Councils will be judged increasingly by their residents rather than inspectorates from 2008, under plans unveiled by local government minister David Miliband.
In a move welcomed by the Local Government Association, Miliband told last week’s New Local Government Network annual conference that inspection “should only be necessary for that part of performance that citizen power cannot monitor and control”.
This could mean that councils will face intervention on the basis of citizen satisfaction ratings rather than a poor inspection.
However, social care is likely to require a major continuing role for a national inspectorate, given the issue of how best to safeguard service users.
Miliband said the changes would come into force with the planned reform of the comprehensive performance assessment in 2008.
LGA chair Sandy Bruce-Lockhart said: “The CPA has reached its sell-by-date because it has become too bureaucratic and too focused on Whitehall targets rather than on residents.”