Lancashire County Council
The county of Lancashire, one of the larger English shire counties, is located in the north west of the country. The area is diverse and includes coastal resorts, the historic city of Lancaster, beautiful countryside and moorland, the industrial areas of Burnley and Accrington and the new city of Preston as well as small market towns, ports and commuter settlements. Our neighbours are Cumbria in the north, North and West Yorkshire to the east and Merseyside and Greater Manchester to the south. There are 13 parliamentary constituencies within the county.
Lancashire has a population of 1.2 million and about 34,600 VAT-registered businesses. It has moved forward considerably from its cotton industry roots to its present mixed economy made up of international and local companies like BAE Systems, Springfields Fuels Ltd, Leyland Trucks, Rolls Royce, Gold Medal Travel, Matalan and Homeserve Claims Management Ltd. However, manufacturing is still an important provider of the area’s wealth. It accounts for 17% of the 489,200 employees in Lancashire, and a quarter of local GDP. Unemployment, measured by means of the Annual Population Survey, is the same as the national average at 5.2%.
Lancashire…A four-star authority
Lancashire County Council was awarded the top CPA ‘four stars’ ratingfrom the Audit Commission in December 2005 and has retained that score in all annual results since, including the most recent CPA announcement in September 2008. This made it the fifth time running we have been awarded top marks by the Audit Commission. The test also looks at our potential to continue improving – our ‘direction of travel’. We were rated as ‘improving well’ – an important achievement as we have prided ourselves on continual development and setting higher standards. This means that as well as achieving the top four-star rating we are also seen as ambitious and capable of even more.