Services in Moray Council are continuing to deteriorate, in particular within education. There has been a significant decline in services since a previous report by the Accounts Commission in 2015.
A recent renewed focus to drive forward strategic change must be maintained. The Commission recognises these important recent steps, including putting in place ways to review performance and, significantly, a strategy to manage school buildings.
In a report published today, the Accounts Commission is clear that committed and decisive leadership will be needed to make the required changes. This means both councillors and officers need to work together, along with communities, to make difficult decisions that will improve services across the area for local people. This includes tackling the relatively low educational attainment delivered within a schools’ estate in the worst condition in Scotland.
Elma Murray, Interim Chair of the Accounts Commission said:
It is deeply worrying that services for local people have declined significantly over the last five years. On the basis of past performance there is limited assurance and confidence that the council can make the significant depth of improvement needed.
The Accounts Commission have instructed auditors to follow up on today’s report, with a further assessment of the council’s position within 18 months. Councillors and officers must build on recent steps to work collaboratively to address poor educational attainment, ensure its finances are sustainable in the longer term and better understand how its services are performing.