Central government intervention improved failing local authority
services, according to new findings from the Audit Commission,
writes Lauren Revans.
A new report, ‘A Force for Change’, looks at the 25 per cent of
councils with responsibility for education and social services that
were subject to intervention between 1997 and 2001.
In an NOP survey of these councils, 72 per cent of respondents
thought their councils had made substantial progress since
intervention, while 75 per cent said they had found intervention
“fairly” or “very” helpful.
In addition, inspectors found “significant progress” in the 21
social services departments placed on special measures during that
Among the reasons for failing services, the report identifies
poor political and managerial leadership, including lack of
commitment to a service by councillors, lack of ambition on the
part of council leadership, and failure to take tough
* The audit commission is undertaking a national value for money
study on “mainstreaming neighbourhood renewal”, looking at the
extent to which this is happening and whether local strategic
partnerships are prepared for it. A report will be published in
May, and a second phase will then begin looking at best
Click here to read the full report