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Gloucestershire County Council moves up to four stars

Gloucestershire County Council is celebrating becoming one of the highest performing councils in the country this week.

The Audit Commission confirmed Gloucestershire’s jump from three to four stars in its Comprehensive Performance Assessment.

This includes a “Direction of Travel” judgment, which indicates how likely the council is to improve in the near future: Gloucestershire is ‘improving well’. In its report the Audit Commission said that the Council offers good value for money and that it has the capacity, with its partners, to deliver its plans.

Peter Bungard, Chief Executive of Gloucestershire County Council said: “This is excellent news and recognises the hard work and dedication of county council staff. We have been working incredibly hard to improve our services across the board and I am delighted that this has been recognised. Even though this is the top rating awarded to councils, we know that we can make our services even better for residents and have every intention of doing just that. ”

The Audit Commission highlighted a number of areas in which the Council has progressed during the twelve months and these include:

  • Transport policies are supporting strong economic development and road safety has improved
  • Social care services for adults have improved
  • Gloucestershire is in the top 25% for educational achievement in the country
  • Emergency planning is strong and effective
  • Partnership working is effective

The inspection for the corporate assessment took place during September and October; only one month after Gloucestershire was hit by a flooding and water crisis. Gloucestershire County Council was the lead local authority in the emergency, with its Fire & Rescue Service involved in the battle to save Walham electricity sub-station and protect Mythe water treatment plant. The council could have deferred the corporate assessment in light of the emergency response and huge clean up operation, but chose to go ahead.

Councillor Tony Hicks, Lead Cabinet Member on Performance said: “2007 will be remembered as a key year in Gloucestershire’s history and the county council played a huge part in the emergency and recovery response to the summer flooding. I am delighted that we have been formally recognised as an excellent council - one of only 3 in the southwest. I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank council staff for their dedication and hard work over the last three years. We are now truly an excellent council and working hard to improve the quality of life for residents right across Gloucestershire.”

The Commission also identified areas for improvement, which the council will now work hard to address to ensure that it retains four-star status in the future. These include further improvements in adult social care and addressing operational issues in some areas of safeguarding children.

The full corporate assessment will not be published in detail until 19th February 2008.

Source: Gloucestershire County Council 

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