Teignbridge District Council’s Housing Service has been recognised for its ‘Excellent prospects for improvement’ while currently operating a ‘fair’ service alongside partners, according to a new Audit Commission inspection report.
The report, published this week following an inspection in September 2010, highlights significant improvements made by the service since its last inspection in November 2008, which found it to be ‘Poor’ with ‘Uncertain prospects for improvement’. The ‘Excellent prospects for improvement’ is the highest possible score in that category, recognising that further improvement of the service is certain. Following its first inspection the Teignbridge Council introduced a ‘Three Years to Excellent’ initiative pledging to reach an ‘Excellent’ rating by November 2011.
The report reviews housing services across all providers in Teignbridge, with work by Teignbridge District Council, Devon County Council, housing associations like Teign Housing, and the Home Improvement Agency all contributing to the performance score.
It followed a September inspection by the Housing Inspectorate arm of the Audit Commission, which came earlier than expected due to the Government’s plan to scrap the Audit Commission.
In the new report the commission praises the council’s understanding of the housing market, along with its comprehensive plans, realistic ambitions and ‘developing culture of learning’. It recognises that the council is effectively supporting the delivery of new affordable housing (providing 174 in 2009/10, the most of any Devon district), has improved its approach to tackling poor quality private housing and bringing empty homes back in to use, is taking effective steps to prevent homelessness, and is improving access to social housing and a range of other housing services.
Housing is one of Teignbridge Council’s key priorities, and the new report welcomes its work to implement the recommendations made following the Audit Commission’s previous inspection. It praises the council for offering ‘comprehensive’ improvement plans, ‘strong’ staff capacity and ‘good’ partnership working, while operating effective performance and risk management to ensure a more inclusive and smoothly operated service.
(from a press release)