Magazine article Public Finance

End 'Crude' Rankings, Say Town Halls

Magazine article Public Finance

End 'Crude' Rankings, Say Town Halls

Article excerpt

Local government leaders are calling for league tables and crude national comparisons to be scrapped when Comprehensive Area Assessments are introduced. They argue that the tables do nothing to foster the improvements intended by the inspection regime.

The Local Government Association made the call as it responded to the consultation on CAAs conducted by the Audit Commission and the other inspectorates. It wants an end to the current practice of giving authorities a single overall score of between zero and four.

Corin Thomson, the LGA's director for improvement and performance, told Public Finance that such rankings did little to identify what needed to change. 'The scores can act as motivators, but they don't tell you what you need to fix,' she said. 'If you just tally everything up and say to an authority "you're a three, or a four", it doesn't tell you how to improve.'

Instead, the LGA wants the data for each of the 198 national indicators to be published in an accessible form so councils can compare their performance on a particular indicator against every other authority.

It also wants the CAAs 'direction of travel' statement, which assesses capacity to improve, to apply to the whole area rather than just the council, as proposed. …

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