Auditor General’s positive assessment of Vale of Glamorgan Council
27 October 2015
The Auditor General for Wales has said that, ‘The Vale of Glamorgan Council continues to perform well and manage its finances effectively and its forward planning arrangements and track record suggest that it is well placed to secure improvement in 2015-16’.
His comments follow an appraisal of the Council’s work for the period 2014-15 by the Wales Audit Office and are published in the latest Annual Improvement Plan for the Vale Council (October 2015).
The Auditor General is required each year to audit the improvement planning and reporting arrangements for Wales’ 22 local authorities.
The Vale of Glamorgan Council was considered to be performing well in a number of key areas with the report concluding that the authority’s overall performance against national indicators was comparatively strong.
The Council’s environmental health services were considered to be above the minimum level despite cuts to its budget and a reduction in staff numbers. The Auditor also recognised the improvements made by the Council in addressing some of its inspection recommendations.
The Council was also recognised by the Auditor General for its effective financial management arrangements.
With the prospect of significant ongoing financial pressures, the authority’s Reshaping Services Strategy was deemed to conform to good practice and is following the right process to achieve transformation.
A review by the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales of the Council’s Adult and Children’s Services found the Council’s performance to be good. It also considered that the Council was improving the delivery of services to its vulnerable citizens but with more work to be done to improve placement stability for looked after children and care for more vulnerable young people who are not in education, employment or training.
The Council’s governance, accountability and management arrangements for determining whether it met its responsibilities to children was considered to be mostly adequate with room for improvement.
The Auditor General also recognised the authority continued to improve its Welsh speaking provision including training staff.
Commenting on the latest findings of the Auditor General, Councillor Neil Moore, Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council said, “What we’ve been able to achieve in a very challenging climate - balancing the need to make efficiency saving against the delivery of important public services - is as much testament to the hard work of staff as it is to good management. Clearly this is a positive report for the Council but we’re far from complacent about the challenges that lie ahead and areas where we can and need to improve.”
He added, “We’ve got some very good, committed people at the Vale of Glamorgan Council who go that extra mile to get the job done, helping often vulnerable people who rely on our services and our ability to deliver. I’d like to take the opportunity to thank Council staff for their efforts over the past year and ask for more of the same.”