The highest quality services for the best value

It’s interesting to note that most of the conversations about local government for the last six months (and presumably for the coming months until Gordon Brown finally puts the country out of its misery and goes to the polls) include the phrase “…but this will probably change under a new Government”.

And so it was yesterday when I attended a meeting of IDeA Member Peers in London. Member Peers are those who volunteer to undertake a variety of work with other authorities – mentoring, peer reviews, inspections and so on.

The Audit Commission’s Comprehensive Area Assessment – or CAA – has been both applauded and reviled by the public sector. Some say it’s not clear what the intended outcomes are; others that it gives greater clarity to what public services are achieving in each area.

But one thing’s for sure. Even though many feel that a new Government will bring an end to CAA, it’s odds-on that any new Government – of whatever political persuasion – will want to keep some inspection mechanism to regulate the local delivery of public services.

I just hope pragmatism prevails, and local government can work to ensure that taxpayers get the highest quality services for the best value.

Surely nobody can argue with that.

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