stop Shop

London Borough of NewhamPassenger Transport

London Borough of CamdenDevelopment Control

London Borough of SuttonLandlord Services

London Borough of BarnetHousing Repairs & Maintenance

Exeter City CouncilHousing Revenue Account Services

Gosport Borough CouncilHousing Repairs

Havant Borough CouncilHousing Strategy

Pembrokshire County CouncilTourist Information Services

Ceredigion County CouncilRevenue Collection

Neath Port Talbot County Borough CouncilDisabled Assessment Services / Renovation Grants

Dacorum Borough CouncilHousing - Caretaking

Cannock Chase CouncilHousing Maintenance

Derby City CouncilPayroll

Derbyshire County CouncilPurchasing

Dudley Metropolitan Borough CouncilWaste Management

Hertfordshire County CouncilAsset Management

Herefordshire CouncilLeisure

Cambridgeshire County CouncilPlanning

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