KIRKLEES is top of the class again.
Results announced today show the council has been awarded the maximum four-star rating by public watchdog the Audit Commission.
It’s the second year in a row that Kirklees Council has been judged one of the best local authorities in the country.
Council Leader Clr Mehboob Khan welcomed today’s news.
He said: “We have a track record of providing top-quality services and this report confirms our reputation.
“Kirklees has been a high-performing council for several years and the council’s workforce deserve a pat on the back for their dedication and effort.
“At the same time, we can never stand still. We are constantly looking for ways to improve.
“We will act on the Audit Commission’s recommendations and work with our partners to make further progress.”
The Audit Commission praised Kirklees for making good progress in areas which are important to local people.
It said: “Violent crime has reduced. The environment is getting better as recycling rates rise.
“The free insulation scheme Warm Zone is improving wellbeing, fuel efficiency and the environment.
“The council’s capacity to improve is good. The council uses intelligence well to identify needs and improve services.
“Financial management and value for money is good. The council has robust systems and culture that should enable it to continue to identify and address the next set of challenges.”
The report noted that Kirklees is improving adequately and making it easier for residents to have face-to-face contact with council services.
However, the Audit Commission also recommends improvements in schools, health inequalities, crime reduction and supporting older people and people with a disability to live at home.
Deputy council leader Clr Kath Pinnock warned there was no room for complacency.
She said: “Our work on environmental issues, especially through the Warm Zone scheme, continues to win praise on a national scale.
“Kirklees has had a string of four-star ratings, which is a tremendous achievement, but there are difficult challenges ahead and we must be ready to face them.”
Kirklees won three stars in 2005 and 2006 before moving up to four stars in 2007.