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We are a cross-party, member-led network, providing a single voice for our member councils

Best Value: DCN’s response to Government consultation

Published: 16 August 2023
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DCN has responded to the Government’s consultation on statutory guidance for local authorities on Best Value Duty, which closed yesterday.

The proposed updated version of the guidance, issued to all local authorities under the Local Government Act 1999, sets out the Government’s expectations of councils, such as standards expected and potential models of intervention if they are not met.

“On the whole, we agree that the revised statutory guidance on Best Value Duty achieves the right balance,” we say in our response. “In our view it will be helpful for local authorities. It usefully sets out the hallmarks of best value and identifies indicators of potential failure.”

While we note that there are occasions when Government intervention at a council is appropriate, we urge that it is proportionate.

“The guidance should be even clearer that the Department should not intervene if only one or a very small number of indicators of failure are engaged. Counting the number of indicators alone is not a sufficient basis for intervening,” we state.

“The guidance should be clearer that formal intervention should always be a last resort when problems are not capable of being expediently resolved by other means and when meaningful early dialogue with the local authority has taken place.”

You can read our full response by clicking here.

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