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Local Government: Standards

Volume 457: debated on Wednesday 7 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps her Department is taking to close the gap between the highest and lowest performing councils. (125279)

The responsibility for improving council performance rests primarily with local authorities themselves, with the wider local government sector playing an important role in providing support and challenge to drive better performance. Performance levels are continuing to improve, prompted by CPA and supported by the joint capacity building programme we have established with the LGA. The White Paper ‘Strong and Prosperous Communities’ set out our proposals for a new performance framework for local government, which will support continued improvement for all. In addition, we are working with local government to develop a national improvement strategy which will help to focus improvement and capacity building support where it is most needed.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate her Department has made of the number of councils in (a) London and (b) other areas of the country which are improving (i) strongly and (ii) well. (125280)

Assessment of council performance is carried out by the Audit Commission. The Commission’s report “CPA The Harder Test: Scores and analysis in single tier and county councils” was published on 22 February. The report includes comparisons by region of Comprehensive Performance Assessment direction of travel judgements.

The report is available at: