Members of Denbighshire County Council have today discussed the annual improvement report issued by the Wales Audit Office.
For 2015/16, the improvement report concluded that “The Council, with sound financial management and scrutiny arrangements, continues to make progress in delivering improvements in most of its priority areas”.
At a meeting at County Hall, Ruthin today where the report was discussed, the Wales Audit Office hailed Denbighshire a ‘very good, very well run authority’.
The report discussed by councillors highlights the achievements of the Council. They included:
- the provision of affordable housing – the Council has developed a Housing Strategy and comprehensive supporting action plan;
- the Council’s social services are largely performing well;
- arrangements for managing performance and for delivering savings are robust and effective;
- relationship between Members and officers continue to be constructive and
- the Council is actively exploring new types of service delivery, including with commercial partners.
The Council welcomed the fact that the 2015/16 report did not include any formal recommendations, reflecting the WAO’s positive view of the Council’s progress.
The report did contact some areas for improvement and the Council has already introduced measures to address these matters:
- Safeguarding of vulnerable adults- safeguarding training has been provided for lead managers, there are improved screening of referrals through the Single Point of Access and arrangements are being reviewed for providing domiciliary care.
- Attendance at scrutiny meetings – timetable of meetings has been reviewed to encourage greater attendance, location of some meetings have changed and this has resulted in better attendance over the last three months
- The use of alternative models to deliver services – a corporate approach to delivery models is being prepared, the Council is looking at income generation, to ensure value for money.
Councillor Julian Thompson-Hill, Cabinet Lead Member for Performance, said: “The report is a recognition of the amount of good work that goes on in Denbighshire to maintain very high standards in services to residents and we are pleased that auditors highlight our achievements, particularly around managing budgets and performance.
“Whilst no formal recommendations have been made in the report, we recognise that there are areas that have been highlighted for improvement, but members have been reassured that steps had already been taken to address some of those areas.
“We are never complacent as we always strive to improve services to the best of our ability and it was pleasing to hear that the Council continues to be recognised as being one of the best performing councils in Wales”.
This report was discussed at the same meeting as the delivery of the most ambitious corporate plan for the Council was highlighted.