The Accounts Commission’s report on Best Value at East Ayrshire Council says that the council’s commitment to improving performance is supported by effective leadership.
It performs well in a number of activities and is able to recognise areas for improvement and take action to address them. However there are some weaker areas of service performance and the council now needs to streamline its best value processes and ensure continuous improvement throughout its activities.
Alastair MacNish, chair of the Accounts Commission, said: “We welcome East Ayrshire Council’s clear commitment to Best Value and improved performance. It has effective leadership, strategic vision and can identify where improvements are needed and take action to address them. It does well in other important areas too, particularly in Community Planning and joint working. The council now needs to consolidate, streamline and embed its systems and processes for driving best value so that all its activities and services continuously improve.”
The report recognises that East Ayrshire has several areas of significant deprivation and when established in 1996, did not reflect any natural or traditional community. Despite these challenges, there is evidence of good community planning and engagement. The council also performs well in:
- financial stewardship
- managing risk
- customer focus
- community care, housing, finance and education services
However, in addition to working on its best value systems and processes, the council needs to make progress on:
- clarifying and strengthening the roles of committees and member/ officer groups engaged in scrutiny
- making improvements in some areas of weaker service performance, particularly housing repairs.
Alastair MacNish said: “We are encouraged by this report and we look forward to receiving an Improvement Plan from East Ayrshire Council which has measurable targets based on outcomes which will allow it to deliver on its ambitions for the future.”