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NORTH SOMERSET AGREES BEST VALUE REVIEWS

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North Somerset Council has agreed it best value review programme. ...
North Somerset Council has agreed it best value review programme.

The council's best value and standards committee agreed three services to undergo pilot reviews this year and those that will undergo reviews in 2000/01.

The pilot reviews will take place in residential care for adults, highways and the council's own personnel and payroll teams.

'Councils exist solely to provide good quality services for local people,' said John Morris, chairman of North Somerset Council's best value and standards committee. 'We have a duty to make sure our services give best value to the council taxpayer.'

The move by North Somerset Council comes before the government's best value legislation comes into effect in September this year.

The views of local people, parish and town councils, local businesses and voluntary organisations will play an important role in the reviews.

The council has an 800-strong citizens panel that conducted its first

appraisal of council services in February this year.

Councillors will consider a best value consultation programme in August before the reviews formally get underway.

'It is important that the reviews are carried out consistently across all services,' said North Somerset Council's chief executive Paul May. 'Staff, managers, the public and councillors will all be involved in the reviews and everyone will be kept informed as they progress.'

The council is to set up review teams that will include the service director and service manager from the relevant directorate.

They will also include senior managers from another directorate, three

councillors and external advisers who have a detailed knowledge of the

service being reviewed.

A member of staff from the service being reviewed will also be part of the review team.

The review team also has responsibility for making sure that staff, trades unions, and other interested parties are consulted and kept informed of the review.

The results of the pilot reviews are due to be completed for consideration by Councillors early in the new year.

Among the services due to be reviewed in 2000/2001 are planning, special needs education, transport and economic development.

The priorities for the reviews were based on comparisons with other

councils, the views of the public and the Audit Commission Performance

Indicators.

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