Pathfinders 'must improve value for money'
Public spending watchdog the Audit Commission is going to get tougher on housing market renewal pathfinders as ‘public resources get tighter’.
The commission, which has released its first batch of reports on pathfinders’ use of resources, said the HMR programme will have to improve its approach.
Three pathfinders were rated as performing strongly, four were performing well and three were performing adequately.
The report states: ‘The programme, both locally and nationally, will need to develop more sophisticated ways of measuring and demonstrating value for money.
‘As the trajectory of market recovery become clearer, the commission’s judgments in respect of [value for money] will become tougher.
‘As public resources get tighter, and potentially subject to enhanced scrutiny, pathfinders will need to improve in order to maintain their current assessment score.’
The commission said pathfinders need robust efficiency strategies and targets, clear benchmarking of costs and good reporting of capital receipts.
It added: ‘There will be a need for further more focused value for money work with the pathfinders in the future.’
Performing strongly - Renew North Staffordshire, Partners in Action Oldham and Rochdale, Manchester Salford Pathfinder
Performing well - Bridging Newcastle Gateshead, NewHeartlands in Merseyside, Elevate East Lancashire, Gateway Hull and East Riding
Performing adequately - Transform South Yorkshire, Tees Valley Living, Urban Living in Birmingham and Sandwell