Value for money delivered by Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council is continuing to deliver value for money, according to auditors.
The official annual audit, carried out by external auditors Mazars LLP, also commends the Council for putting in place proper arrangements to secure economy, efficiency and effectiveness in its use of resources.
The Annual Audit letter says: "Senior officers are focused on delivery of the savings plans, and this remains high on their agenda. The next few years will see this become harder and harder as the Council faces significant financial pressure from reduced funding and increasing demand for some services. The Council continues to have a strong approach in considering a range of options, regularly updating and agreeing its plans.
"As we have seen in recent years, the Council is exploring different service models to preserve service delivery along with financial stability. Along with changes internally the Council continues to engage with other partners as devolution develops in the area with the creation of the Tees Valley Combined Authority."
The findings of the 2015/16 Annual Audit were reported in full to members of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council's Cabinet on Thursday, 19 January.
At the Cabinet meeting Mark Kirkham, Partner at Mazars LLP, added: "We identified yet again a very good statement of accounts and with very few things to bring to the attention of the Audit Committee. That was a good result for the Council in common with previous years too, so you are consistent in achieving that good audit result.
"We've seen sufficient appropriate evidence of the arrangements we would expect to see in an authority that operates with value for money at its heart and has set out to achieve that in all of its operatives and all of its directorates. Again, that was a very positive conclusion. The Audit Committee was very pleased to receive those findings."
Leader of the Council, Councillor Bob Cook, said: "I'm really pleased that the Audit Letter recognises that we are continuing to deliver value for money despite the significant challenges we continue to face.
"The letter acknowledges the financial pressures following Government funding reductions and increasing demand on services. Though we will continue to face difficult times, it is particularly encouraging that external auditors recognise our continued efforts to deliver savings, as well as our approach to partnership working, and that our residents' best interests remain at the heart of our decision-making."