A formal notice has been issued to South Cambridgeshire District Council to ensure taxpayers’ money is well spent after concerns were raised over its four-day working week trial.
A Best Value Notice, issued by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, formally sets out government concerns around the council and whether the trial offers value for money, including the removal of up to a fifth of the authority’s capacity.
It requests evidence on the trial to consider whether the council is meeting its Best Value Duty, including on staffing; costs; service delivery; resident feedback; overall performance since the start of the trial; should a four-day working week continue.
The Notice follows repeated requests from the Local Government Minister, Lee Rowley to end the trial, as well as the publication of guidance to the sector setting out why this practice should not be adopted.
The government has issued this non-statutory guidance to state:
- The government does not support a 4-day working week in local authorities, as it does not believe that it delivers local taxpayers’ value for money.
- The government does not expect councils to adopt this arrangement.
- Should councils disregard this advice and there is evidence of service decline or failure, DLUHC or another government department may raise concerns directly with the authority, monitor performance more closely and consider options to correct declining performance.
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