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Services shape up for people's agenda

INTEGRATION OF school and library services in East Lothian and Aberdeenshire, consulting parents and pupils over school meals in North Ayrshire, bringing community education and other functions into neighbourhood centres in Dundee and providing information through community access points in Clackmannan.

These are among initiatives providing better value for money which were commended by the Accounts Commission in a report published last week on "reconfiguring services".

Robert Black, the commission's controller of audit, said: "Councils are already working towards the Government's modernising agenda. They are recognising the need to deliver services in ways which suit the needs of local people. This results in better services in ways which suit the needs of local people."

But the commission reminds authorities that they must continue to set targets for improvement and monitor provision. East Lothian, for example, is commended because library supplies now reach schools weeks earlier.

Local authorities welcomed the report. "It gives a clear demonstration that local government is fully committed to delivering quality services in ways which best meet the needs of the public," Albert Tait, acting chief executive of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, said.

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