Accounts Commission: Dumfries and Galloway Council is well led and must now deliver on service reform

Accounts Commission: Dumfries and Galloway Council is well led and must now deliver on service reform

Dumfries and Galloway Council has strong leadership and sound financial management but it now needs to deliver its plans to reform local services, keeping residents better informed on performance and progress, according to the local authority watchdog.

The Accounts Commission said today the council has a good financial track record, with clear plans to transform services so it can balance future budgets. But it added that the council cannot underestimate the challenges it will face in delivering those plans.

The Commission has urged the council to focus on providing clearer and more easily accessible information to local people about how local services are performing, and its progress on reforms and savings plans. Improving public performance reporting is a statutory requirement. The council has strong engagement with its communities, and a clear vision for the future, it said.

The council also has ambitious plans to tackle climate change, but the Commission said it remains to be seen how achievable these are and whether the council remains committed to them. There is a lack of information in its current council plan about its target of achieving net zero by 2025, the Commission concluded.

Christine Lester, member of the Accounts Commission, said: “Dumfries and Galloway Council has made significant progress over recent years, with strong leadership and a clear vision. As the council recognises, balancing future budgets relies on making changes to how it delivers services. Councillors and officers cannot underestimate the challenges to achieve this, and they need to make sure they are reporting clearly to citizens about their progress and performance.

“Councils across Scotland face increasingly constrained budgets and difficult decisions about services will have to be made. It makes it more important for the council to continue the effective way it engages with its communities.”

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