Regulator to raise ‘excellent’ threshold

The number of local authorities rated “excellent” in the
comprehensive performance assessment is to be slashed under a
tougher inspection system unveiled this week.

Councils will face a more challenging value for money judgement and
new tests of their partnership working, focus on users and
promotion of diversity, as part of the Audit Commission’s revisions
to CPA.

The regulator will also include new direction-of-travel statements,
put out to consultation yesterday, rating councils’ prospects for

Social services and education, represented by the new children’s
and adult services elements of the CPA, will still carry the most

weight among services and no authority will get an “excellent”
rating unless it gains two stars in each.

The commission’s chair, James Strachan, said: “This is a tougher
test because it’s about continuous improvement.

“We have said the bar should be raised realistically over time so
local government improves in a way the user and taxpayer

To limit the burden of regulation, inspections of a council’s
corporate capacity will take place every three years and will be
timed to coincide with joint area reviews of children’s services.

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