A MERSEYSIDE council was rated as good in its annual Audit Commission assessment - but may be doing consider-ably better.
Knowsley Council scored well in the annual performance league tables detailed in yesterday's Daily Post.
It received a good rating, the second highest rank and the same as last year, and was judged to have maintained services or improved in all areas judged.
But a survey for a national newspaper believes Knowsley is doing even better.
Knowsley was placed second in the country in a league table of service provision by local authorities compiled by The Sunday Times. The study assessed 30 different services covering housing, environment, transport and planning.
It concluded that, despite Knowsley having a comparatively high level of deprivation, the council's service performance was excellent.
Reacting to Knowsley's results in yesterday's comprehensive performance assessments, Knowsley chief executive Steve Gallagher said: "We are pleased with the progress made over the last year. No service has got worse in Knowsley, indeed most have improved but we are not content with that.
"We want to provide the very best services for our residents and aim to be in the top category next year - 'excellent' council status.
"I am confident we will do it; we have a dedicated and talented management team with realistic and viable plans for investment and services which are improving all the time."
Social services and education were strengths for Knowsley but housing was rated poor.
Coun Ron Round, leader of Knowsley Council, said: "This assessment is very good news for Knowsley. It consolidates our solid work and gives us the added impetus to do even better as the 'excellent' category is within our grasp."
Meanwhile, another North West council chief was praised by the Audit Commission, despite his possible sacking.
Warrington council leader Mike Hughes is currently fighting for his political life after being "deselected" by Labour.
Mr Hughes was singled out for his "clear and concrete vision for the town and its surrounding area" by the Audit Commission.
Yet, along with education chief Coun David Keane, he has been axed from Labour's list of candidates for next year's elections.el.