South Lanarkshire Council demonstrates strong leadership, has a good approach to the way it manages its finances and has delivered improvements to many services. Now the council needs to ensure that service redesign is driven by engagement with local communities.
A report on the council by the local authority watchdog, the Accounts Commission, says the council delivers major capital projects on time and on budget, has redesigned services and has a culture of continuous improvement. This will help them to meet the financial challenges that all councils continue to face.
The report says the impact of taking a longer-term approach to improving services is clear in education; attainment has improved since 2011/12 and an increased proportion of 16 to 19-year-olds are now participating in learning, training or work. The council also has a comprehensive and forward- looking approach to workforce planning that helps to prepare for future workforce pressures.
The Commission says the council should do more to talk to and work with local communities as it looks to redesign services in the future, as well as seeking a better understanding of how residents view the services they receive.
Graham Sharp, chair of the Accounts Commission said:
"We are pleased to recognise the sustained and continuous improvement demonstrated by South Lanarkshire Council. Their ability to deliver on major projects, comprehensive approach to managing their workforce and focus on ensuring financial sustainability, at a time of increased demand and tightening budgets, is acknowledged. Now the council must focus on engaging more with residents, ensuring they are integral to the ways in which local services are delivered."