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Vital council services continuing to improve

Vital services which matter to the people of Swansea every day are continuing to improve.

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Education, safeguarding the vulnerable, improving our city's roads, fighting poverty, creating a vibrant city centre and supportive communities are the top priorities being delivered by the council.

It's a view that's not just shared by the council and its communities, but also by government organisations whose job it is to keep an eye on how councils in Wales are performing.

The Wales Audit Office takes a regular in-depth look at all local authorities in Wales and its latest view of Swansea is that it's delivering on expectations and in good shape to keep it up.

On top of that education watchdogs Estyn say performance in education has strongly improved in every area from Foundation Phase right up to GCSE and A-Level results.

And social services' inspectors from the Care and Social Services Inspectorate say the council is in a strong position to improve, building a high-quality model of social care, with a clear vision about what future services will look like which will benefit the people of Swansea.

Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, 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 measures with which we look to improve our services for everyone in Swansea.

"We know the people of Swansea have high expectations - so they should and we do too. Despite budget reductions and £54m of savings achieved in the last few years, residents still expect quality services they can see making a difference every day.

"The people of Swansea can be reassured by the words of the Wales Audit Office which say the council has continued to improve in its priority areas and its arrangements to support future improvement."

Cllr Stewart said: "Long gone are the days when the Westminster government provided an annual boost to Welsh Government coffers and it was able to pass on real-term increases in funding to councils.

"In Swansea we have responded to these real-term reductions not by salami-slicing services but by transforming them. We're smarter, leaner and more efficient than we were and our residents have benefited as a result. That's what the Wales Audit Office is saying.

"Council staff are going the extra mile in many different services, ranging from fixing potholes quickly and tackling weeds to transforming the lives of vulnerable young children and their families.

"We are also working ever more closely with local groups, helping them to support us to protect the most community-orientated services like parks and community centres.

"There is still lots more to do, with plenty of challenges and areas where more improvement is required. But, as the Wales Audit Office says, we're in a good place to make further strides in the right direction."

In the past year or so the council has not just been recognised for its outstanding achievement in areas such as child and family services and 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 the council is the most sustainable public sector organisation in the UK and has helped make sure Swansea is one of only 12 Learning Cities in the world. 

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