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Leaders pledge to 'improve' council

PUBLISHED: 11:38 05 February 2008 | UPDATED: 19:39 05 July 2010

COUNCIL leaders in Waveney today pledged to work to transform the local authority in the wake of the latest damning report from the Audit Commission.

The "direction of travel" report from the commission considers the progress an authority is making during each calendar year and is expected to make its full assessment public in March.

COUNCIL leaders in Waveney today pledged to work to transform the local authority in the wake of the latest damning report from the Audit Commission.

The “direction of travel” report from the commission considers the progress an authority is making during each calendar year and is expected to make its full assessment public in March.

Waveney District Council leader Mark Bee said the commission acknowledged there had been good progress in some areas but performance had deteriorated during 2007.

“As we admitted last year, performance has not been good enough in some key areas and the departure of chief executive Glen Garrod before Christmas reflected the need to take the difficult decisions for the benefit of Waveney and its residents.

“The Audit Commission's report is a tough assessment, and it tells us what we already knew at the end of 2007 - that the pace of improvement needs to be picked up,” he said.

Mr Bee said improvements were being put in place and praised the work of the volunteer “change champions” who were working in small teams to look at how key areas can be improved.

He also said that interim chief executive Deborah Cadman was making an extremely positive impact in helping the authority improve its performance.

The Audit Commission report highlights a number of concerns including planning, management of resources and performance management.

Waveney is praised, however, for its success in waste recycling and partnerships that have reduced crime and anti-social behaviour.

“I am encouraged by the positives, of which there are several, but the criticisms make us even more determined to get it right.

“WDC will not shirk from making further tough decisions if and when they are required, but I have long since taken the view that enough is enough.

“Strong action is required and I am utterly determined to have the Audit Commission back here in 12 months time praising the advances that we have made,” said Mr Bee.

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