Martin Ford 22 April 2021

Watchdog urges 'revaluation' of councils' role

Watchdog urges revaluation of councils role image

The ‘role and value’ of councils in Wales should be revaluated in face of rising demand and financial pressures, according to a new report.

While local authorities are ‘not confident that they can continue’ to deliver services in high demand they are ‘neither effectively nor consistently involving’ citizens willing to run services, Audit Wales concluded.

There is also a lack of comprehensive data to inform spending reductions, according to the report looking at discretionary services.

Despite local government services being ‘essential to keeping people safe and healthy,’ the report warned ‘councils face a real challenge of remaining relevant to all their citizens’.

Audit Wales found, in general, councils have ‘sought to protect services that help the most vulnerable,’ with the deepest cuts having fallen on leisure, recreation, cultural and regulatory services.

The watchdog's report said the pandemic ‘offers civic leaders an opportunity to revaluate the role and value of local government’.

It read: ‘Most councils have put in place processes to determine cuts by reviewing services and identifying options to deliver them in future, although the data is not as comprehensive as it could be.

‘Councils are missing the benefits of involving citizens who are willing to get involved in helping share and run services.’

Auditor general for Wales, Adrian Crompton, said: ‘The pandemic has seen local government stepping up to deliver essential services for their communities.

‘However, reduction in the breadth of service delivery means local councils need to ensure they remain relevant to all their citizens.

‘The pandemic has presented them with an opportunity to revaluate their role and find new, innovative solutions to safeguard the essential services they provide.’

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Electoral Services Officer

Denbighshire County Council
£29,577- £32,234
Denbighshire County Council has an exciting vacancy for the post of Electoral Services Officer Denbighshire (Sir Ddinbych)
Recuriter: Denbighshire County Council

Residential Assistant

Essex County Council
£18029 - £20604 per annum
About the Role Please note, this is a part time role working 22.5 hours per week.The salary would be on a pro rata basis, so £10,963 - £12,529 per an England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Customer Specialist

Essex County Council
Up to £22915 per annum
This is a part time role for 20 hours a week for a fixed term period of 12 months. The Role Essex County Council (ECC) is one of the largest and most England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Head of Commissioning and Partnerships

Government of Jersey
£76,299 - £86,279 per annum
Jersey is on an exciting journey towards implementing a new model of care Jersey (GB) (JE)
Recuriter: Government of Jersey

Employer Officer

Essex County Council
Up to £28846 per annum
Employer OfficerFixed Term, Full TimeUp to £28,846 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue