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Council praised over recycling

PUBLISHED: 10:25 18 September 2008 | UPDATED: 21:18 05 July 2010

A council which has been heavily criticised by government inspectors in recent years has been praised for its recycling and street cleaning services.

The Audit Commission inspection team visited Waveney District Council earlier this year to look at a wide range of services from recycling to waste collection, beach cleaning to graffiti removal, and have today awarded Waveney a 'fair' rating, with 'promising prospects for improvement'.

A council which has been heavily criticised by government inspectors in recent years has been praised for its recycling and street cleaning services.

The Audit Commission inspection team visited Waveney District Council earlier this year to look at a wide range of services from recycling to waste collection, beach cleaning to graffiti removal, and have today awarded Waveney a 'fair' rating, with 'promising prospects for improvement'.

Although the commission's report only gives Waveney one star out of three, it is being hailed as good news by the council, which has been criticised by the Audit Commission in the past for problems with its benefits service, management and spending.

The report praised the council's recycling services, which are among the best in the country with more than 48pc of rubbish being recycled or composted in 2006/7.

It also noted that in 2006/7, 15pc of streets in the district were littered, but this year the figure has fallen to just 5pc.

However it said that many people find it difficult to gather information or make comments about the services, either by telephone or in person, and that this aspect of customer service needs to be improved.

Ken Sale, Waveney's cabinet member for the environment, said: “Across a wide range of services, our teams have worked tirelessly to maintain and improve the environment around us and I am very grateful to them all for their efforts. With the cooperation and commitment of the people of Waveney, we have shown the Audit Commission that this is a good place to live and visit.

“We remain on an improvement journey, but this report is a great boost and provides genuine, tangible evidence of the real improvements being made.”

Edwina Child, a senior manager at the Audit Commission, said: “Waveney District Council has made things better for users of this service, especially around waste management and recycling. The council is aware of the problems its service faces and acts quickly to remedy them.”

The commission has recommended that in future the council needs to ensure that all parks and open spaces are maintained to the same level and that councillors should receive more training to improve scrutiny of the services.

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