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Audit Commission

Comprehensive area assessment

Comprehensive area assessment (CAA) is a new way of assessing local public services in England. It looks at improving outcomes for local people, and is made up of two parts -

  • an area assessment, about how the local strategic partnership, ONE HULL, was working together to improve the lives of people in the city
  • an organisational assessment, about how Hull City Council was continuing to that improvement, and how it is managing its resources

More details on the CAA framework on the Audit Commission website (link opens in a new window)

The latest results were published In December 2009. The area assessment reports the council and its partners are praised across the four community strategy themes - earning, learning, healthy and safe -

  • the city centre is a much better place to visit, shop and work
  • prospects for nearly all children in Hull are improving
  • there are signs that new projects started by partners are encouraging some people to change their unhealthy lifestyles
  • Hull is a much safer place now than it was five years ago

The Audit Commission identified one 'red flag' area, namely how the council and its partners were working with the long term unemployed or who claim benefits because of ill-health.

The full report is available to download below -


Organisational assessment

The new organisational assessment is a tougher test of how we are performing than the Audit Commission's previous system. We are pleased it acknowledges the progress we continue to make towards our targets and confirms we have a solid foundation to build on in our efforts to help improve the lives of people in Hull. Under this new regime, the council has scored two out of four for all elements of the assessment. This is a sound base from which to improve further.

The organisational assessment is available to download below -


The 2010 assessment will not be reported until December, but the new framework is based on continuous assessment. Therefore, in April we will receive an update on our use of resources, and in May we will be presenting our latest self assessment on our adult social care services. Throughout the year we will be working with our partners to show the Audit Commission the further improvements to residents' and visitors' lives that we have put in place, and Ofsted will be looking at our children's services to see how we are helping young people in Hull.

In all cases our goal is to improve lives, not to tick boxes. If we are making a difference in people's lives and we can demonstrate that difference, then we will get a good score in CAA.

Performance

The local area agreement (LAA) brings together the four community strategy themes - earning, learning, healthy and safe - that the council and its partners have agreed are the most important ways in which we can improve lives in Hull.

Under these four themes are a series of indicators that help us measure our success in doing that. We call these our LAA measures, and each quarter Cabinet receives an update on our progress.

In 2009/10 we are particularly focusing on a series of measures (LAA1) where central government set us what they called a 'stretch' target. If we achieve this target, then the council and its partners will receive a 'reward grant' that ONE HULL has agreed will be available for partners to bid against. Currently we are hoping to achieve just between £3.5 million and £4.5 million, but we are working with colleagues in NHS Hull in particular to help more people quit smoking and reduce their weight (two of the LAA1 measures).

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