THE local authority is celebrating after being rated the third most productive council in the UK in a report last week.

Wigan Council has moved up two places from fifth in the annual report compiled by iMPOWER, which measures change and transformation in public services.

It examines which councils are spending their money most effectively and getting the best outcomes for its residents.

The list ranks 150 local authorities and looks at children’s social care, older people, all age disability, health and social care, housing and homeless, and waste and recycling.

Children’s social care remains fourth best in the country for the second year running.

Council leader Cllr David Molyneux said: “This is a fantastic achievement and is testament to our hard working and dedicated staff who have embraced The Deal and changed how they work with residents.

“We have taken tough but fair decisions and have invested money in communities, empowered our residents to make decisions and designed our services around what individuals need. I am so proud of this work and to see it making a real difference to people’s lives.”

The council's The Deal community scheme has been praised for the way it has helped to manage services despite the local authority being the third worst affected by funding cuts.

Cllr Jenny Bullen, cabinet member for children and young people’s services, said: “To rank amongst the top authorities for children’s social care shows how hard staff and partners are working to ensure the best outcomes for our children and young people.

"We were ranked Good last year by Ofsted and remain committed to improving services so they can become outstanding.

“We will continue on our journey of improvement and reform putting people and their needs at the heart of every decision we make.”