Anglesey County Council making progress in strengthening arrangements and improving services

2 Dec 2015 - 11:38am

But more needs to be done to use staff and other resources more strategically 

The Isle of Anglesey County Council has improved its self-awareness, making good progress in strengthening its governance, management and improving services; but much remains to be done to use staff and other resources more strategically. This is the overall conclusion of a corporate assessment and annual improvement report published by the Auditor General today.

The report concludes that Council members, officers and partners are working well together within an improving governance framework, and are addressing those arrangements which they recognise as not performing well. However, the Council needs to do more to use staff and other resources more strategically to continue to deliver its priorities in the face of further financial challenges.

Governance and corporate arrangements have improved and, although there are some important gaps, the Council is aware of what still needs to be done. The Council’s leadership team acknowledges that, in particular, more needs to be done to embed cultural and managerial change and the report found that the risks associated with this area are being managed effectively.

Although the Council has had difficulties in its finance department, it has delivered overall savings targets and is now well placed to sustain improved arrangements for financial planning and accountability. However, weaknesses in the planning and management of the workforce represent a risk to the Council’s future capacity and capability.

The report found that the Council has made good overall progress against its improvement priorities and has performed strongly against a high proportion of national indicators. There is evidence from the other inspectorates, Estyn and the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales, that the Council is making significant change and improvement within the school services and in implementing an ambitious transformation programme for both adult and children’s services.

There are no statutory recommendations in the report, but the report includes some proposals for improvement from the Auditor General. These include proposals that the Council should:

  • review its improvement priorites to ensure the scale of its ambitions are clear and that it realistically reflects the capacity and the resources the Council has;
  • ensure its strategies for people, ICT and Asset management are linked to the corporate plan and associated financial strategy;
  • ensure that it develops and applies the skills necessary to better manage and monitor contracts with external suppliers when implementing its procurement strategy; and
  • apply a consistent approach to workforce planning and use the results to inform any futher reductions in staff.

Auditor General for Wales, Huw Vaughan Thomas said today:

‘Anglesey Council has made significant progress in strengthening its governance and corporate arrangements and improving the services for citizens. However the Council needs to do more to use its staff and resources more strategically if it is to overcome the internal and external challenges it faces.’