Council managers defend position on Best Practice

Local
authority HR managers have reacted angrily to a union-backed report that claims
the framework agreement on Best Value has not been adopted by local government.

The
report, Working Together for Best Value, claims that the NJC framework
agreement on Best Value should be "more widely applied and used in
conjunction with local action plans and good practice guidelines".

The
framework, introduced in October 1999, aims to promote union involvement in
local government decision-making and improve the quality of service provision.

Terry
Gorman, assistant chief executive personnel and corporate services at
Nottingham County Council, responded, "Authorities wanted to have the
unions engaged but it was not always possible because of their [the unions]
negative attitude at local level."

The
report has misunderstood local councils’ implementation of the framework,
claimed Rita Simmons, personnel and training officer of Hampshire County
Council.

She
said, "I believe that local councils have adopted the principles of the
framework but not word for word. Here at Hampshire we have used the document as
a template and tailored it into our framework.

"Although
it is possible that local councils have overlooked the document as it is just
one item in a mountain on Best Value."

The
report was produced by a number of organisations including the Improvement and
Development Agency, the Local Government Information Unit and the trade unions
Unison, GMB and T&G.

By
Paul Nelson

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