Thursday, 27 February 2014
South Ayrshire Council promises sustained and obvious improvement
The Leader of South Ayrshire Council has promised “sustained and obvious improvement” as the Accounts Commission publishes its findings today (Thursday 27 February 2014) on the Best Value audit report covering leadership and culture, performance management and scrutiny within the Council.
Councillor Bill McIntosh (pictured above) said the findings, which highlighted concerns in the Council’s ability to sustain continuous improvement in these areas, provided a road map for a journey that was already underway across the Council.
He added: “The Commission’s findings and the audit report are not a pleasant read – and neither should they be if there are issues we need to address. However, I do welcome the recognition that the performance of the Council services we deliver to our people and communities, day in and day out, raised no significant concerns.
“We’re here to serve the people of South Ayrshire and that will continue to be our number one priority as we tackle the challenges set out in the report head-on. We will do what’s needed – it’s as simple as that – and I’m very clear on what’s required, and expected, from both Councillors and officers across the Council.
“I’m confident we have the people and processes in place to address the Commission’s concerns and, by working together, we will deliver sustained and obvious improvement that genuinely makes a difference.
“The building blocks to achieve this are mostly in place – a review of our scrutiny arrangements is already underway, performance reporting mechanisms are being tightened up and our Council Plan will be considered by elected members at the Council meeting on 6 March. We’re also creating a dedicated improvement team – that was one of our budget decisions taken in December.
“We obviously have a challenging road to navigate. But, with the work already underway and the additional steps we’re putting in place, I’m certain we can fully embed a culture of improvement and come out stronger on the other side.”
Chief Executive Eileen Howat (pictured above) added: “While we take on board the Commission’s findings and concerns and are actively addressing these, I do want to emphasise the Commission’s recognition of the performance of our Council services. I also want to thank our staff for the work they do in delivering high quality services to our people and communities every day.
“We know the improvement work that needs to be done – in fact a lot of it is already going on. And I am determined this will be progressed in an effective and efficient way to ensure it delivers the right outcomes for the Council and the people we serve.
“This is a time for working together to ensure we provide the necessary stability, direction and leadership to build trust and confidence and deliver the future success of the Council. And there’s a collective commitment from members and officers to do just that.”
Councillor John McDowall (pictured above), Depute Leader of the Council, concluded: “We have a strong partnership administration working extremely well together to address the issues contained within the audit report. I have every confidence we are moving forward in the right direction and will make the significant progress needed to make a difference.”
South Ayrshire Council is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.