IT S official, the residents of Torridge now have a good performing council according to a new report released this week by the independent Audit Commission. The council s comprehensive performance assessment rating has risen from its previous poor

IT'S official, the residents of Torridge now have a 'good' performing council according to a new report released this week by the independent Audit Commission. The council's comprehensive performance assessment rating has risen from its previous 'poor' score of 2003 following an inspection by the Commission in July. Only a few councils nationwide have made such a rise in so short a time. The report says: "Strong leadership has transformed the council and a productive 'can do' culture has developed."It recognises that Torridge now has a clear vision and effectively champions the interests of its residents and that it works effectively with partner organisations, making good use of shared services. Effective performance management is said to have improved the quality of services. Audit Commission senior manager Martin Green said: "I am delighted that the considerable improvement at Torridge has been recognised - to move from 'poor' to 'good' is a rare achievement. Poorly performing services have been turned around and previously weak services have also seen improvements. Strong leadership and effective team work has transformed the council and created a strong base for further improvement. It is using partnerships and shared services well to address some of the resource challenges of being a small council.'Chief Executive of the Council John van de Laarschot said: "This is a great CPA result for Torridge and reflects the hard work done by all the staff and members in making it happen. I would like to offer my thanks to everyone for their efforts and support. We have come a long way since 2003.