Home   Gravesend   News   Article

Kent scores highly in Audit Commission review

Kent scores highly in Audit Commission review
Kent scores highly in Audit Commission review

Residents in Kent enjoy some of the best public services in the country - according to an independent review of how well councils, the police and the NHS are performing.

The review by the Audit Commission rates how well public services are performing against key priorities agreed by councils, the NHS and the police. The initiative is an attempt to try and assess residents' quality of life.

How public services in Kent have been rated by the Audit Commission. Graphic: Ashley Austen
How public services in Kent have been rated by the Audit Commission. Graphic: Ashley Austen

Overall, Kent ranks highly when it comes to measures on crime, health care and the quality of key council services although there are variations in standards across the county.

The 'Oneplace assessment' draws together the findings of six independent inspectorates to judge the quality of services.

It singles out two initiatives in the county as exceptional:

  1. the county's pioneering Gateway centres, one-stop shops bringing together key services under one roof;
  2. the help and support offered to young people - the number of Neets (young people not in education or employment) is coming down against the national trend.

Both merit "green flag" ratings in the assessment, as examples other authorities could follow. Kent has no "red flags" - an indicator showing where there is significant concern about performance.

Kent County Council logo
Kent County Council logo

According to a separate assessment by the Audit Commission, also published today, Kent County Council has cemented its reputation as one of the best-performing local authorities in the country.

It is one of just three counties to score the highest possible ranking. The Audit Commission says KCC is performing excellently and its leadership is far-sighted and strong. It says the authority understands what matters to residents and targets these "with great effect".

But there were more mixed results for Kent's district and borough councils.

Six - including Gravesham - were assessed as only adequate, meaning they are meeting only minimum requirements. The others graded adequate were Ashford; Dover; Shepway; Swale and Thanet.

However, the remainder - including neighbouring Dartford - were found to be performing well, with Sevenoaks receiving an excellent rating.

When it comes to health, care is improving but not fast enough, says the Audit Commission.

On the plus side, more people are healthier and living longer than other parts of the country and deaths from cancer, heart disease, strokes and infant deaths significantly lower than the national average.

On crime, the review says crime levels have fallen and more people feel safe than in other parts of the country.

Kent County Council leader Cllr Paul Carter said: "This is great day for Kent and its residents. We have been massively complimented on our achievements.

"These results don't just happen. They are as a result of hard work, determination, innovation and dedication by everybody involved."

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More