Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 22nd May 2008
Title of Item/Report
Corporate Assessment Results and Improvement Plan
Record of the Decision
Consideration was given to a report that provided Cabinet with the results of the Council's corporate assessment which had taken place in December 2007. The Audit Commission published its report on the Council in April 2008. It was noted that Stockton Borough Council achieved the highest corporate assessment rating of any council inspected to date outside London.

Members were provided with the details of the Comprehensive Performance Assessment - the Harder Test Model, introduced in 2005.

It was explained that the inspection had taken place over a two week period in December with an inspection team of five, including a peer member and a peer officer. Prior to the inspection the Council submitted a self assessment against the Audit Commission's published Key Lines of Enquiry together with a range of supporting evidence. The inspectors commented that they found the self assessment to be very useful and the Audit Commission had also used it as an example of good practice with other councils preparing for corporate assessment.

Members were informed of the results of the inspection as follows:-

Theme Score (out of 4)
Ambition 4
Prioritisation 4
Capacity 3
Performance Management 4
Achievement 3

It was noted that the results represented a significant achievement. In comparing these results to other councils with corporate assessment reports published at the same time or before Stockton councils it was clear that few had achieved this level of performance.

Members of Cabinet were provided with a copy of the full corporate assessment report.

Details of the areas identified by the inspectors as needing improvement were also provided. The issues had been built into the Council Plan and Service Improvement Plans for the coming year. It was noted that progress against them would be highlighted in future performance reports.

Members of Cabinet were informed that this was the last time that the Council would receive a "corporate assessment". The CPA regime which corporate assessment was part of was due to end in 2009 and be replaced by Comprehensive Area Assessment. Further details of what the framework would look like were expected in the coming months.


1. The report, and in particular the Audit Commission's report, be noted.

2. The areas for improvement be noted and progress updates as part of future performance monitoring reports be received.
Reasons for the Decision
The Corporate Assessment report represents a major assessment of the council's performance and as such it is important that Cabinet consider its content and the actions that need to be taken to further improve the Council's performance.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Details of any Dispensations
Not Applicable
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Not later than Midnight on Monday 2 June 2008

Date of Publication: 27 May 2008

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