“Excellent” councils will retain their freedoms and flexibilities
for up to one year even if recategorised as “good” under the
comprehensive performance assessment.
The announcement by local government minister Nick Raynsford
followed the Audit Commission’s decision earlier this year to
downgrade immediately councils that fell below the 2002 threshold
for “excellent” status and recategorise them as “good”.
The year’s grace period is intended to allow councils time to
recover their status. However, the Local Government Association
remains disappointed that the government is pressing ahead with
proposals to downgrade excellent councils. “The characteristics the
Audit Commission attributes to excellent councils include the
ability to identify areas of weakness and put them right. The
government appears to be ignoring that,” said a spokesperson.