Labour-run Copeland Borough Council has been given a zero rating for its housing services by an Audit Commission inspection. The report judges the Council as offering a "poor service" with "poor prospects for improvement." It says:
"The approach to value for money is not well structured, principles are not embedded and there is limited awareness of how costs and outcomes compare."
The Council is also criticised for "ineffective approaches to deal with empty homes" and poor services for those trying to get through on the phone.
As a result of the strong Conservative advance in local government there are few Conservative target seats in the General Election with Labour Councils. Copeland is one of them. So can Labour expect a bounce in the constituency from the popularity of their local achievements?
It would seem unlikely. According to public satisfaction ratings last year it is the third worst of the 352 councils in England and Wales. It scored just 27.7% of residents declaring themselves "very or fairly satisfied with how your local council runs things." Click on this link and then "Place Survey England – headline table results." (Lib Dem-run Northampton Borough Council got 26.8% while Lib Dem-run Oldham scored 22.4%. The highest approval ratings went to Conservative-run Wandsworth on 75.3%.)