“This is a good report. It shows that the council has continued to improve since the last inspection, dealing with challenges unique to Argyll and Bute and working to support both the present and the future of the area.”
These were the words of Councillor Aileen Morton, Leader of Argyll and Bute Council, following publication today (21 May) of the Accounts Commission’s Best Value review findings.
Every council in Scotland is reviewed by Audit Scotland, with a report on findings being issued by the Accounts Commission. The Best Value review of Argyll and Bute Council was carried out earlier this year.
The Commission welcomed the progress made by the council, highlighting:
- the significantly improved relationships amongst elected members and between members and officers, which provide a sound basis for tackling future challenges.
the council’s sound approach to financial planning and budgeting which has allowed it to achieve financial balance in the short term.
As for all councils, the Accounts Commission also identified areas for the council to focus its continued improvement upon, such as:
- how it manages and reports performance
delivering more significant transformation and redesign of services.
The Accounts Commission also recommends that the council increases pace and depth of improvement, making more use of the potential to engage and empower local communities. In recommending this however the Commission acknowledges the significant challenges in an area as extensive and varied, with declining and sparsity of population, as Argyll and Bute.
Councillor Morton said:
“We welcome this report as a source of support in how we develop the work of the council.
It is very encouraging that the Commission recognises the particular challenges we face in Argyll and Bute.
We will now develop an action plan that reflects these findings and delivers improvement as far as financial and other challenges allow.
Most encouraging, in terms of Argyll and Bute’s long term future, is the fact that the report highlights what we already know - that creating a successful future for Argyll and Bute, by making it a great place to live and work, depends on the public and private sectors, and local communities, working together.
As evidenced in the report, there is already a sense of unity in the council and with our partners, in delivering success through our shared vision. This, in addition to the positive differences local communities are recognised as making to life here, mean that the ‘Team Argyll and Bute’ approach needed to create the future we all want is not only realistic but already happening.”
The Accounts Commission’s report will go to a meeting of the Council at the end of June, along with an action plan.
You can read the report on Audit Scotland’s website