Review of council services received

The latest review of council services in Aberdeenshire reveals a positive picture – with no areas of significant risk and evidence of good performance and improvement in a number of areas.

The Assurance and Improvement Plan (AIP) states that the council is achieving good outcomes for the community it serves.

The Plan sets out the planned scrutiny activity for the council based on a shared risk assessment undertaken by a local area network (LAN) made up of representatives of all the main local government audit and inspection agencies.

It was first published in July 2010 and was updated in May 2011. This latest update is the result of a shared risk assessment which drew evidence from a range of sources, including annual reports from the council’s external auditors, performance and self-evaluation data and inspection reports.

The report reveals some areas of uncertainty including performance management, services for homeless people, leadership and culture, challenge and improvement, competitiveness and managing people.

The council has developed an action plan to tackle each of these areas, many of which reflect the current financial circumstances of the council which is facing reduced funding and a reduction in the workforce.

Chief Executive Colin Mackenzie said: “This Plan is extremely encouraging as it shows that we remain on track to deliver quality services to our residents.

“It is also encouraging for employees who work so hard to see such a positive review, which is an endorsement of our focus on working to our vision, to be the best council and the best area in Scotland.

“There are areas of uncertainty highlighted in the report and we have a clear plan for tackling these and are confident that we are making good progress to meet the challenges ahead.”

The Plan also indicates that the council’s Best Value audit will focus on the areas of uncertainty. This is likely to take place later in the year.