Wirral has made ‘real progress’ in arrangements for delivering value for money and achieved good financial performance, says a new independent report.
The Grant Thornton review, which will be presented to Wirral’s Audit and Risk Management Committee on Monday next week, recognises the Council’s progress in securing governance and financial management which, it says, has secured ‘economy, efficiency and effectiveness.’
In their latest report, Grant Thornton highlights that the progress the Council has made has been formally recognised by an award for ‘Most Improved Council’ from the Local Government Chronicle.
And it notes the progress already made in the Council’s new plan - a 2020 Vision - which is now providing a Wirral-wide blueprint for partners’ to work together and deliver services differently.
‘On the basis of our work, we are satisfied that in all significant respects the Council has put in place proper arrangements to secure economy, efficiency and effectiveness in its use of resources for the year ending 31 March, 2015,’ it concludes.
Cllr Ann McLachlan, Wirral’s Cabinet Member for Governance, Commissioning and Improvement, said: ‘Providing value for money is a central theme in everything we do, so I really welcome this independent review.
'Following last year’s highly positive value for money report, this is tangible proof that Wirral now has effective controls and governance systems embedded across the Council, and that those systems are working well.
‘Significantly, this report has noted our ambitious plan to work with our partners like never before and they are right, our plans are ambitious, but our strengthened governance and financial arrangements give us a solid, secure, footing on which to build 2020 Vision’s plans to work with our partners to deliver services differently.’
As well as a regularly reviewing its financial strategy, the report says that Wirral successfully managed its finances in 2014/15, and is exploring new ways of working with its partners to meet the scale of further spending restrictions.
‘There is a recognition that delivering the 2020 Vision Plan will require the Council to work closely with its partners and to embrace new ways of working …the progress that has been made in recent years provides increased confidence about the deliverability of that vision,’ it says.
The latest findings follow last year’s positive report from Grant Thornton which found that major changes to the strategic management and organisational structure of the Council was reflecting positively on its performance.
The report can be viewed here.