Welsh councils making decisions about their services

A new report highlights examples of practice and areas for improvement for how councils in Wales are managing service change.

The Wales Audit Office report, which brings together lessons learned from individual audits at all 22 local authorities which looked at governance arrangements, finds that all councils in Wales are continuing to make decisions about the services they provide in light if cuts to public spending and rising demand for services.

The report suggests that some councils consult stakeholders on the role that they think the council should play in the community, or consider developing the capacity of officers in preparing proposals and business cases. The Wales Audit Office also thinks there is scope to enhance the support to councillors to carry out their roles in the service change process more effectively.

Huw Vaughan Thomas, Auditor General for Wales, said: “Councils are increasingly having to make difficult decisions about changing the services they provide to the public and this is often a complex and controversial process. My report today should serve as a useful handbook to those who have responsibility for this across Wales. We have uncovered lots of useful case studies of approaches that councils are taking and we also highlight where things need to improve. It is a must-read for councils.”