Intervention helps council services

intervention improves failing local authority services, according to new
findings by the Audit Commission.

A recent commission report, A Force for
, 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 period.

Among the reasons for failing services, the
report identified 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 decisions.

– 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

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