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SCRUTINEER - AN INSPECTOR CALLS

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Best Value Inspection Service ...
Best Value Inspection Service

Camden LBC

Camden LBC's sports and physical activity team has been praised for producing 'ground-breaking' work on health by the Best Value Inspection Service.

The unit is part of the leisure centres and sports development service, which was given a two-star rating and judged to have excellent prospects for improvement.

Inspectors gave the service a good rating specifically because of the work done by the sports and physical activity team.

The team works to promote healthy lifestyles and improve fitness levels among older people and those who have suffered health problems such as strokes and heart attacks.

Roy Irwin, London's regional director of the Best Value Inspection Service, said: 'The work of the team on health in Camden has been ground-breaking and has attracted national attention. There is also valuable work going on in local estates to encourage young people to participate in sport.'

Plymouth City Council

The housing repairs and maintenance service provided by Plymouth City Council is fair but has uncertain prospects for improvement, according to a Best Value Inspection Service report.

Inspectors gave the service one star because performance had improved in several areas, most notably in repairs.

Jacqueline Canham, the southern region's lead housing inspector, said the improvement in homes was 'linked' to the overall regeneration work going on.

The council staff and councillors were praised for their commitment and it was noted that the council had a clear direction.

But tenants told the commission they were dissatisfied with the service as they were not kept well informed and had limited opportunities for involvement.

Rotherham MBC

Rotherham MBC's repairs service is poor and has received a zero-star rating from the Best Value Inspection Service.

Inspectors said tenants wait a long time for repairs, and quality of the work, value for money and customer satisfaction are not adequately monitored. There is no long-term plan to tackle the repairs backlog.

However, the service had promising prospects for improvement.

Nick Atkin, northern region assistant lead housing inspector, said: 'The council has identified the key weaknesses in its repairs and maintenance service and has developed a plan which will deliver significant improvements for tenants. Robust arrangements are in place to monitor progress.'

He added: 'There is strong support at councillor and chief officer level, and this has led to more optimism and support for change from staff.

'However, the council must ensure it has the finances and staff in place to deliver these service improvements.'

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