White paper promises end to star ratings

Star ratings for adult social care and annual performance assessments for children’s services will be scrapped in 2009 as part of a total overhaul of the inspection of councils, announced today.

A local government white paper promises to devolve power to councils, who would in turn be more accountable to citizens.

The 1200 existing national performance indicators would be slashed to 200, and authorities will face a “comprehensive area assessment” of their performance in both council services and those commissioned or delivered in partnership.

The white paper also proposes to legislate for a duty of co-operation between councils and primary care trusts within statutory health and wellbeing partnerships, which would be responsible for commissioning health and social care.

The government has also invited two-tier council areas to submit proposals for unitary status, on the basis that these areas face accountability problems, though will not force all localities down this route.

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