Coun­cil slips down ranks

Lat­est league ta­ble re­sults are poor

Lennox Herald - - NEWS - Jenny Foulds

Hous­ing, chil­dren’s ser­vices and adult so­cial care have all de­te­ri­o­rated in the past year ac­cord­ing to the fig­ures in a new re­port.

West Dun­bar­ton­shire Coun­cil has slipped down the rank­ings in a league ta­ble which com­pares the per­for­mance of lo­cal au­thor­i­ties across Scot­land.

All Scot­tish coun­cils are scru­ti­nised through the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Bench­mark Frame­work, which brings to­gether scores cov­er­ing in­for­ma­tion about a wide range of ser­vices as well as ser­vice costs and cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion re­sults.

It al­lows lo­cal au­thor­i­ties across the coun­try to be com­pared and the fig­ures re­fer to the coun­cil’s per­for­mance in 2015/16.

Of the 77 in­di­ca­tors, it per­formed bet­ter than the Scot­tish av­er­age for 25 — but worse for 52.

The coun­cil per­formed worse com­pared to its fig­ures the pre­vi­ous year — scor­ing worse for 42 of them and do­ing only 19 bet­ter.

A re­port, which is to be dis­cussed at an au­dit and per­for­mance re­view com­mit­tee to­day (Wed­nes­day), reads: “The main ser­vice ar­eas see­ing de­te­ri­o­ra­tion in per­for­mance against pre­vi­ous years were hous­ing, eco­nomic devel­op­ment, chil­dren’s ser­vices and adult so­cial care.

“In chil­dren’s ser­vices and hous­ing ar­eas, per­for­mance lo­cally is also worse than the Scot­land fig­ure.”

The re­port states work is al­ready un­der­way to im­prove the scores.

In chil­dren’s ser­vices, the coun­cil scored worse in nine cat­e­gories — plac­ing in the bot­tom quar­ter in most of the in­di­ca­tors.

It spends a higher amount per pupil than the Scot­tish av­er­age and is pe­nalised for this in the rank­ings — scor­ing 27th out of 32 coun­cils.

The coun­cil also dropped six places for the per­cent­age of pupils gain­ing five or more awards at level five.

But it is per­form­ing well in terms of how it sup­ports pupils from de­prived ar­eas and is third in Scot­land for the num­ber of pupils from pover­tys­tricken back­grounds who suc­ceed at five or more awards over level five.

The coun­cil fea­tures in the bot­tom rank­ings for staff sick­ness days and is the fourth worst, with the av­er­age em­ployee tak­ing 13 days off in 2015/16, com­pared to the Scot­tish av­er­age of 10.

It also falls short when it comes to coun­cil tax col­lec­tion — fifth worst in the coun­try.

Cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion is high in terms of adult so­cial care, with the coun­cil rank­ing top for the per­cent­age of adults who rate the ser­vice as ex­cel­lent or good.

But it’s at the bot­tom end of the scale when it comes to how much it costs to at­tend sports fa­cil­i­ties and parks. It costs an av­er­age of £7 per per­son to at­tend fa­cil­i­ties, com­pared to an av­er­age of £3 in Scot­land.

The coun­cil per­formed worse across all of its hous­ing in­di­ca­tors com­pared to the pre­vi­ous year - mov­ing down 20 places for the per­cent­age of coun­cil homes which are en­ergy ef­fi­cient.

Last year it was ranked top in Scot­land, with ev­ery coun­cil house be­ing deemed en­ergy ef­fi­cient - it now has 94 per­cent of green homes.

The coun­cil strug­gles when it comes to rent ar­rears and moved down two places to 26th. It fails to col­lect al­most 10 per­cent of rent — com­pared to the Scot­tish fig­ure of six per­cent.

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