North Ayrshire Council welcomes Best Value Assurance Report
Posted on 30 Jun 2020
A major new report shows that North Ayrshire Council is delivering value-for-money services to its local communities.
The Best Value Assurance Report investigates whether the Council is meeting the highest standards of governance and financial stewardship, as well as providing value in using its resources and providing services.
Audit Scotland visited the Council over several weeks last year before drawing up their newly-published report, which has now been approved by the Accounts Commission.
As part of their considerations, auditors described the report as one of the best delivered on a Council in recent years.
It says the Council has made continuous improvement since the last Best Value report in 2011 and it continues to be innovative in providing value-for-money services to the residents of North Ayrshire.
Council Chief Executive Craig Hatton said: “We’re delighted with the report - it’s a reflection of the effort and hard work put in by staff across the council over a number of years.
“I’m really pleased that it recognises the close working between Council officials, our Elected Members and our communities to deliver real and meaningful improvements.
“The report also highlights the continuous improvement of the Council over recent years and that impetus is something we cannot lose – we will continue to identify areas for improvement and drive transformation of our services to ensure our residents get the best services possible.
“We will also fully take on board the recommendations made by the Accounts Commission as we continue on this journey of transformation.”
Council Leader Joe Cullinane said: “It’s pleasing that the report recognises the work the Council is doing to ensure our communities are a key part of how we deliver services.
“As well as making sure that we are empowering communities in a wide range of Council services, the report highlights that we are being innovative in our approach to dealing with major challenges, such as launching a Community Wealth Building Strategy and our work to tackle Child Poverty.
“We have a lot of work to do and many challenges to overcome but the report shows we are heading in the right direction.”
Graham Sharp, Chair of the Accounts Commission said: “The commitment and vision of the council is impressive. North Ayrshire is rightly recognised as an award-winning council, that looks to innovate.
“It continually strives to improve, working alongside its partners and local communities to make the lives of local people better, focusing on creating a thriving local economy.”
The Best Value report looks at all areas of Council services and among its key findings were:
- The council has a strong culture of continuous improvement. It has significantly improved and continued to make progress since the last Best Value report in 2011.
- There is a strong culture of collaborative working at North Ayrshire Council with Elected Members and Council officers working well together, and with local businesses and partners.
- Despite significant economic and demographic challenges, the council is performing well.
- The council's arrangements for financial planning and management are good overall and it has significantly improved its asset management and procurement arrangements since the last Best Value report.
- The council is committed to community empowerment and is recognised by the Scottish Government and Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) as a sector leader.
The report adds: “We found a strong culture of continuous improvement, driven by effective evidence and staff who are empowered to make decisions in their area and to propose changes.
“The council has delivered on its ambitions in 2011 and is now a lean, flexible and innovative organisation. The council has worked to improve the skills and capacity of its staff at all levels. There is collaboration and a culture of shared learning across the council.
“Staff are key to improvement activity at the council and are supported by a strong Executive Leadership Team and fully engaged elected members. The council uses data and staff suggestions to identify and improve outcomes in line with priorities. The council has made significant progress since 2011.”
The Best Value Assurance Report is available to read online here