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Best Value Inspection Service ...
Best Value Inspection Service
London libraries
London's library services are mostly good, with two out of four councils reviewed by the best value inspection service achieving the maximum three-star rating.
Barnet LBC and Sutton LBC libraries achieved the top rating, while Wandsworth LBC scored two stars and Hammersmith & Fulham LBC one.
The inspection team found a high level of user satisfaction, committed and well-trained staff, and links between the libraries and councils' lifelong learning plans.
Councils had shown a willingness to respond to the needs of local people and use consultation, for example, in changing opening hours to include evenings and Sundays, and to provide a range of tailored facilities.
London best value inspection regional director Andrew Webster said: 'We were delighted to see the work councils have carried out so far already this year to improve the service they provide, including the work they have done to consult on, then respond to, the needs of local people.'
Social Services Inspectorate
Dudley MBC
Children's services at Dudley MBC are positive despite recruitment difficulties, the Social Services Inspectorate reports.
Areas of good performance include strong links with the wider health community, good placement choices for looked-after children, and good planning and performance in managing services for older people.
The inspectorate said there had been progress in developing the continuous improvement culture and planning for an expected rise in demand.
Director of social services at Dudley Chris Williams said: 'I am pleased to say this report reflects the commitment the department is making to providing high quality and relevant social care services. The staff have shown great determination and commitment to work together to achieve these high standards.'
Shropshire CC
Social services at Shropshire CC are serving most people well, and promise to improve in the future according to a joint review by the Audit Commission and Social Services Inspectorate.
The quality of services is good and often excellent. The report highlights strengths in areas such as re-shaping services to support older people in their own homes and practical support to children and families.
Top managers have a clear vision and offer leadership to a well-motivated workforce.
The report identified areas for improvement such as: access to information and services; checking of standards of service; and strengthening its processes to involve and learn from users.
Sue Mead, assistant director of joint reviews, said: 'Shropshire has some really good services. It is well managed and keen to get better. It needs to make sure people in rural areas get better access to services to ensure it is meeting needs consistently well.'
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