Isle of Wight Council: 2 out of 4: Audit Commission

The Isle of Wight council hasn’t fared brilliantly in the yearly review by the Audit Commission, the Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA).
The overview is that they’ve awarded the IW Council two stars out of four – labeling them as “improving well”, the same rating as the …

Isle of Wight Council: 2 out of 4: Audit CommissionThe Isle of Wight council hasn’t fared brilliantly in the yearly review by the Audit Commission, the Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA).

The overview is that they’ve awarded the IW Council two stars out of four – labeling them as “improving well”, the same rating as the previous two years. The two out of four score places the council in the bottom 25 of around 150 authorities UK wide.

By way of comparison, no councils were judged with 0 stars and only two were in the 1 star category.

The detail
Looking at the detail.

How Isle of Wight Council manages its finances and provides value for money – this remains at two, the same it has been for three years in a row.

For reference, a score of two is defined as “Adequate performance – only at minimum requirements.”

There’s a four in there – with their provision of Benefits. A quad of threes, Culture, Fire & Rescue, Housing and Social care (adults).

Sadly the only area to be worse than last year is Environment, which dropped to two.

The only area to see an increase is in Fire and rescue rising from two to three. Confusingly the Audit Commission gave the council a Poor when comparing their performance against other authorities.

Each council receives a letter telling them how things could be improved. You can read the Island’s one if full (PDF).

Audit Commission Summary
The Audit Commission also write a summary, “support the 2007 direction of travel assessment”:

The Isle of Wight Council is improving well. It has improved services to the public and is making good progress with
priorities. Over two-thirds of performance indicators have improved and over a third are among the best nationally. Performance has improved in several areas. In adult services more people are helped to live at home. Planning applications are processed more quickly. Other examples of improvement include community safety, public conveniences, leisure participation and council tax collection.

Improvement in education is mixed and achievements remain below average.

The condition of many island roads remains a concern and if the Council’s current bid for private finance fails the Council will need a contingency plan to address this. Waste recycling has slipped due to disposal issues but new developments are progressing. The Council is dealing with some high profile issues of public concern and is using the lessons learnt to improve controls and strengthen the organisation to tackle key priorities.

Development programmes have been initiated to improve the contribution of councillors and parish councils. It has made good progress with plans to sustain future improvement and a number of key strategies have been adopted during the year.

Flattery will get you everywhere
When we last met up with the official from the Audit Commission, they paid VentnorBlog a huge compliment by telling us that they were big fans of VB, reading it …

“to find out what’s really happening on the Island.”

We almost blushed with pride.

While we understand that councils are huge lumbering beasts that cannot be changed overnight, we had hoped that more improvements would have been on show by now.

Looking on the positive side, it gives the council a lot of opportunity to wow the Audit Commission next year.

The
details

[image courtesy of Design of Signage]

Thursday, 7th February, 2008 6:16pm

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