Bury Council Down To Two Stars In Service Table

Bury has been demoted to a two-star council in national tables published today. Lower marks in the vital area of adult social services have sent the council back down the league.

As well as being docked a star, Bury was said to be “improving adequately”, which is down from last year’s “improving well”. The Audit Commission, in its Comprehensive Performance Assessment, rates councils on the services they provide and the way they are run.

Inspectors gave Bury three points for its use of resources (the same as last year), three points for its children and young people’s services (down from four points) and, crucially, downgraded its points for social care (adults) from three to two points.

Under the rules, all of these scores had to be at least threes for Bury to hold onto its three stars.

In the second tier of services, the scores for housing, environment and benefits all remained at three, while culture fell from three to two.

Of the 22 councils in the North West, 12 got the top four-star rating, four got three stars, five received two stars, and one (Liverpool) got one star.

Town hall bosses are disappointed, as Bury had only moved up last year from two to three stars.

Council leader Bob Bibby said: “Overall, the report is positive and acknowledges we are a very efficient council and provide value for money services. We recognise there are areas where we must do better and have plans in place to secure improvements in line with agreed action plans.”

Bury is hoping to regain its third star this summer, once a separate inspection into its corporate management – being carried out this week – is added to the mix.

Coun Diana Ashworth, executive member for children and young people, said: “Children’s services is acknowledged by inspectors as providing a range of services to a high standard, whilst some areas have performed less well. Those areas which require further support are now the priority and are being progressed.” And Coun Beverley Sullivan, executive member for health and well-being, said: “Whatever the technical ratings are, the quality and accessibility of care for older people remains a top priority for this council. We have recently undergone an extensive period of change and are improving services identified during the inspection.”