The paper bills its own analysis as an 'invaluable guide' to voters in Thursday's council elections.
The Observer notes that 'old-Labour' South Tyneside is a long way from the suburbs of middle England and is very similar in terms of population and profile to Hull Council, the second worst council in the country.
The worst-performing district councils were found to be Wansbeck and Slough, with Shropshire billed as the worst county council.
The league table was compiled with the help of Peter Chowney, formerly with the Audit Commission and now an independent consultant.
Mr Chowney said it was based on a range of performance indicators and so provided a good introduction to each council's basic performance.