The Audit Commission, the independent watchdog for local services, gave Tower Hamlets council 4 stars – the highest possible rating – further to an assessment earlier this year.
The Commission highlighted the progress of the council over recent years and hailed it as one of the ten most improved local authorities in the country.
Their report also recognised the ‘culture of high aspiration among staff’, citing turnover being 10 per cent lower than the London average and praising the employment of a joint director of HR with the Primary Care Trust as a means of aligned workforce plans.
Inspectors also acknowledged the council’s success in people management and its progress on developing a workforce to reflect the community.
Chief Executive Martin Smith said: “This is great news and the result of the continuous hard work of our councillors and staff.
“I was particularly pleased that the inspectors recognised that although we’ve improved massively, we still think there is more to be done. We can always be better! But for today, I think it’s only fair we celebrate our achievements to date.”
Key findings in the Corporate Assessment report were:
That the council has achieved significant and continuing improvements in performance;
Partnership working is one of the borough’s greatest strengths and underpins everything it does;
The council is well-led by councillors and senior officers. Their respective roles are clear and distinct and decision making is transparent; and
Financial standing is very good and the council manages its budget well.
The council was assessed in five key areas; ambition, prioritisation, capacity, performance management and achievement.
It scored 4 in five of these categories, achieving 4* overall, meaning it is performing well above minimum requirements and is performing strongly.