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LGA study finds majority of residents trust councils

72% of residents are satisfied with the way services are run by their local council, a new report indicates. The research was conducted as part of the LGA’s appraisal on the sector-led approach for delivering improvement.

Reduction in inspections and targets for local authorities has allowed councils to find new and better ways of measuring success, identifying areas for improvement and offering residents greater local accountability, the LGA highlighted.

Two-thirds of residents surveyed trust their council, compared with a third expressing the same trust in parliament. On the sector-led approach, three-quarters of council policy chiefs said it was the right way forward, with 95% confident in their ability to deliver change.

Cllr Peter Fleming, chair of the LGA's Improvement Board, said: “Not only was the old system of inspection and centrally-set targets incredibly expensive to administer and out of touch considering 70% of council spending is now raised locally, it simply wasn't achieving results.

“The sector-led approach to improvement is not a replacement for inspection. It offers us a new way to ensure all councils meet the expectations and needs of their residents by giving us the freedom to establish a constructive and positive environment in which to share new ideas and work with one another to implement best practice.

“It is really encouraging to see senior officers and elected members engaging with the approach and taking up the LGA's offer of support. I have also heard nothing but positive things from ministers and civil servants in the Department for Communities and Local Government.

“Ultimately we are answerable to our residents and the new approach to driving change is helping to improve services to meet local needs and offers transparency for both local and national audiences.”

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