Liberal Democrat councillors in Harlow are today celebrating the results of Harlow Council's independent Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA). From being judged 'Poor' at its last CPA, the new assessment
classifies Harlow as 'Good' - a leap that only two other councils have achieved before.
Commenting on the result of Harlow Council's independent CPA inspection, which sees the council reclassified from 'Poor' to 'Good', Harlow's Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Chris Millington said:
"It is fantastic to achieve so much. I believe only two other councils have ever managed such a leap. We know that there is still work to do and we need to increase satisfaction levels with our services even further. In the meantime, we would like to thank fellow councillors and staff for their hard work and our many partners and residents within the community that have helped us to achieve this great result."
Liberal Democrat deputy group leader Cllr Robert Thurston said:
"Harlow Council's Liberal Democrat group is delighted to have been a key part of this success story. In 2002, we took on a council which had already been condemned as a 'ship of fools', and had been slated in numerous inspections. Five years later, the Audit Commission has reported that the council shows 'strong decision making and effective leadership', has 'clear vision and priorities', 'effective partnership working' and 'improving services that are starting to have a positive impact on the local community'.
Liberal Democrat councillors have played a consistent part in leading Harlow Council during this time, and it is in no small measure down to their determination and hard work - and that of dedicated council staff - that Harlow Council has been able to demonstrate the improvements revealed today."
WHAT THE AUDIT COMMISSION SAID
- "Harlow District Council is a good Council and improving well"
- "The Council now provides effective community leadership"
- "Harlow Council has completed a realistic, planned and measured approach to improvement"
- "The new Civic Offices have promoted the Council's ambition to be a modern and well-run Council with an efficient and effective working environment for staff and customers"
- "Staff say the culture of the organisation is supportive, open and transparent"
- "The Corporate Plan clearly sets outs the Council's aims and objectives for the community"
- "The consultation methods used help to ensure that the Council's ambitions match the aspirations of the local community"
- "Consultation with residents, stakeholders and partners has informed the Council's ambitions"
- "The Council produces a high quality and informative newsletter 'Harlow Times' which is delivered free to households in the District"
- "The Council has taken effective steps to understand the scale of the social, economic and environmental challenges facing the town"
- "The Council and its partners have a very good and shared understanding of the needs of the town"
- "The Council has demonstrated that it is able to make and sustain difficult decisions to deliver its priorities"
- "By defining clearly what are its priorities and what are not priorities, the Council is no longer confused about its role and this prioritisation underpins its 'do less better' agenda"
- "Councillors, staff and stakeholders have a good understanding of the Council's priorities"