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SCRUTINEER - AN INSPECTOR CALLS

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Greenwich LBC ...
Greenwich LBC

Greenwich LBC has made 'tremendous progress' over the last year, according to a peer review report by the Improvement & Development Agency.

The report said there had been 'a clear indication of progress and improvements throughout the operation of the council' since the original review in January 2000.

Particular praise was given to management, service delivery through neighbourhood renewal, internal and external communication, democratic representation and access to services.

The report said: 'The council remains energetic, enthusiastic, keen to be involved in new initiatives, such as a public service agreement and neighbourhood management, and eager to achieve recognition for its efforts, as evidenced by its beacon council and city status submissions.'

Leader Chris Roberts (Lab) said: 'We have taken the IDeA team's commitments on board and made impressive progress. The review confirms how we have effectively embraced change to benefit the community.'

OFSTED/Audit Commission

Bournemouth BC

Bournemouth BC's education department has received a glowing report after adopting an inclusive approach in a bid to raise standards. The council is achieving goals that are still aspirations in many other councils, according to a joint Ofsted and Audit Commission report.

Class size management, literacy plans and leadership were all praised, but the inspectors were particularly impressed by the way the department put inclusion at the heart of its improvement strategy.

It cited its handling and support of children from ethnic minorities, in care and under protection as reasons why it was doing so well.

Chief inspector of schools Mike Tomlinson said: 'I congratulate Bournemouth's director, his management team and elected members for their head work.'

Social Services/Audit Commission Inspectorate

Redcar & Cleveland BC

Improvements are needed at Redcar & Cleveland BC's social services department, according to a joint review from the Audit Commission and Social Services Inspectorate.

Inspectors found fundamental weaknesses in the provision of services for disabled children and people with learning disabilities.

It also called for better communication between managers and staff.

The report recommended a customer care strategy be put together and a set of priorities be established to maximise resources in the face of financial constraints.

However, it praised the council for its community outreach and aftercare service team, and many staff were described as committed and professional.

Chief executive Colin Moore said: 'We have already drawn up an action plan and we will be acting vigorously to ensure we bring about substantial improvement.'

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