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Can still do better, Audit Commission report tells council.

A council has been praised in its annual audit but still has areas in which it can improve.

The Audit Commission report into Tynedale Council said the authority was delivering improvements in four key areas and that "significant" investments were being made in affordable housing and leisure provision.

On the subject of affordable housing, the report read: "The council is increasing efforts to engage with the private sector on affordable housing issues. It recognises that this currently is a gap area."

The council was described as being "relatively strong" financially, but was seen only as adequate in providing value for money. The report read: "...value for money is not considered systematically throughout the year.

"Budget monitoring and performance monitoring are not yet joined up, making it difficult to demonstrate that officers and members consider value for money rather than costs and performance separately."

Richard Robson, chief executive of the council, said: "We are extremely pleased with the very positive tone of the audit letter, which shows that we are making good progress in all our key corporate priority areas, including affordable housing, community safety and recycling.

"The value for money issue raised is something we are aware of and are making progress to address. We spend a lot on key services such as leisure, culture and tourism, and the district receives a very high quality of service because of this.

"We are doing further testing to see if there are areas where this can be improved, and have asked the Audit Commission to provide details of best practice else-where."
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 1, 2007
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