Merton Council has scooped a four-star and ‘improving strongly’ rating from the Audit Commission – the highest score any council can achieve.
The commission was particularly impressed by Merton’s improvements in education and community safety. It also praised the council’s knowledge of the local community, its ability to provide value for money and the leadership it has shown in working with local partners to deliver major projects such as the new Mitcham Eastfields station.
In 2002 the Audit Commission rated the council as ‘weak’, and since then Merton has worked hard to turn around previously failing services and ensure that it is running itself effectively and efficiently as an organisation, for the benefit of local residents, business rate and council taxpayers.
Ged Curran, Chief Executive of Merton Council, said: “We have great staff at Merton and I am pleased that their hard work has been recognised. There is always more to do and improvements we can make to our services, but it is wonderful to receive this award as we tackle those challenges.”
Merton Council leader, Councillor David Williams said: “This is an incredible achievement for Merton, especially when the present economic conditions are taken into consideration. It is the culmination of years of hard work by everyone at the council, from front-line staff to directors, councillors and of course our partners, including the police, health agencies, and local community and voluntary sector organisations.
“Everyone involved in the council’s work has been committed to doing all they possibly can to make sure we put our residents’ needs first and provide them with good quality services which offer value for money. In 2007 we were rated a three star council and it was by continuing to build on our progress that we have managed to achieve this year’s top rating. It is a result we can all be proud of.”
To find out more about Merton’s top result go to http://www.merton.gov.uk/cpa