Swansea Council improving across a range of services

24 Jun 2015 - 10:17am

Council’s clear vision means they are also preparing for challenges says Auditor General 

Swansea Council can demonstrate improvement across a range of key services and has developed a clear framework for managing future challenges. That is the conclusion of a corporate assessment and annual improvement report published by the Auditor General today.
The report concludes that the Council has a clear vision of what it wants to achieve, developing key priorities to achieve that vision and achieving buy-in from senior managers. The council has identified the safeguarding of vulnerable people, improvement of pupil attainment, creating a viable and vibrant economy, tackling poverty and the building of sustainable communities as its key drivers in the achievement of its vision. 

The Council has also recognised the need to accelerate the pace of improvement in its performance monitoring and management arrangements and, having established a strong track record for managing its budget, has also developed comprehensive arrangements for managing the financial challenges it will face in the future. 

Today’s report also found that the Council has demonstrated generally robust governance arrangements and has improved access to information regarding its scrutiny activity. While it has also improved its human resource strategy there are inconsistencies in how this is being applied and in how property asset commitments are being incorporated into service business plans. 

The Auditor General makes 4 formal proposals for improvement:

  • The Council should implement planned changes to the reporting arrangements for the key corporate priorities and identify a smaller number of outcomes intended to ensure delivery of the Council’s new priorities
  • Ensure records of delegated decisions made by officers are accurately recorded
  • Increase the pace of implementation of improvements to performance reporting arrangements to provide a balanced range of readily accessible information that assists decision making, and 
  • Ensure service business plans consistently incorporate workforce and asset management requirements as expected in corporate guidance.

Auditor General for Wales, Huw Vaughan Thomas said:

Swansea Council are demonstrating a range of improvements and their focus on establishing a set of key priorities should ensure that they continue to progress. I encourage the Council to look at ways to increase the pace of improvements; in particular around performance reporting so they can make well informed decisions that improve outcomes for citizens