Regulator’s angst over Ealing ruling

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 social services

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 ruled that the commission had effectively ceded
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 “good”.

But the 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 practice”.

The Appeal Court will deliver its verdict at a later date.

  • Ealing Council has appointed David Archibald as executive
    director of education, social services and housing. In his last
    post as director of social services at East Sussex Council he led
    the authority from zero stars to two in 2003.

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