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Auditors heap praise on Waveney Council

PUBLISHED: 02:10 23 April 2009 | UPDATED: 09:07 06 July 2010

WAVENEY District Council has been praised by independent auditors for improvements to its housing services over the past three years.

A 2006 Audit Commission report branded the strategic housing service it offered as "poor" and gave it a no star rating on a scale that runs from zero to three.

WAVENEY District Council has been praised by independent auditors for improvements to its housing services over the past three years.

A 2006 Audit Commission report branded the strategic housing service it offered as “poor” and gave it a no star rating on a scale that runs from zero to three.

A new report today gives Waveney a “fair” one star rating with “promising prospects for improvement”.

The Audit Commission praised the council for providing more new affordable homes, reducing its use of bed and breakfast accommodation for homeless families and providing more choice for would-be tenants.

The council was criticised for not meeting the needs for all sections of the community and the inspectors said they could not be sure if the Tory-led authority's housing service was offering value-for-money.

Mark Elsworth, the Audit Commission's lead housing inspector for the East of England, said: “Since our last inspection in 2006, the council has embarked on a wide-ranging programme of improvements that is benefiting customers.

“It has effective leadership, which is putting the foundations in place to support ongoing improvement. There is still scope for further progress in all areas, such as securing greater value-for-money, but I am pleased that the council has already started to address our recommendations.”

Council leader Mark Bee said: “This report is another clear indication that Waveney is a better council. Better at delivering services and better for the people that matter most - our communities and customers.

“It confirms the genuine progress this council is making in black and white and follows the equally strong environment inspection, which also praised the council's achievements.

“I am absolutely delighted that the Audit Commission recognises the strides we are making and, allied to recent outstanding performance figures for our planning service, we are beginning to see a patter of consistent and sustained improvement.”

Robert Prince, the council's head of service for environment and housing, said action was already being taken to make further improvements and praised the work of his team.

He added: “But the hard work doesn't stop here. We will act on the recommendations, address areas where we must do better and redouble our efforts to deliver even greater service improvements.”

Copies of the report are available on the Audit Commission website at www.audit-commission.gov.uk

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