22 October 2020

Best Value report published

A report has today been published (22 Oct 2020), following an audit of the Council and the services we deliver.

The Accounts Commission ‘Best Value’ report says council officers and councillors work well together, local residents are positive about services, finances are well-managed and there is a strong emphasis on partnership working with other public and third sector bodies. But it goes on to say we need “clearer and more decisive leadership”. The commission says it is hard to see what the council intends to achieve from its high-level priorities. While many areas of Aberdeenshire are thriving, the council needs to increase its focus on neighbourhoods with higher levels of deprivation. This is now more urgent to mitigate the additional impact of Covid-19, and to address the significant gap in educational attainment between poorer areas and others.

Council Leader Cllr Jim Gifford said: “We welcome the recommendations and observations in the Best Value report. It was a comprehensive audit process which has teased out some of the steps we need to take as an organisation to keep moving forward at pace.

“Since the audit took place, our teams have been working flat out on the COVID-19 response, and it is my hope that Council staff recognise the strengths of this report. Their work has helped save lives and keep Aberdeenshire moving, and they have our utmost respect.

“Satisfaction across Aberdeenshire with the work of the Council remains high and we can consistently demonstrate the value of our roles in the lives of our community. Even before the audit process began we had acknowledged some of the issues highlighted here, and had started to take steps towards fixing them. We will continue to work hard to deliver on improvements across the board.”

Read the full report here: http://publications.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/dataset/best-value-assurance-report

A short animation has also been produced to support the results: https://youtu.be/vJ6hq66X_A0