Published: Monday, 12th February 2018
We have one of the highest levels of fifth and sixth year pupil attainment and are determining business and industrial planning applications quicker than similar rural local authorities.
That’s according to the latest national benchmarking report, comparing the performance of Scottish councils across a range of service areas.
Above the national average
In a new measure introduced this year, over 92% of 16-19 year olds are participating in education, training or employment in the Borders. This compares to a national average of 91%.
Just over 20% of adults who receive a service from social work are directing their own care under a new approach known as Self Directed Support. This is much higher than the Scottish average of 6.5%.
Overall, the report, which is based on the Local Government Benchmarking Framework, found that our performance was largely in line with national trends in terms of costs. Very good performance was noted in the cost of Council Tax collection and the amount of Council Tax collected each year.
Much of the data used in the report has already been put before elected members through our own performance reporting arrangements and additional reports - for example attainment, recycling rates and indicators in relation to Business Gateway.
Tracey Logan, Chief Executive
“The Benchmarking Framework is one of many tools the management team and service directors can use to track performance. We already monitor our performance closely through our own quarterly reports.
“While this particular report allows us to compare performance against other local authorities in any given year, our main focus is on longer term trends and seeking improvements in our services and high satisfaction among service users.
"Using a new online tool, as well as our re-vamped area partnerships, during 2018 we’re going to be introducing some innovative ways of collecting customer satisfaction information on a more regular basis so we’re not reliant on the tiny sample of Borders residents surveyed for this report.
“The data shows that in many areas we are performing in line with national trends, for example costs per pupil, and the cost per premises of waste collection and disposal. However we are determined to improve our performance in various areas identified in the Framework report. This includes road condition, where our roads review, due to conclude in early 2018, will see us optimise planned and unplanned maintenance. Interestingly, the data for other rural councils shows very similar challenges around road condition.
“In some instances the data used in the report does not reflect how we are set up here and the structures that we believe are more efficient for running a large, rural council.
“For example, our support service costs look high compared to other councils, but that is because we have consolidated all our business support arrangements (including HR, finance, property maintenance and administration) as well as investing in state of the art ICT provision with CGI which, over the longer term, will improve customer service and make savings.”
Find out more about our performance
All local authorities participate in the Local Government Benchmarking Framework. Data in the framework is presented through the ‘My Local Council’ website where we are compared to the Scottish local authority average.
Our own regular perfomance information is available on the website.