Mrs Hart said: 'I am pleased but not surprised by the conclusions of this research. It is my view that in Welsh local government we have a commitment to service which usually ensures that people in Wales are well served.
She added: 'It is not sufficient that we perform as well as local government in England. Working together, the assembly and Welsh local government should have the ambition to be among the best in Europe in delivering the quality of public services that people in Wales expect.'
The research referred to is 'A Comparison of Local Authority Performance in England and Wales' - Local and Regional Government Research Unit - Discussion Paper - 29 January 2002
The unit is based at Cardiff University. It is also leading the evaluation of the local government modernisation agenda in England.