Hackney “Improving Strongly” for second year running
The Council I'm a member of, Hackney, has been rated today by the Audit Commission as “improving strongly” and also retained its 3 star rating in the national Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA).
Hackney's Value for Money element of the Use of Resources score has risen from 2 to 3. That is of major importance in the current economic climate – in which Hackney's position of financial strength has enabled us to keep Council Tax frozen for four years in a row - we froze the Council Tax again last night at Budget Council - without cutting services, while continuing to drive up the quality of our services.
In addition, we have these scores for the following services:
4. Benefits - up from 3; Housing - up from 3
3 Environment - up from 2; Use of Resources - maintains its 3 with Value for Money moving from 2-3; Adult Social Services - retains its 3; Children’s Social Services - retains its 3.
Most importantly, residents are feeling the difference, with an almost 12% point increase in resident satisfaction with Hackney the place being a key headline of the 2008/09 Place Survey conducted by Ipsos MORI.
Yesterday it was also announced that the Council has been awarded Beacon status for outstanding work in two areas: Strategic Commissioning and using the Opportunity of Hosting the 2012 Games to encourage communities to be more active.
This is in addition to the improved 2 (out of a possible 3 stars) rating for Hackney Homes, which unlocks significant additional government funding to complete the Decent Homes programme for Council homes.
On 25th March Hackney will find out whether our shortlisted entries for “Most Improved Council of the Year” and “Partnerships/Team of the Year” have won the Local Government Chronicle national awards.
Congratulations to the Mayor, Cabinet and all of the Council's staff for driving forward these improvements.
The Audit Commission's Direction of Travel Narrative reads:
"What progress has the authority made in the last year?
Hackney Council is improving strongly. Hackney is delivering significant improvement in priority areas such as community safety, children and young people and adult social care. The pace of improvement is higher than the national average with three quarters of performance indicators improving in 2007/08. Overall resident satisfaction has improved with 60 percent of residents feeling their views are taken into account. This is supported by the Service First programme. Challenges remain in the planning service and tackling childhood obesity The Council works well with partners to deliver wider community outcomes such as health inequalities, addressing worklessness and tackling crime. Infant mortality and teenage pregnancy rates have decreased. Apprenticeships are used to deliver more local job opportunities. Crime overall has decreased. The Council provides improved value for money and financial standing is good. Leadership, planning and prioritisation are strong. Consultation is used well to shape services to meet the needs of diverse communities. The Council continues to improve performance management and is making good use of joint appointments to increase capacity. The Council is well placed to sustain and deliver future improvements."