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SCRUTINEER - AN INSPECTOR CALLS

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Best Value Inspection Service ...
Best Value Inspection Service

Ashfield DC

Ashfield DC provides fair environmental services which have promising prospects for improvement, according an independent report from the Best Value Inspection Service.

Inspectors, who gave the service one star, found the council had clear and challenging aims and its environment objective was a local priority while it recognised and met national priorities.

The report praised a number of aspects, including low-cost refuse collection, efficient clearing of fly-tipped waste and street maintenance.

But the report warned recycling rates and satisfaction levels for street cleaning were very low and some fly-tipping and littering on areas of private land were not dealt with effectively.

Carrick DC

Carrick DC's development control service provides a fair service and has promising prospects for improvement, according to a Best Value Inspection Service report.

Inspectors said while recent performance had been relatively poor, numerous initiatives were in place, though they had yet to show effect. They awarded the service one star.

The council's development control service, based in Truro, is responsible for processing planning applications, appeals and enforcing planning regulations. The overall net budget after income in 2001/02 was just over£750,000, supporting 31 members of staff.

The commitment and hard work of the

staff and the emphasis on improving service delivery and furthering development were highlighted as key strengths.

But performance and customer satisfaction were said to be low compared to other councils and there was a lack of effective performance management.

Social Services Inspectorate

Cumbria CC

Despite clear leadership being established at Cumbria CC social services it is low on strategic capacity, according to inspectors from the Social Services Inspectorate.

Inspectors recommended the council should consider strengthening the strategic capacity in order to deliver on national and local priorities.

But they came across committed and enthusiastic staff working directly with service users and carers, and promoting the principles of choice, independence and inclusion.

Most service users spoke positively about the services they received, and care packages ensured they were taking part in community activities, extended friendship networks and occupational opportunities.

Inspectors recommended social services should carry on with efforts to reduce staff shortages.

John Mallinson (Con), spokesman for care and social services for Cumbria CC, said: 'This valuable feedback provides a clear agenda to continually improve services and build on strengths identified.'

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