“Good morale in the planning department” at Blaenau Gwent CBC
THE findings of a review of the Blaenau Gwent Planning service by Audit Wales have been welcomed by the council
The council have said that they accept the key recommendations in the report by Audit Wales
Earlier this month Audit Wales an organisation whose purpose is to assure and explain to the people of Wales how public money is being used and that it’s managed well, published a report on Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s Planning service.
This follows a review by Audit Wales in February, and they have provided a list of four recommendations for the council to implement.
Audit Wales said: “Overall, we found that Planning committee performance is improving, and the planning service plays a key role in enabling delivery of the council’s corporate objectives, but the service’s business planning and performance reporting do not demonstrate this important contribution.”
“We reached this conclusion because: the profile of the planning service within the council is improving with the service now seen as a key enabler to deliver the corporate objectives.
Audit Wales said that the council’s Development and Estates business plan “does not reflect the planning service’s strategic role”.
As this plan lacks performance data Audit Wales said that the Planning service is “not adequately” reporting its performance.
Audit Wales said that staff in the planning service feel “well supported.”
Audit Wales said: “There is a good team meeting structure and flow of communication resulting in a positive one team approach.
“Planning committee performance is improving but the service needs to
increase the pace of its review of the committee’s governance arrangements.”
The report was also brought up at a meeting of the Planning committee on Thursday, June 15.
Committee chairwoman, Cllr Lisa Winnett said: “Team leadership has come out good in the Audit Wales report.
“There’s good morale in the planning department which I see regularly, and they are a fantastic team to work with.”
A Blaenau Gwent council spokesman said: “The council welcomes Audit Wales’s report and its finding that the Planning committee performance is improving, and the planning service plays a key role in enabling delivery of the Council’s corporate objectives.
“The council also accepts the four key recommendations in the report, particularly around performance measures and data quality.
“These recommendations will be incorporated into the Development and Estates future business plans.”
The Audit Wales recommendations are:
1: Include performance measures in the Development and Estates business
2: Include in the Development and Estates business plan the service’s
contribution towards delivering the council’s corporate objectives to
demonstrate its important enabling role;
3: The council needs to assure itself that the planning service has robust data
quality arrangements to ensure that it reports accurate performance data so
that staff, members, Welsh Government and the public can rely on
its integrity to make accurate and informed decisions;
4: Full council to consider the outcome of the scheme of delegation and
planning protocol review by September 2023 and decide on future planning
By BBC LDRS
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