DEFIANT bosses at Congleton Borough Council, which covers Sandbach, Alsager and Holmes Chapel, insist they are on the right track despite the authority being described as 'weak' by Government inspectors.
A report into the overall performance of local authorities has criticised the council. It was marked lower than neighbour Crewe and Nantwich, which was classed as 'good'.
But chief executive Peter Cooper believes things are improving.
He said: 'It is frustrating. However, we are moving on and concentrating on the future.
'The building blocks for improvement are already in place, and we will continue to work hard towards an ultimately better council for the people of Congleton Borough.'
The aim of the report is to give communities information about how their council is performing.
In particular, Congleton Borough Council was criticised for the slow development of its local strategic part-nership and community plan, and a lack of capacity and skills to deliver its priorities.
Mr Cooper added: 'The council is keen to get on and tackle these areas. We take pride in the fact that we have done well in the areas that matter to the public and will be putting together an Action Plan to drive forward improvements.'
A spokesman for The Audit Commission, which carried out the Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA), said: 'The council has only recently begun to monitor and manage performance effectively.
'It has weak baseline information about the needs of local people and its understanding of the local housing market is weak.'
On the positive side, the assessment found the council is performing well in areas such as planning, recycling, waste and refuse collection.
Audit Commission senior manager Brian Stevenson explained: 'Despite recent progress, Congleton Borough Council is lacking capacity in some key areas and has shown a weak grasp on shaping its own performance.
'Residents of Congleton will want to know what happens next. The council should use this assessment to help it deliver improvement.' Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council has been assessed as 'a good council, with the potential to become even better'. Chief executive Alan Wenham said: 'We are in the first division of local authorities and clearly have the potential to become premier league.'