Date: Thur 2 June 2005
Accounts Commission report on Inverclyde fails to commend good
public service - UNISON
UNISON, the union for local government staff, today said - whilst
they accepted some of the criticisms of Inverclyde Council - that
the Accounts Commission (AC) Best Value Report on the council failed
to give sufficient credit to the staff and management for the delivery
of highly-rated public services.
Instead it was overwhelmingly negative whilst failing to recognise
the steps already taken in the council to solve the problems.
Robin Taggart, UNISON Branch Service Conditions Officer said "The
report gives an extremely negative impression of public services
in Inverclyde. One that is not borne out by people's experience.
In addition to the good services supplied by Social Work and Education
and recognised by the report, the Housing and DLO services recently
got a 80-90% satisfaction rating in a customer satisfaction survey,
and home care and libraries have all been praised for their delivery
in the teeth of underfunding. That is what most people in Inverclyde
value about their council - not what corporate structure it has.
"Whilst there are problems that need to be addressed - not least
those affecting staff - the current management are already addressing
them without the need of expensive consultants. There seems to be
no evidence for the AC claim that there is no capacity within the
management to deliver the strategic leadership required."
UNISON also feels that, whilst the report summarises the severe
structural and demographic problems of Inverclyde, it does not seem
to take these into account when delivering its criticisms.
Bridget Hunter, UNISON Regional Officer for Inverclyde said: "The
report identifies the deprivation and infrastructure problems in
Inverclyde, but there appears to be no attempt to account for these
when surveying the problems the council has. In particular there
is little or no recognition that the level of these problems means
that the council has been and remains seriously underfunded if they
are to be able to address them successfully."
The union recognises that there are improvements that should be
made, in particular the concerns raised with regard to staff.
Robin Taggart said "The instances of low morale, uncertainty, excessive
use of responsibility payments, shilly-shallying about over staff
pay rises and others are all issues that UNISON has raised in the
past. It is clear that staff must be part of the solution, and UNISON
and the other unions must be included in the recovery work."
ENDS For Further Information Please Contact:
Robin Taggart (UNISON Inverclyde) 01475 791754 (w) 0780 393 3047(m)
Bridget Hunter (Regional Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 07770 308063(m)
Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558