Council’s consultation on future priorities will help it prepare for challenges ahead says Auditor General
Bridgend Council is developing appropriate plans for the future, and subject to aligning its ICT and human resource functions within its transformation programme, is well placed to secure improvement. That is the conclusion of a corporate assessment report published by the Auditor General today.
Auditor General for Wales, Huw Vaughan Thomas said today:
Bridgend Council is making good progress in developing a vision of how the Council will operate in the future. It has recognised the need to consult, to both establish and then develop its key priorities and I would encourage it to continue this in order to inform decision making and improve outcomes for citizens.
The report concludes that the council is already planning for the future with a consultation underway designed to improve its focus on priority activity for 2020 when the council anticipates having only 70 per cent of its current resources to provide services. The council has identified supporting a successful economy, helping people to be more self-reliant and smarter use of resources as the key activities that will drive the changes necessary to enable the Council to operate effectively in the future.
The council has also demonstrated that it has in strong arrangements to support improvement and drive change. The report found that the council was shown to have effective governance arrangements with Cabinet members fully engaged in the development of the new vision and playing an active role in consideration of options for change, while the council’s performance management arrangements were helping drive improvement in key service areas.
Today’s report also found that the whilst the Council faces significant financial challenges it has sound financial and asset management arrangements in place which will help it maintain the resilience it needs. The report does recognise, however, a need for the Council to develop its human resource and ICT services further so that they are aligned with the transformation agenda and help provide vital support for the developing vision the Council has for its future operations.
The Auditor General makes eight formal proposals for improvement, which include:
- Establishing the vision of the Council for 2020 that will support a strategic approach to service delivery and guide service planning;
- Develop both its ICT and human resource services so they can support the Council’s transformation agenda;
- Ensure service business plans incorporate consideration of future property requirements; and
- Build upon the current development of Local Service Board arrangement by adopting measures to evaluate the success of the key collaborative activities.