Accounts Commission praises progress at South Ayrshire Council

south-ayrshire-councilMajor improvements have been made at South Ayrshire Council over the last two years since a critical audit voiced concerns about significant weaknesses in its management, the Accounts Commission has said.

A new report by the watchdog charts how the local authority has responded to a Commission assessment in February 2014 which revealed that the council’s ability to meet its statutory Best Value duty to deliver continuous improvement was limited. By December 2014, some progress had been made but it was too early to judge its impact.

Last week’s report says a new improvement framework is in place across the council. New staff have been recruited to key positions and there are better working relationships between councillors. Clear political and managerial leadership is making a positive difference.

In its findings, the Commission welcomes the strong culture of improvement at the council and its efforts to learn from other organisations in finding new ideas and fresh thinking. It is imperative that the council maintains its positive momentum in the light of difficult decisions that lie ahead in reshaping services in response to reducing resources.

Accounts Commission chair Douglas Sinclair said: “There is good evidence now that South Ayrshire Council has put its house in order. It now has a clear direction and knows what needs to be done to improve services.

“It has to keep on the course it has set out so that it can continue to deliver on the priorities that matter most to the people of South Ayrshire.”

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