A council with a two-star social services department has been
rated as poor under the Audit Commission’s comprehensive
performance assessment for the third year in a row,
writes Amy Taylor.
Despite Kingston-upon-Hull Council getting two stars for its
social services department for the past three years, it has failed
to move up from the CPA’s lowest category due to failures in
other parts of the authority.
In other areas, it was social services keeping the council down
in the five category marking system with the London Borough of
Lewisham Council being prevented from moving up from good to
excellent due to its one star social services rating. The CPA
requires councils to score at least two stars in order to be
Bromley moved up two categories from weak to good. The
council’s zero star rating in 2002 and 2003 had previously
held them back, but this year they went up to one star, allowing
them to move.
South Tyneside Council also managed a two category jump going
from fair to excellent after improving scores for social care for
adults and for housing and Coventry Council jumped from poor to
fair due to improvements in social care and benefits.
Overall the result for the 150 single tier and county councils
in England showed a significant improvement in councils’
performance with 41 rated as excellent (26 in 2003), 60 as good (56
in 2003), 33 as fair (40 in 2003), 15 as weak (18 in 2003) and 1 as
poor (10 in 2003). Altogether 52 councils have moved up at least
one category this year.
Local government minister Nick Raynsford said:
“Today’s results are not the end of the story.
Continuous improvement needs to remain at the heart of council
activity. That is why the challenge of CPA will be sharpened next
The Audit Commission is currently consulting local and central
government stakeholders on proposals for a new CPA framework for
2005 onwards. The new framework will focus on the role of the
council as a community leader and greater recognition will also be
given to authorities that have innovative partnership working
arrangements with other organisations.
For all the results go to: www.audit-commission.gov.uk