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SCRUTINEER-AN INSPECTOR CALLS

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Best Value Inspectorate ...
Best Value Inspectorate

Warwickshire CC HH

The Best Value Inspectorate has awarded Warwickshire CC's social services department's finance services two stars.

The department was praised for its tight management of budgets and clear payment services for foster carers. Finance staff

were praised for close monitoring of

budgets that bucks the trend of overspending affecting many social service departments nationally.

Good staff morale and clear support frameworks for foster carers were identified. Areas of weakness included poor liaison between finance staff and social workers, invoice payments falling below government targets and a low IT profile.

Trish Haines, director of social services said: 'The Inspectorate recognised that in the last two years we have worked very hard to put our internal financial systems in order and this is a tribute to the dedication of our staff.'

Social Services Inspectorate/Audit Commission

South Gloucestershire Council

South Gloucestershire Council's social services department is serving some people well and has promising prospects for the future, says a review by the Social Services Inspectorate and the Audit Commission.

The review highlighted notable improvements in children's services, including improved performance in reviewing child protection. The report praised multi-agency support for services to children in need and their families .

The council's few weaknesses focused on gaps in provision for mental health and learning disabilities.

John Bolton, director of joint reviews said: 'The council is providing some local people with good social services that are likely to improve. It should be praised for the progress already made and the way it has used best value to bring necessary improvements in home care.'

Local Government Peer Review

Haringey LBC

Haringey LBC is an improving organisation with a real commitment to change, according to the Improvement and Development Agency.

A peer review by the agency said the council had made a realistic assessment of what it needed to do to improve service delivery and if improvement is sustained, local people will start to see a real difference in services.

Tony Redmond, chief executive of Harrow LBC who led the review said: 'The council has established a change programme designed to improve performance and service delivery. Sound financial polices will help the council tackle key areas for improvement in terms of regeneration, new ways of working and effective community engagement.'

He added: 'Both councillors and officers are very committed to deliver this change and make a difference to the quality of life in Haringey.'

The final report of the peer review will be published next month.

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