Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 27th September 2007
Title of Item/Report
Record of the Decision
Cabinet considered a report relating to the ‘corporate assessment' the Council would be subject to in December 2007 as part of the Comprehensive Performance Assessment.

Members noted that as part of the preparation for the Corporate Assessment, the Audit Commission required the Council to complete a self assessment document for submission to the inspection team. The self assessment would form the principal reference point for the corporate assessment. The information and evidence that it provided would be used to help inform judgements made by the assessment team and decisions regarding the scope and focus of its team's on-site field work.

It was explained that the self assessment must include what the Council considered its scores were for each theme, be analytical and evidence based. The Council had to demonstrate:

That it was self aware of its current position in terms of local context and capacity to deliver improved outcomes for local people
A clear understanding of the challenges and opportunities it faced and a realistic evaluation of strengths and weaknesses

The Self Assessment would be based on a set of Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOEs) which provided a framework to assess the Council against five key themes, under three headline questions:

What was the Council, together with its partners trying to achieve?

Theme 1 - Ambition for the community
Theme 2 - Prioritisation

What was the capacity of the Council, including its work with partners, to deliver what it was trying to achieve?

Theme 3 - Capacity
Theme 4 - Performance Management

What had been achieved?

Theme 5 - Achievement; broken down into five sub themes:
o Sustainable communities and transport
o Safer and stronger Communities
o Healthier communities
o Older people
o Children and young people (the Council was not required to include this area in the self assessment as the Joint Area Review of Children's Services was happening at the same time and would provide evidence for this theme of the corporate assessment)

In addition to the Key Lines of Enquiry themes, the self assessment included a context and summary section, which detailed the following:

Locality information and operating context (economic and business opportunities and challenges relevant to the shared priorities; information about major initiatives, projects or pilots that the council or its partners were doing; information about the key features of the community - demography, deprivation, diversity etc - and how this impacted on the council)
Contextual information about the council (decision making structures; key partnerships, arrangements or frameworks for joint working or delivery; arrangements for undertaking research, consultation and engagement; financial resources)

Members noted that work on drafting the self assessment against the Key Lines of Enquiry had included consultation, engagement and feedback from many sources including members, officers and partners. To support the self assessment the Audit Commission also required key documentation and supporting evidence to be submitted. The self assessment was supported by evidence which had been subject to a rigorous quality assurance process to ensure all evidence supported both the key lines of enquiry and the self assessment.

A copy of the self assessment was provided to members for consideration

Cabinet noted that there was a requirement for the self assessment to be scored. Each theme could be scored with a maximum of 4 points. These 5 scores would then be combined using a set of rules to produce an overall Corporate Assessment Score. The rules were as follows;

2 or more themes with a score of 4 and none less than a score of 3 will score 4
3 or more with a score of 3 or more and none with less than a score of 2 will score 3
3 or more with a score of 2 or more will score 2
Any other combination will score 1

Detailed below were the Council's proposed scores for each theme:

Ambition for the community - 4
Prioritisation - 4
Capacity - 3
Performance management - 4
Achievement -4

If achieved then this would produce a Corporate Assessment score of 4. The
Corporate Assessment score would then be combined with other service
block scores to provide the authority with an overall CPA rating.

Members noted that the Self Assessment and supporting evidence had to be submitted to the Audit Commission by the 15th October 2007. Following on from this, there was an analysis week which would include a tour of the Borough and a round table meeting where the inspection focus would be discussed in further detail. Details of these dates and those leading up to the publication of the final report were provided:-

Self Assessment Submission 15/10/07
Analysis week w/c 12/11/07
On site inspection 2 weeks commencing 3/12/07
Draft report to Council 30/01/08
Comments back to team leader 13/02/08
Pre publication report to council 14/03/08
Latest date to request a review 11/04/08
Publication 22/04/08


1. the draft self assessment and scores for each theme be agreed.

2. the Chief Executive Officer, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, be delegate authority to make any further changes to the self assessment, prior to its submission to the Audit Commission in October
Reasons for the Decision
The self assessment required Cabinet approval prior to its submission to the Audit Commission.

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Details of any Dispensations
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Not later than midnight on Friday 5th September 2007

Date of Publication: 01 October 2007

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