Local authorities improved their performance in a range of areas last year, despite a reduction in revenue and severe strains on resources caused by the pandemic.
A new performance report from the National Oversight and Audit Commission found that councils maintained essential services and played an important role in the national response to Covid-19 in 2020, including through the provision of new services.
The local government ‘community call’ service, which provided support to people in need of assistance during the crisis, received more than 57,000 contacts between March and December 2020. Local authority staff made almost 23,000 follow-up calls to ensure that help was provided.
Councils also provided public safety supports, wellbeing initiatives in communities, and a range of new supports and grants to businesses, with local enterprise offices approving almost 13,000 trading online vouchers and providing mentoring to 16,000 businesses.
Local authorities added 3,151 units to the social housing stock. By the end of 2020, they owned and managed over 141,000 social housing units.
Some 86% of motor tax transactions were conducted online, up from 77% in 2019. Meanwhile, library services saw almost 72,000 new users of online eBook and eAudiobook library services last year. And the upgrade to the energy efficiency of public lighting continued, with almost 40% of all public lighting now upgraded to energy efficient LED.
Read the report HERE.
It’s never been more important – or easier – to get the protections and benefits of union membership. Join Fórsa HERE or contact us HERE.