STOCKTON-on-Tees Borough Council continues to deliver value for money for its residents, according to a report by external auditors.
The official annual audit was carried out by Mazars LLP, who commended the Council for putting in place “proper arrangements to secure economy, efficiency and effectiveness in its use of resources”.
The report acknowledges, however, that “the Council faces a number of ongoing challenges, including continuous improvement in services and ensuring an effective integrated system of health and social care.”
The report also recognises that the Council faces significant fiscal challenges but says that the authority “manages its finances carefully to balance service needs and available resources in the short and medium term. The Council’s most recent Medium Term Financial Plan recognises the ongoing financial constraints and the need to continue to review services to identify cost efficiencies.”
The findings of the 2016/17 Annual Audit were reported in full to members of the Council’s Cabinet today (December 14).
Speaking at the meeting, Mark Kirkham, Partner at Mazars LLP, said: “We are happy to confirm we found good evidence of value for money being provided and a good use of resources.
“In light of the public sector cuts to local government funding, there is satisfactory evidence of arrangements being in place with the capacity to deal with a stretching agenda.
“It is a leaner authority than it was in 2010 and one facing increasing demands, particularly in children’s services and adult social care, and from statutory duties to be delivered and it is important to be mindful of this.”
Leader of the Council, Councillor Bob Cook, added: “It’s very pleasing to see that external auditors have recognised the great lengths this authority is going to to deliver value for money for residents despite the significant challenges facing us.
“At a time of Government funding reductions and ever-increasing demand on services, we will continue to face difficulties.
“It is encouraging that our efforts to deliver savings have been acknowledged and residents of the Borough can be assured that value for money and their best interests remain central to everything that we do.”