Falkirk Council’s previous SNP led Administration had vision and delivered real benefits for the people of Falkirk district says the government body designed to assess the effectiveness of local government, Audit Scotland.
The long awaited report on the audit of Best Value & Audit Community Planning that took place around the time of last years elections has given a significant thumbs up to the performance of the Nationalist led Administration in a whole raft of areas of service delivery.
- “The council has been characterised by strong political and managerial leadership.” (page 11)
- “Falkirk council is an ambitious organisation with a clear vision for the area which is shared by elected members, staff and partners.” (page 10)
- In recent years the council has been characterised by strong and stable leadership.” (page 10)
- “The council has made excellent progress in addressing sustainable development and is able to demonstrate achievements at strategic and operational levels”. (page 31)
- “The council has used joint working effectively to deliver service improvements and support regeneration in the area”. (page 19)
- “The council has a well embedded planning framework” (page 15)
- “The council has established a long term vision for the area which is shared and understood by elected members, partners and employees.” (page 14)
- “The council’s joint strategy to support young people who are not in education, employment or training has been commended for its innovation by the Scottish Government. As at May 2007 Falkirk’s NEET rate was falling faster than that of Scotland as a whole ” (page 11)
Audit Scotland also commended the SNP led Administration for innovations such as The Helix, The Falkirk Stadium, Town Centre Regeneration Programmes, Staff Welfare policies, a strong commitment to equalities issues, community consultations, financial competence and carbon cutting and other green initiatives.
Commenting on the report, SNP leader and former council leader, David Alexander said,
“The SNP / Independent Administration from 2001 – 2007 was the most successful in the history of the local authority and now we have the proof if this contained within the Audit Scotland Report.
Falkirk needed a strong political Administration in 2001 as 30 years of neglect had left us facing massive problems. Our unemployment rate was above the Scottish average, our town centres were crumbling and to many of our young people were going from school to the scrap heap.
All of that changed in six short years under an Administration that introduced vision and ambition in equal quantities to Falkirk Council for the first time in generations.”
Councillor Alexander was less fulsome in his assessment of where Falkirk Council has gone since the report’s authors were last in Falkirk Council.
“Sadly the vision and certainty that characterised the previous Administration leading to a very positive report from Audit Scotland has been replaced by indecision and muddle as the Labour / Tory coalition stumble from crisis to crisis.
The momentum created by the SNP / Independent Administration has been lost in the 13 months of inactivity since last years elections and I seriously doubt that Audit Scotland would recognise Falkirk Council one year on.”