The Audit Commission’s job of assessing councils will
become “unworkable” if judges uphold a ruling that it
wrongly downgraded Ealing Council because of its zero-star rated
social services department, writes Helen
That was the regulator’s message in an appeal against a
High Court decision that it was wrong to rate Ealing as
“weak” in the comprehensive performance assessment as
an automatic consequence of its zero-star rating.
The High Court had said that by applying this rule, the
commission had effectively surrendered its statutory function of
determining a council’s overall rating to the Commission for
Social Care Inspection.
Had it not been applied, Ealing would have been rated
But the Audit Commission claimed the court’s ruling would
make its duty to assess local government performance impossible,
saying it was “erroneous in law and unworkable in
The Appeal Court will deliver its verdict at a later date.