BOTH Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend Council have submitted their latest self-assessments for 2022-23 for approval.
The completion of the annual self-assessment process is a requirement for all local authorities in Wales as part of the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021 and is an overall corporate assessment as opposed to an assessment of individual services.
It is carried out in order to review if councils are carrying out their functions effectively as well as checking if they are using their resources efficiently and looking what can be done better in the future.
In Neath Port Talbot the conclusion of the self-assessment said that progress had been made from the previous year in council functions. However it also noted that there were still areas for improvement, particularly when it came to financial planning and managing expenditure as well as digital data and technology.
The report read: “Neath Port Talbot Council is identified as ‘mature’ when assessed against the Local Government Association Efficiency Toolkit. Whilst the rating remains the same as 2021-2022 it is felt that significant progress has been made but it will take some time for all core activity areas to be at a stage where we can progress into an overall rating of ‘leading’.”
In Bridgend the council took feedback from elected members, staff, trade unions, and residents for the report, also highlighting areas where the council has performed well and where improvements can be made.
These included improving school attendance, addressing social care workforce issues, developing a new homelessness strategy, and developing new options for recycling and waste in the future.
Council leader Huw David said: “We have again produced a detailed and realistic self-assessment in a straightforward, easy-to-follow style which offers an honest summary of how we have performed.
“This self-assessment covers the final year of our Corporate Plan for 2018-23 and substantial changes will be seen next year following the publication of our new Corporate Plan 2023-28.
“The self-assessment highlights areas of strong performance as well as those areas where a greater focus is required in order for us to be able to deliver further improvements.”