Wales Audit Office acknowledges improving Council services in Swansea
SWANSEA Council's continuing effort to deliver improving services in a difficult economic climate has been acknowledged by the Wales Audit Office (WAO).
The WAO has delivered its Annual Improvement Report on the Council, one of 22 due to be publish on local authorities in Wales in January and February.
Iit concludes the authority is providing good and improving services to the people of the city.
Mary Jones, Cabinet Member for Business Efficiency and Performance, said: "It is pleasing to see the WAO has acknowledged the improvements we have achieved, particularly in vital areas like education and social services.
"The report also highlights how our efforts alongside partner organisations to tackle issues like economic inactivity should have a beneficial effect on the city.
"The WAO also acknowledges that we are delivering on most of our objectives to help create and maintain Swansea as a safe, prosperous and pleasant place to live, work and do business."
In the report the WAO says:
• Education performance is good, particularly at secondary level subjects of English, Welsh and Mathematics,where more than half the city's secondary schools are in the top 25% in Wales when compared to similar schools
• Children's Services have continued to improve since the departure of the Intervention Board and a plan has been put in place to deal with budgetary issues whilst continuing to support the improvements.
• Adult services are being re-shaped and the Council has laid the foundations for future improvement, including working with the health sector.
• The Council has a good understanding of its financial situation and, given it has clear leadership, will remain well placed to address its financial challenges.
• The Council is committed to increasing the public's influence on its business and promoting a wider range of public engagement
Cllr Jones said the Council is already working on further areas for improvement identified in the report such as adding clarity to its vision and setting appropriate objectives that will help drive forward improvements in the future.
She said: "The Annual Improvement Report is an important tool in supporting Councils to continue to improve.
"This annual report by Wales Audit Office is an assessment of Swansea Council and the work being done to improve services for the people of Swansea. It is satisfying to see that it acknowledges the Council has many appropriate arrangements in place to support improvement in the future."
Chris Holley, Leader of the Council, said: "Swansea Council touches the lives of thousands of families every single day. It's very important to us that the services we provide to some of the most vulnerable in our communities are the best they can be.
"In the current economic climate where there is significant pressure on budgets now and in the future, it is satisfying to see that the WAO is acknowledging continuing improvement in services.
"But, as the WAO report says, there is more to do and the Council will be working hard to continue to maintain improvement in the future."
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