Council is performing well say watchdogs

Kevin Snow09th December 2009

The District Council has scored three out of four under a tough new inspection regime. The assessment was led by the Audit Commission working with five other watchdogs and the results for Three Rivers are announced today along with other councils across England. The performance management rating means that Three Rivers District Council is performing well.

Leader Cllr Ann ShawLeader of the Council Ann Shaw said:

"We are working hard to both reduce costs and expand and improve services. This is a big task and I'm pleased the Audit Commission has recognised our achievements.

"The Commission has also given us advice on making further improvements to the way we manage the Council and its resources."

The overall conclusion of the report is that the Council has continued to deliver high quality services which matter to local people. Key findings include:

  • The Council is working well in partnership with the police and other local bodies, making the area a safer place to live and reducing the fear of crime.
  • Crime and anti-social behaviour have fallen by 26% in the last two years. 
  • The Council has made sure that more waste is being recycled, re-used or composted. 
  • The Council is helping local people to be more physically active by running popular exercise programmes.
  • Benefits and planning services are processing their customers' applications more quickly. 
  • Local people are able to influence decisions in the area and the Council consults with people from a wide range of communities in the district. 
  • The Council has become more cost efficient and is effective at monitoring its performance.

The Council saved £350,000 last year through increased efficiency.  The CouncilOutline of UK announced in November that it is aiming to save £2.6M between April 2009 and March 2012 to keep council tax rises as low as possible.

The new assessment is called the Comprehensive Area Assessment (CAA) and used findings from the independent national residents' satisfaction survey conducted last autumn (called the Place Survey) as part of its evaluation of Three Rivers District Council. Residents' satisfaction with services in Three Rivers were among the best Place Survey results in Hertfordshire. Results of the Place Survey were announced earlier in the year.

The CAA programme has taken place across England and Three Rivers is expected to rank among the top local authorities in Hertfordshire. CAA results for councils across the country, written in plain English, can be found on the Audit Commission's new oneplace website The site includes the full assessment report and ratings for Three Rivers District Council.