Published: Wednesday, 06th February 2019
We are continuing to see all levels of pupil attainment higher than the Scottish average according to the latest Local Government Benchmarking (LGBF) report.
The report which compares the performance of Scottish councils across a range of services, shows pupil attainment at all levels has improved or been maintained and is higher than both the Scotland average and the average for similar local authorities.
2017/18 has seen a marked increase in the percentage of pupils from deprived areas gaining 5+ awards at Level 5 and Level 6. Specifically, 20% of the pupils from deprived areas gained 5+ at Level 6 compared to 16% for Scotland.
The quality of our green spaces also ranked extremely high with a cleanliness score of 97.5% for the Borders. This can be compared to a Scotland average of 92.2% and a 95.2% average for similar rural local authorities.
Other strengths include a higher rate of business start-ups compared to the rest of Scotland and a very good rate of performance for Council Tax collection costs and the amount of Council Tax collected each year.
At our Executive meeting next week (12 February) Councillors will be presented with the Quarterly Performance Report and the results from the 2018 Household Survey which reveal that residents rate their quality of life in the Borders as good, feel safe in their home and feel their neighbourhoods are a good place to live.
Councillor Simon Mountford, Executive Member for Transformation and HR
“This report is just one of the many ways we assess how we are performing as a Council. We regularly review our national performance outcomes alongside our own performance reports on a quarterly basis. We also take on board feedback through activities such as our Household Survey, the results of which will be presented to the Council’s Executive next week. The LGBF results, combined with these other measures, allow us to put in place steps to continually improve the Council’s service delivery.
“The important point to note from all of this is that the Council is consistently performing well despite ongoing financial and demographic challenges. We show strengths and improvements in many areas but at the same time, we fully acknowledge we have much to do in order to deliver excellence into the future.”
Tracey Logan, Chief Executive
“We want to know what users of our services think on a more regular basis, rather than relying on results reported from a national survey only. In some instances, for example, the data used in the LGBF report does not necessarily reflect how we are set up at SBC 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 our business support arrangements as well as investing in state of the art ICT provision which, over the longer term, will improve customer service and make savings.”
The LGBF measures cannot be interpreted in isolation and should be used alongside other performance information to interpret and report on the progress being made against our strategic priorities.
Much of the data used in the report has already been put before elected members through our own performance reporting arrangements which can be accessed.
All local authorities participate in the Local Government Benchmarking Framework (LGBF) which was launched in 2013 and reflects the commitment by SOLACE (Scotland) to develop measurement/comparable data as a catalyst for improving services and enhancing public accountability across local government.
Data in the framework is presented through the ‘My Local Council’ website where we are compared to the Scottish local authority average.