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Council improving its services for Swansea residents

Vital services which make a difference to the lives of residents in Swansea every day are continuing to improve.

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This announcement follows a number of recent reviews carried out by Estyn, the Wales Audit Office and the Care and Social Services Inspectorate of Wales (CSSIW) who have all stated they are satisfied with how the council runs vital services for the people of Swansea and are confident the council will continue to improve.

Rob Stewart, Leader of Swansea Council, said: "Overall, Swansea is a high performing council which has been supported in a number of recent reports by the Wales Audit Office, Estyn and the CSSIW. These are the real measure with which we look to improve our services for everyone in Swansea."

The comments by the Leader of Swansea Council follow a more recent report published as part of the Local Government Data performance report for 2015/16. 

It has been published at the same time as the council's own performance report for the first quarter of 2016/17 which shows 58% of services had met their targets and more than 50% had improved since the same period a year earlier.

Cllr Stewart added: "Some of the comparators and measures used in the local government data report are out of date now and do not reflect the reviews that are taking place which show Swansea to be a high-performing authority.

"The indications are that we are likely to receive a positive annual report from the Wales Audit Office, which follows on from a very positive Corporate Assessment covering our performance in a wide range of areas.

"In the past year or so the council has also been recognised for its outstanding achievement in areas such as child and family services, leadership in education but also in areas like blue flags for beaches, green flags for parks and the city centre purple flag.

"On top of this we are the most sustainable public sector organisation in the UK and we are one of only 12 City of Learning in the world."

On recycling, for example, the latest quarterly report shows over 59% of waste is recycled, an improvement of around 6% on the same period the year before.

According to the local government data report 72.5% of the measures place Swansea in the top quartile, upper middle quartile or lower middle with  the remaining indicators in the bottom quartile.

The report also shows that although the council is making great strides in improving recycling rates, other councils are sending less waste to landfill. This is not because recycling rates are comparatively low but due to the council still choosing to send all non-recyclable waste to landfill compared to other methods such as incineration.

A council spokesperson said: "Swansea currently has the 12th best recycling performance in Wales and has over-achieved the Welsh Government target of 58%. We are also staying well within our annual landfill allowance. Some authorities choose to use different methods to dispose of non-recyclable instead of using landfill sites.

"We are also still fourth best in Wales in terms of the overall condition of roads and we have measures in place to make sure we can maintain roads adequately."

Delays in delivering Disabled Facilities Grants reported by the local government data report mask the fact that 738 minor adaptions were completed in an average of 51 days.

A spokesman added: "Larger adaptations require Occupational Therapy (OT) Assessments which can cause longer delays than we are prepared to accept. That's why we have now recruited two more OT staff to work solely in this area to speed up this important work."

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