Best Value And The Comprehensive Performance
1.1 Best Value
Best Value is based on two complementary elements. The first is that continuous improvement in all services can be achieved by a process of performance management that includes detailed service planning, setting and monitoring targets for improvement, and developing the abilities of employees to deliver better services. The second is that major specific issues in service delivery can be addressed by carrying out fundamental reviews in order to identify the most suitable way of providing the service.
Following the practical experiences of the first two years of Best Value the Government introduced some changes to the Best Value process. These included changing the required publication date of this Performance Plan to 30th June each year, and dropping the requirement to include a five year programme of reviews covering all services. These changes have recently been reinforced by the introduction of the process of Comprehensive Performance Assessment to all "upper tier" authorities during 2002. This involves an external assessment by the Audit Commission of the performance of the Council across all its major services, and an assessment of its corporate capacity to improve, resulting in an overall score and the identification of the Council’s strengths and weaknesses. The outcome of the first Assessment of the County Council is described below.
1.2 Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA)
During 2002 the Audit Commission, on behalf of the Government, carried out an assessment of the performance of all 150 "upper tier" councils in the country. This involved bringing together relevant evidence on the performance of individual services, and also forming a judgement, based on a mixture of self-assessment and inspection, of the corporate performance of councils. The results were placed in a scoring matrix to produce a single word judgement on each council in one of five categories: Poor, Weak, Fair, Good, Excellent. The County Council was judged to be in the Good category overall, and was very close to achieving an Excellent rating. Our performance on service based assessments was consistently high as reflected in the Audit Commission Scorecard reproduced below.
How is Leicestershire County Council performing?
Overall performance good
Leicestershire County Council has been measured as good in the way that it serves its local people.
We reached this overall rating by looking at:
- how Leicestershire County Council is run;and
- how Leicestershire County Council’s main services perform.
Performance against other Councils
1. How is Leicestershire County Council run?
Leicestershire County Council received a measurement of 2 out of 4 for the way it is run.
The Council delivers strong services, especially in education and social care, and these are supported by a sound financial framework. More needs to be done to understand the priorities of local people and partners, to set and deliver a clear and ambitious vision for the county. The Council is well led and managed but needs to embrace its community leadership role if it is to deliver against its priorities.
2. How do Leicestershire County Council’s main services perform?
We have assessed core service performance in the service areas shown below. Each service is scored on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 being the lowest and 4 being the highest. Education and social care are given more importance in reaching the overall service score than other areas.
Service performance 1 (lowest) 4 (highest)
Education 3 out of 4
Social care – children 3 out of 4
Social care – adults 3 out of 4
Environment 4 out of 4
Libraries and leisure 3 out of 4
Use of resources 3 out of 4
Overall service performance 4 out of 4
1.3 CPA Recommendations
The Council’s major services scored highly in the CPA as can be seen above. Improvements to services are still being made however, as a result of our decisions on priorities and in response to Inspection reports. The CPA recommendations related mainly to making improvements in some of the corporate elements that support improving service delivery. The recommended areas for improvement relate to:
- developing clarity in the Council’s community leadership role;
- ensuring the effectiveness and focus of future plans;
- increasing the level of accountability to the public for performance standards;
- increasing the pace of organisational development.
These issues are addressed as part of the priorities set out in this Performance Plan.
1.4 Audit and Inspection programme
The Audit Commission has agreed an Audit and Inspection Programme with the Council which is aimed at monitoring our progress, particularly in the areas identified above, and also carrying out further Inspections of services that have so far not been subject to Inspection. Full details of the programme are available on the Council’s website.
Page Last Updated: 30 June 2003