Council's vision praised in review

Positive report from Accounts Commission

Ambition we have it

Ambitious plans for significant regeneration and change in North Lanarkshire have been commended in an independent audit report.

The report by local authority watchdog, the Accounts Commission, recognises that the council's vision for communities and businesses across North Lanarkshire is realistic, ambitious and achievable.

A considerable amount of progress has already been delivered by the council since its last audit report more than ten years ago and the Commission highlights how its vision, good leadership, governance and planning provides a positive framework to deliver on future plans.

Des Murray, chief executive of North Lanarkshire Council, said, "This is an extremely positive report from the Accounts Commission.

"The report clearly agrees that we have big ideas and a shared ambition that will lead to significant regeneration and change for communities and businesses in North Lanarkshire. Although the scale of our plans are considerable, we are determined that improved services and a skilled workforce will deliver on them so that we can ensure that North Lanarkshire is the place to live, learn, work, invest and visit.

"It's encouraging that improvements to housing and educational attainment are highlighted but similarly to other councils, we are keen to learn from reviews and we will take on board the recommendations so that we are always improving our services."

The Auditing Best Value report highlights that:

  • The Plan for North Lanarkshire is ambitious and clear and that realising this vision will lead to significant regeneration and change in North Lanarkshire, given it is an area with some acute socio-economic challenges.
  • The new management and service restructure, effective working between elected members and officers, and performance management framework aligned with the council's priorities outlined in its Plan for North Lanarkshire should be fully implemented.
  • Integrating workforce planning across the organisation and developing workforce plans for all services, involving working with staff, should be progressed, to reflect the expected scale and pace of change inherent in the council's objectives.
  • Good progress has been made in services across the council's priority areas, particularly in housing services and educational attainment.
  • The council's investment in digital in terms of transforming services as well as upskilling staff and communities and the benefits that will bring, has been recognised.
  • Given the financial challenges facing the council, robust financial management and planning is evident.
  • The council works with partners and communities and that its new community engagement strategy across North Lanarkshire Partnership will be an essential element for partners to take forward the ambitions of their vision. The council's integrated approach to working collaboratively with partners is acknowledged, and recommends that locality plans are completed, to fulfil their obligations under the Community Empowerment Act.
  • The council should better understand and learn from service user satisfaction information and ensure that good service performance information is easily accessible and communicated to people.
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