WALTHAM FOREST residents are being served by a council that performs very well, according to a government watchdog.

A recent corporate assessment by the Audit Commission gave the authority three stars out of a possible four.

This has pushed the council’s overall performance assessment score, which takes into account a number of other factors such as performance in education, social services and culture, to the highest possible four stars.

A glowing report portrays a council which is strongly led and has a clear vision for the future of the borough. It also has clear accountability for performance management, according to inspectors.

The Local Strategic Partnership, which has overseen a widespread systematic failure to monitor the spending of millions of pounds earmarked to help the poor, is described as “well led and focused in its approach to meeting community priorities”.

The council is now the only previously-failing authority to achieve the four-star rating.

Council Leader, Cllr Clyde Loakes, said: "Being told that Waltham Forest is a four star council is a significant reward for the council, its staff and our residents.

“The rating demonstrates how far the Council has come since 2002, and the changes that have been made to improve quality of life of local people.

“But, for me, what really counts is what residents think of the services they receive and I know that we have a lot more work to do to continue to improve services.”

Deputy leader John Macklin, who has called for Cllr Loakes to step down as chair of the LSP, said improvements were down to the increased influence of the Liberal Democrats on a Labour-led council.

He said: “There has undeniably been a correlation between the growing number of Liberal Democrat councillors elected by residents in Waltham Forest, our joining of the joint administration in 2002 and the Audit Commission’s award of vastly improved ratings for the Council.”