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Swine flu: relax indicators says LGA

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The Local Government Association is to lobby the Department for Communities & Local Government to waive performance indicators likely to be affected by councils’ response to the swine flu pandemic.

Trisha O’Flynn, senior policy consultant, said there would also need to be examination of the extent to which council resources had been spent providing services that should be the responsibility of the National Health Service.

A requirement to keep school attendance rates at 95% or above is one area of concern, with widespread school closures bound to negatively affect the performance indicator.

Ms O’Flynn told LGC that where councils chose to divert resources away from non-essential services to deal with local swine-flu outbreaks, this should also not negatively affect their performance indicator scores.

She said potential areas of concern could be the frequency of recycling collections and library access.

“It’s generally accepted that [some indicators] will have to be relaxed, and that is something we will be raising with the government in relation to this particular emergency,” she said.

Ms O’Flynn added that the Local Government Association was keen to gather evidence from councils on the cost of responding to the pandemic, especially in relation to costs incurred dealing with demand for services that could not be managed by the NHS.

“There will be a debate at some point for funding,” she said.

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