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Council benchmarking report hails Renfrewshire’s jobs programmes

Chamber News, Member News 13th March 2018

Renfrewshire’s employability programmes have been rated the best performing in Scotland in a new national report benchmarking the performance of all Scottish Councils.

The latest Local Government Benchmarking Framework Indicator Profile ranks the Council’s jobs and training programme as No.1 nationally in assisting people into work.

The annual report collates data across a range of services including education, housing and adult social care, considering service costs, their effectiveness and customer satisfaction.

Renfrewshire has improved in more than 60 per cent of the 64 performance indicators in the 2016/17 report and is ranked in the top eight local authorities for 16 of these.

It reports Renfrewshire school attainment levels up across the board, with more pupils gaining five or more National 5 and Higher awards.

And it highlights strong customer satisfaction in Renfrewshire for schools and local leisure facilities.

The report found:

Council employability programmes are ranked 1st in Scotland and double the national average for assisting people into work

85% of adults are satisfied with local schools, placing Renfrewshire sixth best in Scotland.

More pupils from areas of multiple deprivation  gained five or more National 5 and Higher awards than in 2015/16

Council efficiency with just 4.19% spent on support services

More than half of the highest paid council employees are women

82% of adults are satisfied with our leisure facilities, placing Renfrewshire fifth best in Scotland

Renfrewshire’s cleanliness score improved to 91%

98% of council properties are energy efficient

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson has welcomed the steady improvements in performance.

Councillor Nicolson said: “This is a positive report which highlights a number of areas where investment has made a real difference to the lives of communities across Renfrewshire.

“We can be very proud in particular of the continuous improvements being achieved in our schools, giving children in Renfrewshire every opportunity to achieve their potential no matter their background.

“And for our employability programmes to be the best performing in Scotland in helping people into work is highly commendable. We have just invested a further £4.5million to lever in more European funding over the next five years to carry on this great work and make the most of the employment opportunities being created here in Renfrewshire through key projects like early years’ expansion and the construction of Scotland’s national manufacturing institute.”

The report also raises a number of areas for improvement, including customer satisfaction with street cleaning and maintaining Renfrewshire roads.

Renfrewshire’s 2018 Budget confirmed an additional £2.5million to improve the local environment over the next five years and a single-year £7.2million in 2018/19 to improve Renfrewshire roads and footpaths.

“There are areas we know Renfrewshire can and must improve upon,” added Councillor Nicolson. “We recognise the challenges facing our communities and that’s why our budget provided additional funding to target these elements as a priority. By listening to our residents and by working closely with our community partners, Renfrewshire can and will thrive.”

The benchmarking report builds on the positive findings of the Account’s Commission Best Value report in 2017 which praised the Council for improving its services and recognised the effective financial management and medium term strategies in place.

Sandra Black, Renfrewshire Council Chief Executive said: “The data presented in this report is an important tool in monitoring and comparing our progress and enables local authorities to share best practice with one another for the benefit of local communities.

“We have a clear focus on improvement and this report complements the detailed performance monitoring by our management team and scrutiny by our elected members and the public. We will consider the report’s findings very carefully as we continue to develop innovative new ways of working which meet our communities’ changing needs.”

Findings from the Local Government Benchmarking Framework Indicator Profile will be considered by councillors in a report to the Audit, Risk and Scrutiny Board on Monday 19 March 2018.

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