Council recognised as ‘performing well’
An independent report published today by the Audit Commission states that West Oxfordshire District Council is performing well, managing its money and staff well and that people in the district are satisfied with local public services.
Singled out for praise is the good progress being made by the council in priority areas including providing affordable homes, preventing homelessness, improving facilities in its towns and villages, helping people and businesses through recession and being the best in Oxfordshire for dealing with benefit applications promptly.
Good leadership and supportive managers are both strengths, contributing to how well the council is managing and using its resources. For example money is being saved by working with others including sharing some posts with Cotswold District Council.
The Council gained an overall score of 3 out of 4, which recognises that it is performing well because it exceeds the minimum performance requirements.
Cllr Barry Norton, Leader of the Council said, “We are very pleased to receive such a positive report with so many services gaining high praise. It recognises that West Oxfordshire District Council provides good value for money and that our council tax is one of the lowest in the country. But we will not be complacent and are already taking on board areas identified for improvement. For example we are looking to increase recycling rates and are confident this will happen next year when we introduce a new, improved waste contract for West Oxfordshire.
“However, what is most important to us is how residents view council services. I am delighted that resident satisfaction is so high in West Oxfordshire - people say they like living in the district and they get good treatment from public services.”
The assessment report is called ‘Oneplace’, because, as well as judging individual council performances, it also judges how well councils works with each other and with local partner organisations to deliver outcomes. It’s a new approach which replaces the star rating system the Audit Commission gave to councils in the past.
Full results of the report are at www.direct.gov.uk/oneplace. In addition to assessing councils, ‘Oneplace’ judges how the police and other public services bodies are improving on issues that are important to residents.
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