Council Leader Andrew Morgan has welcomed the endorsement of the Council’s Governance Arrangements by the Wales Audit Office.

Positive feedback has been reported to the Council by the Wales Audit Office in a series of major reports - Good Governance When Determining Significant Services Changes; the 2016/17 Annual Improvement report; Report on the Council’s arrangements for managing improvement and the Report on the Financial Resilience of the Council.

Cllr Andrew Morgan has welcomed the endorsement as independent recognition of the strong foundations the Council has delivered to continue taking Rhondda Cynon Taf forward.

This positive feedback has been achieved at the same as the Council has reduced senior management costs by over £2M.

County Borough Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council said: “The positives contained within these reports by the Wales Audit Office, offer an independent assessment of the performance and the leadership of the Council.

“It is pleasing that this series of important audit assessments identify no major shortcomings in the governance arrangements of the authority and recognise the steps we are taking to ensure we can continue to take RCT forward.

“These reports recognise the strong financial management we are delivering which is protecting frontline services from the continued cuts to funding the public sector faces. These reports also acknowledge how the foundations we have laid will ensure that RCT is well placed to meet the future challenges the Council is likely to face moving forward.

“When we took the decision to significantly cut the levels of senior management in the Council, to protect frontline services, I was confident that the new streamlined arrangements would not impact upon the corporate strength and integrity of the Council as an organisation, because of the approach we had adopted. It is however pleasing to receive this endorsement of the corporate governance arrangements of the Council from Wales Audit Office.

“We have cut our senior management by over £2M over the last two years to ensure we protected frontline services from the spending cuts we have faced, which is a significant reduction to corporate capacity of the Council.

“The Williams Review, independent research commissioned by the Welsh Government in 2014 had already identified RCT for delivering one of the most cost-effective corporate management arrangements in Wales, and this was before we made over £2M of cost reductions to our management arrangements.

“By reducing the number of Council Services Groups, which were first created in 2000, we have been able to make these savings and reductions in senior management which has not affected our ability to effectively manage the Council’s huge list of responsibilities, most notable a budget of over £400M and over 10,000 employees. Indeed, the Council’s performance has improved for the past two consecutive years and, based on information provided by the Local Government Data Unit, this year we were the most improved council in Wales.

“In addition to the efficiencies we have already delivered, we have committed to deliver a further £6M efficiencies as part of next year’s budget.

“I am keen to ensure we continue to take the same approach we have adopted over the last three years, in my time as Leader of the Council, to seek opportunities to reduce our senior management headcount further as part of our wider efficiency drive, which is all about delivering services in different ways without impacting on the frontline and those communities which rely upon those services and facilities.

“I have already placed on my record my commitment to deliver further significant savings in corporate management arrangements during this financial year.

“It is pleasing to receive these strong endorsements in terms of how we approach significant key decisions and the wider financial resilience of the Council and the reports once again evidence the strong foundations we have set in place for the Council to move forward.”
Posted on Wednesday 14th June 2017

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