Best Value is on track - and thats official

19 Oct 00
Best Value is a success so far and should promote a steady improvement in council services to the public, says the Audit Commission.

20 October 2000

In a detailed analysis of the first year of Best Value performance plans, A step in the right direction, the commission says that even the worst-performing authorities are setting targets for improvement that will narrow the gap between them and the majority.

Research by the Mori polling organisation shows that 87% of local authorities have found the experience so valuable that they would produce a similar performance plan again even if it were not compulsory.

'It's heartening that local authorities see the Best Value planning process as a way to take stock of where they are, where they want to be and how to get there, and not just as another hoop to jump through,' said Andrew Foster, the Audit Commission controller.

'The challenge will be to make planning part of the way councils do business on a daily basis, to better serve the people of their area and their needs and wants.'

The report recommends that the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions keeps all statutory performance targets under review and develops new incentives to encourage full commitment to Best Value.

The commission has also suggested that the Improvement and Development Agency and its Welsh counterpart concentrate on supporting local authorities that are having difficulties adapting to the new regime.


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