Top councils to have more freedom

Councils with three-star social services departments will be
able to spend their grant money on any area of social services or
carry it into the next year under freedoms to be introduced from

Councils will be entitled to “light touch” inspection, less
form-filling and more choice about local partnership service
agreements. All grant money will also be paid earlier.

The government plans to use the forthcoming comprehensive
performance assessments to assess whether support or intervention
is needed. An improvement relationship manager will be appointed to
work with all councils in the poor category and some in the weak

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