DOZENS of priority items have not been dealt with by Dorset Council after more than a year – according to an internal audit report.

It identified 34 priority 1 or priority 2 cases which were outstanding for a year, or more,  although since the report was written the overall number has been reduced to 25 following the problem being raised at a council senior leadership meeting.

Councillors were told that within a week or so it was expected there would be a further reduction in long-standing outstanding items.

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Around a third of the items had come from the Place directorate, although of its 12 outstanding issues at the outset the number remaining is now down to three, one relating to Homes Dorset and the other to the Coroner’s service. Five of the items relate to the Corporate Services directorate, including a report on the council’s equality, diversity and inclusivity measures, which had been delayed by a key member of staff leaving the authority and a delay in the work being picked up while a new post-holder was recruited.

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Executive finance director for the council, Aiden Dunn, told an audit committee meeting on Wednesday that he was ‘heartened’ by the progress on outstanding issues after they were raise by the South West Audit Partnership team.

“We are not perfect, there is still some way to go, but we are heading in the right direction,” he told the committee.