The Audit Commission has announced this week that Bexley Council has been awarded top marks under the Government’s “harder test” Comprehensive Performance Assessment.
This assessment focussed on the performance and delivery of a wider range of services than ever before, with greater importance attached to securing value for money for local taxpayers. Councils are awarded ratings on five levels, ranging from zero to four stars. Bexley secured the top ‘four-star’ rating.
CPA ratings combine a number of elements, including scores against seven service areas, a Corporate Assessment and a Direction of Travel Statement. Bexley scored top marks in two of the seven service areas assessed (Adults’ Social Care and Housing) and was judged as ‘very good’ (three out of four) for Children and Young People’s Services, Environment, Benefits and Use of Resources. While the Council’s Culture service block scored a two out of four overall, a MORI survey conducted in the Autumn shows that residents are very satisfied with sports, leisure and libraries in the borough, and that Bexley is in the top 25% of councils in the country for these indicators.
The Comprehensive Performance Assessment also includes a statement on the Council’s ‘direction of travel’. The Audit Commission has judged the Council as ‘improving well’ (a score of three out of four). The 180-word summary that accompanies this score recognises the Council’s capacity to improve further and highlights improvements in two-thirds of the Council’s performance indicators, along with good performance in priority areas like GCSE performance, elderly care, housing, road safety and recycling. The report also notes Bexley’s good partnership working – commenting specifically on work carried out with community groups and the police.
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