We continually look at how we are performing compared to others, especially other councils similar to us. This comparison exercise is often referred to as benchmarking and not only shows us how we are performing in relation to others, but supports us to improve our services by identifying best practice and learning from others.
How we compare to others
We have produced a summary of how we compare to other councils. All 32 Scottish local authorities participate in the Local Government Benchmarking Framework (LGBF), and present a set of data annually through the My Local Council website. Further information on local authority benchmarking is provided by the Improvement Service, who lead the LGBF process. By reviewing a core set of data each year, we can see how our own performance has changed over time, and identify the reasons for change, such as, the introduction of a new policy or a change in a process.
When comparing, for example, our costs to others in Scotland, it is important to consider the differences that contribute to variations in spend and performance, including:
- population, for example percentage of children in the area or older people, who will require care
- geography, for example how large an area is and where people live in towns, villages or rural areas
- social and economic factors, for example types of jobs or study opportunities available, number and type of businesses
- the needs and priorities of local communities and decisions taken by Councillors on how services will be provided
Most of the data used within the framework is already produced for other purposes and is collected in a consistent way. For example, recycling rates are taken from returns made to the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), destinations of young people leaving school are taken from returns made by our schools to the Scottish Government.