Today's report which has been warmly welcomed by the Welsh Local Government Association also clearly states that there will not be a diversion from the already extensive public services reform programme in Wales.
'The report presents real challenges and there is no room for complacency. Beecham's insistence for public services to become more citizen centred and tougher on performance are key messages which we fully recognise. Similarly the emphasis on public sector bodies working together at a level hitherto unheard of is fully supported within Welsh local government.'
Mr Vaughan added:
'Local government is already making great progress in delivering efficiencies. The WLGA has recently undertaken a survey which highlights that Welsh local government has exceeded its efficiency target. Soon we will present figures to be audited which demonstrate efficiency savings of almost double our target.
'We are already working together more closely than ever before and have established regional boards to pool resources and expertise and to drive joint planning and delivery of services. Local government has also submitted an all-Wales expression of interest to set up a national 101 non-emergency number which will bring services closer in Wales.
'Whilst there remains room for considerable improvement there is no doubt that the Beecham review will bring new impetus to this challenge.'
The Welsh Assembly Government has also invested nearly£2m through the Making the Connections Improvement Fund to support public services to further develop collaboration in Wales including examining Waste management systems, back office services and new innovations around Telecare.
For copies of the Review of Local Service Delivery visit: www.wales.gov.uk
1. At the Public Sector Leaders conference held on 14 July 2005, the first minister announced the Review of Local Service Delivery to be lead by Jeremy Beecham. The aim of the review is twofold:
to identify improvements in the arrangements for local service delivery, which are as radical and innovative as necessary; and to examine how existing arrangements for accountability can be used, developed and adapted to support this innovation.
2. The Making the Connections Improvement Fund is part of a wider package of measures supporting the Assembly Government's Making the Connections vision for public services in Wales
3. Further information about Making the Connections, the Assembly Government's public services reform programme, including details of the Improvement Fund can be found at http:new.wales.gov.uk/about/strategy/makingtheconnections/?lang=en