A REPORT by the Welsh Audit Office has found Blaenau Gwent Council’s performance compared to the rest of Wales is ‘mixed’.
Each year, the Auditor General must report on how well Welsh councils, fire and rescue authorities and national park authorities are planning for improvement in delivering their services.
The report released this week sets out the findings of the work undertaken on behalf of the Auditor General by the staff of the Wales Audit Office and covers the delivery and evaluation of services at Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council in 2012-13, and its planning of improvement for 2013-14.
The report said: “The audit team found that, in 2012-13, the council made mixed progress in delivering improvements in most of its priority areas but key challenges remain.
“The council made some progress in delivering its 2012-13 improvement objectives but the council’s performance compared with the rest of Wales is mixed.”
The report found social services continued to perform well during 2012-13 and some lessons had been learnt from considering integration with Caerphilly County Borough Council.
However, is also said education services remain unsatisfactory .
The report found the council made significant progress in addressing its anticipated budget shortfalls in 2013-14 and 2014-15, but added it is crucial that the council now delivers these savings if it is to remain financially sustainable.
It also found members are ‘demonstrating an appetite’ for effective scrutiny and decision making, but the council made ‘very limited progress’ in acting on proposals for improving its information management, and did not take full advantage of the collaboration with Merthyr Council.
Cllr Steve Thomas, deputy leader and executive business manager of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council said: “As a council we understand the scale of the challenges we face and it is encouraging that our Annual Improvement Report recognises the progress the council is making.”